TOKYO: A tree planting ceremony was held at Ariake Arena in Tokyo’s Koto Ward, which will be used as a venue for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, in hopes of the reconstruction of disaster-hit prefectures in Japan.
At the ceremony, held Sunday, officials of the northeastern prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima, which were devastated by the 2011 major earthquake and tsunami, and the southwestern prefecture of Kumamoto, which was hit by powerful earthquakes in 2016, planted respective prefectural trees as symbols of the “Reconstruction Olympics.”
Iwate Prefecture planted a Japanese red pine tree, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures Japanese zelkova trees and Kumamoto Prefecture a camphor tree.
“I sincerely hope that the trees of the four disaster-affected prefectures will grow strongly to become legacies that pass down stories of the Reconstruction Olympics,” Fukushima Governor Masao Uchibori said in a message sent to the ceremony, which was also joined by senior officials of the Tokyo metropolitan government.
Japanese authorities have dubbed the Tokyo Games the Reconstruction Olympics to showcase the progress of reconstruction efforts.
Ariake Arena is set to host volleyball matches and wheelchair basketball games.