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Daiichi Sankyo Co, Ltd. Joins the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C. as Centennial Celebration Committee Co-Chair

WASHINGTON, March 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Daiichi Sankyo has joined the National Cherry Blossom Festival as co-chair of the Centennial Celebration Host Committee, spearheading the efforts over the next several years to commemorate, in 2012, the 100-year anniversary of the gift of cherry blossom trees from Tokyo to Washington, D.C.

Daiichi Sankyo, a global leader in pharmaceutical innovation since 1899, has a unique connection to the exotic cherry blossoms that famously line the tidal basin in D.C. Nearly a century ago, a world-famous chemist and Daiichi Sankyo's first president, Dr. Jokichi Takamine, had a vision to create a bridge of friendship between the two cities.  As a long-time resident in the U.S., he realized this vision by orchestrating a gift of 3,000 cherry trees on behalf of Tokyo as a symbol of friendship between the two nations.  Today, the National Cherry Blossom Festival and cherry trees draw U.S. and international visitors to Washington each year and remain a symbol of international friendship.

As co-chair of the Host Committee for the National Cherry Blossom Festival, Daiichi Sankyo will work with Festival organizers for the next several years to shape the Centennial Celebration by providing ideas, resources and funding to plan for a spectacular 100-year celebration.  

"The gifting of the cherry trees was an international sign of friendship and serves as inspiration for our global philanthropic mission, which is dedicated to listening, learning and making contributions that have a real impact on people's lives," said Takashi Shoda, chief executive officer of Daiichi Sankyo Co., Ltd. "Through continued drug development and discovery of therapies that improve the quality of life for patients around the world, our company will continue building on the traditions and scientific legacy of our forefathers and their vision for international collaboration and friendship."

The annual blooming of cherry blossoms symbolizes the balance of East and West, beauty and strength, and eternal renewal amidst seasonal change – a perennial reminder of the gift of friendship between Japan and the United States.

"We are thrilled that Daiichi Sankyo is joining us to create a momentous, once-in-a-lifetime celebration for Washington, D.C. and the nation," said Diana Mayhew, president of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. "The Centennial Celebration will embrace the history and traditions that the Festival honors, while setting the stage for the next 100 years. With Daiichi Sankyo's commitment and active participation, 2012 will surely be an unforgettable year."

About the National Cherry Blossom Festival

The National Cherry Blossom Festival is Washington, D.C.'s and the nation's greatest springtime celebration.  The 2010 Festival, March 27April 11, includes three spectacular weekends and daily events featuring diverse and creative programming promoting traditional and contemporary arts and culture, natural beauty, and community spirit.  The 2010 Festival commemorates the 98th anniversary of the gift of the cherry blossom trees and the enduring friendship between United States and Japan.

About Daiichi Sankyo

A global pharma innovator, Daiichi Sankyo Company, Ltd., was established in 2005 through the merger of two leading Japanese pharmaceutical companies. This integration created a more robust organization that allows for continuous development of novel drugs that enrich the quality of life for patients around the world. Areas of central focus for Daiichi Sankyo research and development are thrombotic disorders, malignant neoplasm, diabetes mellitus, and autoimmune disorders. Equally important to the company are hypertension, hyperlipidemia or atherosclerosis and bacterial infections. For more information, visit

Daiichi Sankyo, Inc., headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey, is the U.S. subsidiary of Daiichi Sankyo Company, Ltd. For more information on Daiichi Sankyo, Inc., please visit

For schedules and information visit or call the Festival hotline at (877) 44BLOOM.

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