3 November 2017
On 30-31 October 2017, the Ambassador of Japan, H.E. Mr. Shigeki Sumi, visited Donetsk and Luhansk regions to take part in the ceremonies of sakura trees planting in the framework of the countrywide campaign “2,500 sakuras” dedicated to the celebration of the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Ukraine and Japan. The Ambassador planted sakura trees in Kramatorsk and Severodonetsk together with the governors of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, Mr. Pavlo Zhebrivskii and Mr. Yurii Harbuz.
Under the Japan-funded social cohesion project, IOM distributed 165 sakura trees among Donetsk and Luhansk region communities, who wanted to join the Year of Japan celebrations in Ukraine.
“Sakura blossom is very beautiful, and I hope that when these trees will blossom every spring, Ukrainians will remember the people of Japan who feel connected with them,” H.E. Mr. Shigeki Sumi said.
During his visit, the Ambassador also met with the initiative groups of Siversk and Severodonetsk communities, who are participating in the IOM project funded by Japan. In Siversk, the Ambassador inspected the local Cultural Centre, which is being rehabilitated within the joint project. In Severodonetsk, the Ambassador attended a Japanese tea ceremony and an art exhibition. The performance of famous Japanese pianist Tempei Nakamura was the real highlight of the day. The concert, organized within the project, was free of charge and brought more than 550 persons together to enjoy the beautiful performance of the musician.
"With the support from Japan, IOM is currently providing social cohesion assistance to 29 communities in eastern Ukraine. We appreciate the longstanding cooperation with the Government of Japan and are committed to working together further on recovery efforts and community development in Ukraine,” said IOM Ukraine Chief of Mission, Dr. Thomas Lothar Weiss.