To commemorate the event, the National Monuments Foundation announced the planting of 40 Somei-Yoshino cherry trees around the park at the Millennium Gate Museum in Atlantic Station. Japanese Consul Gen. Kazuo Sunaga is expected to attend the event, which starts at 3 p.m.
The foundation is a nonprofit that promotes education, the arts and urban design. It built and operates the museum, a classically styled monumental arch dedicated to peaceful accomplishment and contains the most comprehensive Georgia history museum in the state.
It presents a setting similar to the Jefferson Memorial and Tidal Basin in Washington, which serves as the focal point of the National Cherry Blossom Festival held each spring. The foundation hopes representatives from Georgia and Japan will annually plant a new cherry tree in the park to symbolically recognize the peaceful relationship in perpetuity.
Foundation President Rodney Cook Jr. said the facility is proud to host the event.
“We are Georgia’s history museum, our link to our past and future,” he said. “Our building and setting are very much like the Jefferson Memorial at the Tidal Basin in [Washington], the spot where Japan initially gave us cherry trees in 1912.”
The trees planted are Somei-Yoshino cherry trees. They produce fragrant, white-pink flowers, an oriental branching pattern, glossy bark and dark-green leaves. The trees generally bloom in late March or early April.
Official relations between Japan and Georgia were first inaugurated in 1973 with the establishment of a Georgia State Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism office in Tokyo under Gov. Jimmy Carter. The opening of the consulate general of Japan in Atlanta in 1974 offered a major boost in bilateral political relations.
The visit of the emperor and empress to Atlanta in June 1994 was a crowning touch to these developing political ties. The cherry tree symbolizes friendship, the renewal of spring, and is the symbol of Japanese-American relations.
The museum is located at 395 17th St.
For more information on the event, visit http://www.thegateatlanta.com, https://www.facebook.com/millenniumgate or https://twitter.com/MillenniumGate.