The United States and Japan on Thursday finalized a controversial agreement to transfer 9,000 U.S. Marines off the island of Okinawa.
But U.S. interests in the Pacific will not go undefended.
The Obama administration plans to deploy 3,000 dogwood trees to Japan to mark the 100th anniversary of the Japanese cherry blossom sneak attack on Washington, D.C., the Washington Free Beacon has learned.
The arboreal endowment is expected to be formally announced next week when Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda meets with President Obama.
The State Department did not return a request for comment.
It is not clear whether the gift will consist of dogwood “seedlings,” as reported by the Japan Times, or fully grown specimens.
Depending on the stage of the trees’ development, the total cost of 3,000 dogwoods could range from $1,860 to about $1.5 million, in addition to the cost of shipping the trees to Japan and planting them.
Friday, April 27, 2012, is National Arbor Day in the United States.