Japanese students plant cherry tree at Portsmouth High School
Students from Nichinan Junior/Senior High School in Japan ring tiny, silver bells as a plaque is unveiled in front of a new cherry tree planting at Portsmouth High School. The tree was a gift from Nichinan to the city as a living memorial to the Portsmouth Peace Treaty of 1905. (GRETYL MACALASTER PHOTO)
The cherry tree at Portsmouth High School is the latest planted in the city to commemorate the signing of the Portsmouth Peace Treaty in 1905, which ended the brutal Russo-Japanese War and earned President Theodore Roosevelt the Nobel Peace Prize.
The city of Portsmouth has retained a sister city relationship with Nichinan for many years that was recently reinvigorated by a high school exchange program between the two cities.
The sapling is cut from the same trees planted 101 years ago in Washington, D.C. as a gift to the United States from Japan in honor of the citizen diplomacy in Portsmouth that led to the signing of the treaty.
The official presentation of the latest tree was made by Akira Muto, consulate general of Japan in Boston.
Muto has attended previous peace treaty events and forums in Portsmouth and said he is happy to see the tradition and spirit of the treaty being passed from generation to generation.
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