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Daiichi Sankyo, Inc. Brings the Legacy of Washington, DC Cherry Trees to New Jersey

PARSIPPANY, N.J., Oct. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Approximately 100 cherry tree saplings were planted in Central Park of Morris County today, the newest park in the Morris County Park System, located in Parsippany Troy-Hills.  The planting will create Cherry Lane and celebrate the 100th anniversary of the historic gift of Japanese flowering cherry trees from Tokyo to Washington D.C. in 1912.  More than 75 Daiichi Sankyo employee volunteers partnered with the Park Commission staff to plant the trees as part of the company's Employee Volunteer Day in the community. Cherry Lane is a one-quarter mile stretch of cherry trees along Central Avenue that runs through the center of the park. The concept for Cherry Lane was created by Daiichi Sankyo, Inc. and the Morris County Park Commission.

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Dr. Jokichi Takamine, the company's first president and the renowned chemist who was the first to isolate the human hormone adrenaline and to develop taka-diastase, a digestive enzyme, orchestrated the gift of 3,000 cherry trees to Washington D.C. as a symbol of friendship between our two nations.

"We are as proud today as we were a century ago to be a part of this historic philanthropic initiative," said John Gargiulo, President and CEO, Daiichi Sankyo, Inc.  "We believe engaging our employees in the planting of cherry trees is a fitting way to commemorate the legacy of the gift of trees nearly a century ago. Dr. Takamine's forward-thinking support and desire to collaborate with other cultures set the foundation for how Daiichi Sankyo would approach its business, which continues today."

Organizing and shipping 3,000 cherry trees from Tokyo to the U.S. in 1912 was certainly not easy or one person's sole accomplishment. It was the result of a combined vision many partners: Eliza Scidmore, National Geographic Society's first female board member, First Lady Helen Herron Taft, Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo, Dr. Jokichi Takamine, and Japanese government representatives. This gesture of goodwill was honored in a simple ceremony on March 27, 1912, when First Lady Taft and Viscountess Chinda, wife of the Japanese ambassador, planted the first two trees at the Tidal Basin.

Central Park of Morris County was selected as the ideal location for Employee Volunteer Day, in part, because it's designed to be a fully accessible recreational facility.  

Daiichi Sankyo donated funds to the Alliance for Morris County Parks, the non-profit fundraising entity for the Morris County Park Commission to purchase the majority of the trees.  One-third of the trees planted today are legacy trees donated by Daiichi Sankyo and grown from cuttings taken from the second generation of cherry trees, which currently line the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. Daiichi Sankyo worked with The National Cherry Blossom Festival and the Morris County Park Commission to transport the legacy trees to Central Park of Morris County. In addition to the trees to be planted at the Park, Daiichi Sankyo also plans to plant a small number of legacy trees at their new packaging facility in Bethlehem, PA, which will open next spring.

"We are grateful for Daiichi Sankyo's tree donation and volunteer participation here at Central Park of Morris County," said David Helmer, Executive Director of the Morris County Park Commission.  "As is the case in Washington, D.C., the gift of cherry trees will become a defining symbol of spring here in Morris County and a visual reminder of a strong public-private partnership."

While the centennial celebration of the original gift of cherry trees gave the company a special opportunity to add a unique dimension to their corporate giving, the company's on-going philanthropic work focuses on supporting healthcare, science, and education initiatives. For the past two years, the Daiichi Sankyo has offered employees the opportunity to nominate a favorite charity for a special donation under its Volunteer Commitment Program, as a way to honor employees who volunteer within their communities in their free time. Additionally, Daiichi Sankyo has supported New Jersey non-profit Students to Science (S2S), by funding their 'Day in the Life of a Scientist' events aimed at inspiring, motivating and educating students at the Newark Science Park High School to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) professions.

About Daiichi Sankyo

The Daiichi Sankyo Group is dedicated to the creation and supply of innovative pharmaceutical products to address the diversified, unmet medical needs of patients in both mature and emerging markets. While maintaining its portfolio of marketed pharmaceuticals for hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and bacterial infections, the Group is engaged in the development of treatments for thrombotic disorders and focused on the discovery of novel oncology and cardiovascular-metabolic therapies. Furthermore, the Daiichi Sankyo Group has created a "Hybrid Business Model," which will respond to market and customer diversity and optimize growth opportunities across the value chain. For more information, please visit

Daiichi Sankyo, Inc., headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey, is a member of the Daiichi Sankyo Group.  For more information on Daiichi Sankyo, Inc., please visit

About Morris County Park Commission

The Morris County Park Commission, the largest park system in New Jersey, based on acres of preserved open space, was formed on January 3, 1956 as the sixth County Park Commission in the State of New Jersey and dedicated its first park in March 1958 with only 350 acres.  Today, with over 3.5 million visitors annually, the Morris County Park Commission has more than 18,500 acres and manages 38 facilities, including historic sites, golf courses, outdoor education and recreational facilities, arboreta, all purpose parks, conservation areas, and 150 miles of trails.

During its first year, and operating without staff, the Commission investigated numerous potential park sites and completed its first two acquisitions: Lewis Morris County Park in Morris Township with 350 acres and 75 acres, a gift from the Brundage family, of today's James Andrew Memorial Park in Randolph Township.

The reputation of the Park Commission and its facilities continues to be acclaimed as one of the best in the nation. The Morris County Park Commission's impact on the quality of life in Morris County enhances economic vitality, home ownership, valuable open space and cultural resources, and personal well-being. As a recipient of notable honors, the Park Commission continues to receive national recognition for its facilities and programs.

SOURCE Daiichi Sankyo, Inc.
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