Japanese project plants 1,000 cherry blossoms in Vietnam capital

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Sanae Miyasugi, head of Chuo University, presents  young Yoko cherry blossoms to a Vietnamese representative

The planting of 1,000 cherry blossom trees in Vietnam's capital city of Hanoi is part of a plan to cultivate the famous Japanese plant all over the Southeast Asia, news website Vietnamplus reported December 11.

Three Japanese nationals are primarily responsible for the project: Sanae Miyasugi, head of Tokyo's private university Chuo; Takaoka, chairman of the cherry blossom association in Japan's Ehime province; and Suzuki Mari, CEO of the International Scientific Consultants Inc, which has long experience in supporting and participating in events to strengthen ties between Vietnam and Japan.

The project was started two years ago in Long Bien District in Hanoi. The cherry blossoms that have been recently planted in Hanoi are named Yoko. The tree was studied and cultivated by Takaoka himself, according to the news website.

Yoko cherry blossoms are said to symbolize peace and are suitable for Hanoi's climate.

On the occasion of planting the last 300 young cherry blossoms in Long Bien, Mari told Vietnamplus that the pilot of the project was conducted seven years ago with 300 trees grown in the northern province of Son La. After three years, most of them had bloomed.

Mari added so far 5,000 Yoko trees have been planted in not only Japan and Vietnam, but in Mexico, Italy, Turkey, the US and the Philippines.

The project will not end until 1000 Yoko trees are carefully planted so that people in Vietnam will have the chance to enjoy a "real" cherry blossom festival as if they were in Japan, she said.

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