• Kyodo

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Japanese artists expressed gratitude for U.S. support in the aftermath of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami at the opening ceremony Sunday of the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington.

Hideki Togi, a renowned performer of ancient Japanese music, said he was impressed with the U.S. aid, speaking to an audience of thousands at the ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of the planting of 3,000 cherry trees given in 1912 to the United States by Japan as a symbol of friendship.

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