Toshiba Corporation to donate Sakura to Kazakhstan
Almaty, Kazakhstan—Toshiba Corporation (TOKYO: 6502) today announced that, together with NAC Kazatomprom, it has donated 220 sakura trees to Kazakhstan, for planting in Astana, Kazakhstan's capital city, and in Almaty, Kazakhstan's largest city. The trees are a part of Toshiba's 1.5 million tree project, and will be planted during the course of 2009 and 2010.
The tree planting ceremony was held on April 25, in Almaty, and trees were planted by Mr. Akhmetzhan S. Esimov, the mayor of Almaty, Mr. Shigeo Natsui, Japan's ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to Kazakhstan, Mr. Moukhtar Dzhakishev, the President of Kazatomprom, and Mr. Atsutoshi Nishida, the President and CEO of Toshiba.
The formal presentation of the trees was made to Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev, by Mr. Atsutoshi Nishida, the President and CEO of Toshiba, during Mr. Nazarbayev's June 2008 visit to Japan as the head of presidential delegation. The sakura (flowering cherry trees) are a gift to the Kazakh people from Toshiba, a business partner of Kazatomprom. They are a token of the mutual respect and friendship that exists between Japan and Kazakhstan and also commemorates the 10th anniversary of the transfer of capital to Astana. The selected sakuras are from Hokkaido, and able to withstand cold temperatures. 65 sakura have already been planted in the garden of the presidential palace and 55 in the park around the Almaty city hall. Another 100 will be planted in Astana, in the garden of the presidential palace and the presidential park.
Toshiba's 1.5 million tree project is a global tree-planting program that the company initiated in July 2005. The project aims to plant a total of 1.5 million trees around the world by 2025, the year of Toshiba 150th anniversary, and by the end of fiscal year 2008 (March 2009) some 600,000 trees were in the ground. The program is also undertaken as part of Toshiba's environmental management activities, and goes beyond simple tree planting to encompass reforestation, and an intent to enrich people's lives.
Sakura are well known as a symbol of Japan. The blossom appears with the onset of spring, forming a swirling canopy of delicate pink that attract picnickers and nature lovers. Japanese prize the blossom for its beauty, spirit of renewal after the winter months. Toshiba hopes that sakura in Almaty and Astana will become well known meeting places where Kazakhstanis can welcome and enjoy spring.
In April 2007, Japan and Kazakhstan signed an agreement to develop a strategic partnership in the field of nuclear energy, and Toshiba and Kazatomprom agreed to study collaboration in specific projects towards establishing a complementary partnership. The two companies deepened their cooperative relationship through Toshiba's participation in the Kharassan uranium mine development project, and by Kazatomprom becoming an indirect minority shareholder in Westinghouse Electric Company LLC, in which Toshiba holds majority ownership.