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Japan Gives Washington 250 Cherry Trees as Replacements

The New York Times [unpaywalled]:  “Japan is giving the United States 250 cherry trees to replace more than 100 that will be torn up during construction around the Tidal Basin in Washington, the Japanese prime minister, Fumio Kishida, said on Wednesday. The gift honors the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which the United States will celebrate in 2026, Mr. Kishida said at a White House ceremony welcoming him for a state visit. President Biden thanked Mr. Kishida for the cherry trees, which have become a symbol of the relationship between the United States and its longtime ally as well as a popular tourist attraction in spring. The mayor of Tokyo gave Washington 3,000 of the trees, which are not native to the United States, in 1912…The 140 trees that Washington is set to lose this year will be removed to accommodate new, taller sea walls around the Tidal Basin to protect the Jefferson Memorial. The current sea walls were constructed in the 1800s and have sunk too low to be effective against tidal waves and storm surges…”

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