DAVAO CITY — As they bank on building deeper relations with the Philippines, a Japanese business group on Thursday bared its plans of planting Sakura seeds in Mintal, Davao City and Marawi City in Lanao del Sur.
In a media interview during the Davao Investment Conference 2019, Ichido Miyake, vice president of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce in Mindanao, said they are currently experimenting what type of trees would survive in a tropical country like the Philippines.
“We initially have 800 seeds from Okinawa [Japan] that will be planted in the colder areas of Davao, in Eden [Nature Park],” Miyake said.
These Sakura trees are potentially most suitable to be planted in the Philippines since Okinawa has warmer weather than the rest of the places in the country with Sakura.
Mintal, a village in Davao City, is dubbed as the Little Tokyo.
Sometime in 1937, the height of the Commonwealth era, Bagobos and Japanese coexisted and it even resulted in intermarriage.
Its agricultural activity brought more Japanese workers until there were more of them than the locals. Around 11,000 Japanese lived and worked in Mintal at the time.
“This will help bring more tourists in the city and in the country,” Ichido said, adding that the Sakura trees will be planted by the roadside.
If the experiment goes well, he said they might start the planting the seeds this year. And three years after, residents would see them bloom.
Apart from Mintal, Miyake said he and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzano agreed to plant Sakura trees in Marawi City’s ground zero.
“Like after the nuclear bomb in Hiroshima, planting Sakura trees became part of our healing process. It symbolizes peace,” he said.
Miyake and his colleagues from the Japanese Chamber of Commerce were participants of the Davao ICON 2019. They brought with them at least 50 delegates from Japan to attend the event. (PNA)