• Kyodo

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As Japan and the U.S. prepare to mark the 100th anniversary of the presentation of 3,000 cherry trees to Washington by Tokyo as a gift in 1912, the U.S. government is drawing up a plan to present Japan with 3,000 dogwood seedlings this spring as a new symbol of friendship, sources involved in Japan-U.S. relations said Monday.

Washington is also hoping to express through the flowering dogwood, a species native to North America, its continued support for Japan’s recovery from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. The goodwill gesture also comes at a time when ties are strained by such issues as the long- stalled plan for relocating a U.S. base in Okinawa Prefecture.

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