The University of Nevada, Reno welcomes Consul General Hiroshi Inomata with the Japanese Consulate in San Francisco to campus as part of the Japan-U.S. Cherry Blossom Centennialcelebration. One hundred years ago, the people of Japan gave 3,000 cherry blossom trees, a beloved symbol of Japan, to the United States as a gesture of goodwill. The trees were planted in Washington D.C.’s Tidal Basin, where they still blossom today, as part of First Lady Nellie Taft’s efforts to beautify the nation’s capital. Together with the Statue of Liberty, the cherry blossom trees represent the largest foreign gifts ever made to the United States.As part of the centennial commemoration of this gift, Japan is once again donating cherry blossom trees to locations with significance to the friendship between the United States and Japan. Inomata’s office in the Bay Area approves all visas for U.S. students going to Japan from the Reno area and provides support to Japanese students at the University. In 1985, the Nevada Legislature designated the University of Nevada, Reno a State Arboretum.“We are honored to welcome the Japanese consul general to celebrate the relations between Japan and the United States,” said University Arboretum Board Chair Raymond Needham. “Also, I think any tree we plant on campus demonstrates our optimism that the University will be serving students, our community and our state long after those of us serving the University now are gone.”WHAT: Cherry blossom tree-planting ceremonyWHO: Consul General Hiroshi Inomata with the Japanese Consulate in San Francisco; the University’s Office of International Students and Scholars, and Arboretum BoardWHEN: 9:30 a.m., Thursday, Sept. 20WHERE: Cherry Blossom Garden, Corner of Virginia Street and 16th Street, immediately west of Parking Services and south of the Nevada State Historical SocietyPARKING: Media parking is available in the West Stadium Parking Complex, just north of Lawlor Events Center.MORE INFORMATION and MEDIA AVAILABILITY:Consul General Hiroshi Inomata will be available for interviews before and after the tree-planting ceremony on Sept. 20, where lunch will follow for invited guests at 11:30 a.m. at the Honor Court by Morrill Hall. He will also be available before a presentation he will give on campus starting at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 19 in Room 2003 of the William J. Raggio Building. The presentation will include information on the relations between Japan and the United States as well as a discussion on the state of Japan before and after the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake.