Ambassador Plants Japanese Sakura Tree to Encourage Green Legacy Initiative

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Addis Ababa July 29/2020 (ENA) The Ambassador of Japan to Ethiopia, Matsunaga Daisuke, and National Palace Administration Director-General, Teferi Fikre have planted Sakura tree saplings at the Japanese Garden on the premises of the palace today.

Planting of the tree seedlings is aimed at encouraging Ethiopia’s Green Legacy Initiative championed by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to plant billions of tree seedlings and strengthen relations between Ethiopia and Japan.

“In accordance with the prime minister’s initiative, the green legacy movement, we wanted to plant cherry tree saplings which represent Japan,” the ambassador said.

The Japanese Embassy in Addis Ababa was committed to importing the Sakura, a Japanese cherry blossom tree seedling, from Japan to be planted in the palace garden to show support for Ethiopia’s consecutive plantations.

“To me, this garden symbolizes the friendship between our two countries and I mean we are very keen in cooperation with the palace administration represented by Ato Teferi. We are working very hard to restore the Japanese Garden and the tea house and coffee house to its original beauty,”Ambassador Daisuke revealed.

He noted that Japan and Ethiopia have been enjoying friendly relations since 1930 when diplomatic relations were signed and commenced between the two countries.

“So, we are here to celebrate the 90th anniversary of our friendship and it is important that this beautiful Japanese Garden will be enjoyed by a lot of people in Ethiopia,” Daisuke added.

Palace Administration Director-General, Teferi Fikre said the palace administration facilitates Ethiopia’s campaign of planting billions of tree seedlings and helps strengthen Ethio-Japan overall relations.

“You can see here in the Japanese Garden Ethiopian house for traditional coffee ceremony and Japanese traditional tea house. So, the aim of the planting is to facilitate the national green legacy initiative and further strengthen Ethio-Japan relation, especially on green development and people-to-people relations,” he added.

The over 60 years old Japanese garden in the palace was built after the visit of Emperor Haile Selassie to Japan in 1956 and their Imperial Highnesses Crown Prince Akihito and Crown Princess Michiko visited and toured it in 1960. Then it was rehabilitated and restored in 2005 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the restoration of diplomatic relations between the countries.