Japan giving US 250 new cherry trees to replace trees that will be torn up over summer

Cherry trees in blossom at the Jefferson Memorial

WASHINGTON — Japan is gifting the United States 250 cherry trees that will replace more than 100 trees that will be torn up in a construction project by the Tidal Basin in Washington over the summer.

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Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced that the country would be giving the United States trees on Wednesday while at the White House for an official visit and state dinner, according to The Associated Press.

The gift is meant to honor the United States’ 250th anniversary of signing the Declaration of Independence, according to The New York Times. The 250th anniversary will be celebrated in 2026.

“Like our friendship, these trees are timeless, inspiring and thriving,” President Biden said, according to the newspaper.

“I am confident that the cherry blossomlike bond of the Japan-U.S. alliance will continue to grow even thicker and stronger, in the Indo-Pacific and in all corners of the world,” Kishida said, according to the AP.

In 1912, Tokyo’s mayor gave Washington about 3,000 cherry trees, according to the Times.

Around 140 cherry trees will be removed for taller sea walls to better protect the Jefferson Memorial. According to the Times, these sea walls were built in the 1800s and over the decades since, they have sunk too low to work during storms.

The cherry trees bring around a million visitors to the Washington area, according to the AP.

“Every spring, cherry blossoms bloom across this city, thanks to a gift from Japan of 3,000 cherry trees over a century ago,” Biden said, according to the AP. “People travel from all over our country and the world to see these magnificent blossoms.”

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