A Tree of Fujian-Okinawa Friendship Planted in Fuzhou
On November 10, a tree-planting ceremony commemorating the 20th anniversary of the sister relationship between Fujian and Japan’s Okinawa was held in Fuzhou’s Ryukyu-kan.
Vice Governor Li Dejin, Director-General Wang Tianming, Governor Takeshi Onaga of Okinawa Prefecture and Speaker Yonekichi Shinzato of Okinawa Prefectural Assembly together planted a tree symbolizing Fujian-Okinawa friendship.
At the ceremony, Vice Governor Li reviewed the the relationship between Fujian and Okinawa. The two sides began two-way trade and cultural exchange over 600 years ago. Today, Fujian still preserves many Ryukyu-related historical sites and cultural relics, such as Ryukyu-kan, a branch office of the government of Ryukyu Kingdom set up in the Qing Dynasty, and Ryukyu Islander Cemetery. Since Fujian and Okinawa established the sister relationship in 1997, fruitful outcomes have been achieved in high-level exchange, personnel exchange, as well as cooperation in culture, education, trade and sports. The tree, as Mr. Li said, will witness the ever-lasting friendship between Fujian and Okinawa.
Governor Onaga explained that the name of this tree, “fukugi” in Japanese or “fumu (福木)” in Chinese, has the same Chinese character “Fu (福)” as that in Fujian (福建), which means happiness. He expected that Okinawa-Fujian friendship, just like the tree, will grow into a luxuriant one and bring happiness to the two peoples.