Japan Gifts America New Cherry Trees On Historic State Visit

April 11, 2024

We both remember the choices that were made to forge a friendship. We both remember the hard work, what it has done to find healing. Tonight, we pledge to keep going

President Joe Biden in a toast during Wednesday evening’s state dinner, hosting Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. The dinner included salmon tempura, cherry blossom decor, and a performance by Paul Simon.

Why It Matters: The White House dinner and PM Kishida’s trip at large symbolizes Japan and U.S. efforts to bolster their relationship and minimize threats from China – particularly as aggressive actions ramp up in the Indo-Pacific region. The visit also comes as President Biden debates whether to allow Japan’s Nippon Steel company to purchase Pittsburg-based U.S. Steel company, saying last month that the U.S. needs to “maintain strong American steel companies powered by American steelworkers.”

Cherry Trees: Upon the arrival of the Prime Minister from Japan, Pres. Biden announced the gift of 250 new cherry trees from Japan to Washington D.C., continuing a tradition that started more than 100 years ago as a show of friendship between the two countries. The trees will replace the more than 100 trees that have to be removed for a restoration project and also offer an early celebration of 250 years of America’s founding (marked in 2026).

Also Happening: On Thursday, the President of the Philippines will join President Biden and PM Kishida for the first-ever U.S.-Japan-Philippines leaders’ summit at the White House.

Read More: Kishida cracks jokes and invokes ‘Star Trek’ as he and Biden toast US-Japan alliance at state dinner (The Associated Press)

Japan Gives Washington 250 Cherry Trees as Replacements

by Emily Hooker, based in Texas