As a child growing up in Japan, Alex Hara would spend his days fishing off a pier on the Port of Yokohama and watch fishing boats travel in and out of the harbor. He’d dream of setting sail to America himself. Decades later, his dream long realized as a respected international banker living in Dayton, he’d watch helplessly on TV as an earthquake and tsunami destroyed his hometown.
The 2011 Japanese earthquake and subsequent tsunami was the most expensive natural disaster in world history. The relief effort led by the American military and funded in part by American citizens was intense and prolonged. And, after the initial trauma subsided and the rebuilding began, Alex decided to take it upon himself to show both his gratitude on behalf of Japan and his pride on behalf of America.
This was the seed for Operation 1000 Cherry Trees.
Alex’s goal is simple. He’d like to raise enough money to plant 1000 cherry trees in and around the Dayton area. The cherry tree has long been a symbol of friendship between Japan and the United States. In fact, this year marks the 100th anniversary of the famous cherry tree plantings in Washington DC.
To make his effort even more ambitious and to make the gesture even more sincere, he’d like the money for the trees to come exclusively from Japanese and Japanese-American people. Any other donations will be accepted, but will be allocated primarily for upkeep and maintenance.
The Operation 1000 Cherry Tree Project is now fully engaged. The Ohlmann Group is honored to have created not just the English-language website, but also its Japanese counterpart. Please take the time to read more, and learn how international friendship is blossoming right here in Dayton.
Visit the Operation 1000 Cherry Trees Project here.