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Otsuka is proud to be the lead supporter of the National Conference of State Societies' (NCSS) 67th Cherry Blossom Festival events, including their flagship Cherry Blossom Princess Program. Otsuka has pledged its recurring support to the NCSS Cherry Blossom Events for three consecutive years, to demonstrate the company's commitment to empowering young women to aspire to accomplish their goals and become the leaders of the next generation.
The National Cherry Blossom Festival is held in Washington, DC each spring, commemorating the gift of the cherry blossom trees, which symbolizes the friendship between the peoples of the United States and Japan. The cherry trees were first gifted to Washington, DC in 1912 from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo. 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the United States' reciprocal gift of flowering dogwood trees to the people of Japan. For Otsuka, as a Japanese company with operations in the United States, supporting an event that commemorates this enduring friendship is especially appropriate. William M. Christian, the President of NCSS complimented Otsuka, noting, "NCSS is proud to have continuously administered the Cherry Blossom Princess program, including the US Cherry Blossom Queen, since 1948. We are particularly grateful for the support of our chief sponsor, Otsuka America Pharmaceuticals, Inc. With our shared ties to the Japanese culture, Otsuka is a natural partner for the NCSS, and this collaboration portends the continued success of our iconic program of empowering young women and promoting cultural exchange."
The Cherry Blossom Princess Program has been held annually since 1948, with the mission of "Aspiring Leadership and Empowering Young Women." The program offers young women from across the US and around the world the opportunity to participate in community outreach, personal development, educational, leadership, cultural and networking activities. Otsuka's support to the NCSS' Cherry Blossom Festival events inspires the many activities for the Princesses, which promote personal growth and foster leadership. Former Cherry Blossom Princesses include US Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, US Senator Shelley Moore Caputo of West Virginia, and Lynda Johnson Robb, the former First Lady of Virginia and daughter of former US President Lyndon B. Johnson. These accomplished women are a testament to the program's success in encouraging young women to achieve the highest caliber of success.