Tree planting continues blossoming friendship between Cowra and Japan

A very special tree planting has continued to grow and cement the friendship between Cowra and Japan.

St Raphael's Catholic School student Taylia Penyu was joined by the Commander of the Japan Training Squadron, Rear Admiral Daisuke Kajimoto, to plant the town's 981st cherry tree.

Cowra Shire Mayor, Bill West, said tree plantings in Cowra were always a special occasion.

"It is custom in this beautiful grove of cherry trees to pair a Japanese individual or dignitary with a Cowra school student as a way of showing the commitment to reconciliation between Cowra and Japan and the people of Australia to Japan," he said.

"It brings together two people who would never meet normally or know each other, a Japanese person who wants to understand the history of Cowra and its special connection to Japan.

"By having a school student join them we are able to say to the Japanese that the young people from Cowra even though they will grow older, will always maintain the tree and look after the tree.

"As this tree grows and turns into a beautiful large tree I hope the friendship between Cowra and Japan continues to grow in the same manner," he said.

Taylia was joined in her tree planting by friend and fellow student Georgie Anning with both girls received special gifts from the Rear Admiral.

Taylia was presented with a special plaque from the Japan Training Squadron and both girls received photos of the squadron's flagship Kashima flanked by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force's destroyer Inazuma taken during the squadron's 2019 overseas cruise.