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JIANGSU, March 24, China Daily-- Citizens of Japan and China will once again join hands to plant cherry trees in Wuxi, Jiangsu province, for the 30th consecutive year on March 28, a symbol of friendship between the two nations.

Groups of private citizens and NGO workers from Japan have been travelling to Wuxi to plant the trees as a gesture of peace and solidarity since 1988. Cherry trees, with their beautiful but fleeting blossom that blooms for just a few days each year, are one of the symbols of Japan, and the flowering trees are also hugely popular in China.

The trips to plant the trees at Wuxi's Turtle Head Isle have grown larger and more elaborate over the years. The 1,176-strong group that crossed the East China Sea in 1990 was the largest Japanese NGO delegation ever to visit China at the time.

To date, Japanese friends have donated more than 15,000 saplings to the scenic spot, which make up roughly half of Turtle Head Isle's beautiful landscape of more than 30,000 cherry trees.

thumb Forestry Science and Education-3.24 Cherry plantation marking Sino-Japanese friendship blooms in 30th year1

Among the rows of cherry trees in Turtle Head Isle in Wuxi, Jiangsu province, stands a large stone extolling "Sino-Japanese cherry plantation of friendship". [Photo provided to China Daily]

Since 2014, the event has been upgraded into a wider exchange project covering folk culture, tourism and economic cooperation, under the name Wuxi International Cherry Blossom Week.

This year, an array of events will be put forward to celebrate the 30th year of the cherry plantation activity, including a commemoration meeting, a memorial stone unveiling ceremony, plantation of a new batch of cherry trees, a Sino-Japanese cultural performance, traditional Japanese music concerts, a Japanese tea ceremony performance, a Japanese business etiquette lecture, Japanese anime screenings and a comprehensive tourism exchange session.

The organizers hope the symbol of friendly relations between the two countries will continue to blossom over the coming years.

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