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100th Anniversary of Cherry Blossoms Highlights US-Japan Relations

Cherry blossom trees bloom near SIS at American University photoIn many parts of Washington, DC, spring is evident with the blossoming of beautiful cherry blossom trees around the nation’s capital. This year marks the centennial anniversary of the 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry blossom trees from Japan to the United States. A National Cherry Blossom Festival from 20 March – 27 April 2012 will include groundbreaking Centennial exhibitions, traditional Japanese cultural performances, and food and art showcases. As cherry blossoms bloom on the American University campus, the season offers a moment to reflect on the IDPP and American University’s special relationship with Japan.

The IDPP for the ASEAN Region is generously supported by The Nippon Foundation. Based in Tokyo, Japan, the foundation supports education, social welfare, and public health activities that have been carried out in more than 100 countries with the mission of assisting community-led efforts to realize a more peaceful and prosperous global society.

With The Nippon Foundation’s support, the IDPP and the School of International Service at American University launched the world’s first virtual graduate degree in disability policy last August 2011: the Master’s of International Affairs in Comparative and International Disability Policy (CIDP). CIDP, which is also American University’s first entirely online degree, empowers graduates to become disability policy leaders. It also teaches the skills necessary for persons with disabilities to impact the public policies that directly affect the disability community. In alignment with The Nippon Foundation’s mission, the IDPP promotes an inclusive, barrier-free, and rights-based global society through the CIDP Master’s program, continuing education programs, outreach and capacity building activities, and collaborative research initiatives.

As a new cherry blossom season begins, the IDPP looks forward to further strengthening the US-Japan friendship in its unique way through The Nippon Foundation. Arigato!

Written and originally posted in March 2012.