Growing Friendship

Alex Hara is a Japanese-born businessman living in Dayton, Ohio. When a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami shook his homeland in 2011, he watched the devastation on television helplessly from thousands of miles away. Though saddened by the events, he was inspired by the rapid response of the American military and the willingness of the American people to donate their money, products, and time to people half a world away.

This was the birth of Operation 2000 Cherry Trees.

Dear Mr. Hara:

I am proud to offer my support for your project to plant 1,000 cherry blossom trees in our community. As a former mayor of the city of Dayton, I want to thank you on behalf of all our citizens for launching the “Operation 1,000 Cherry Tree Project” here in Montgomery County.

One hundred years ago, an Ohio native, President William Howard Taft, accepted 3,000 cherry blossom trees as a gift from Japan to the people of the United States. The cherry blossoms continue to blossom around our Nation’s Capital each year, signaling the arrival of spring. They stand as a living symbol of the close friendship and cooperation between the U.S. and Japan.

The Japanese are America’s most reliable ally in Asia. Our alliance is based on our mutual support for freedom, democracy, and respect for human rights and the rule of law. It is my sincere hope that the planting of the cherry blossom trees in our community will foster continued peace and goodwill between our two countries for many years to come.




Michael R. Turner
Member of Congress