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Will cherry trees bloom for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics?

Efforts are under way to develop a cherry tree that can bloom in the height of summer, and do it in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

A regional council - put together by the Kanagawa prefectural government and others - promoting flowers and greenery successfully engineered an early bloom tokaizakura cherry tree that blossomed this month.

The tree was produced by Toru Nagoya, 56, who grows flowers in Kawasaki and writes about ikebana flower arrangement.

If the effort succeeds, the typical Japanese blossoms could be used to decorate event venues and in bouquets presented in medal ceremonies during the 2020 Games.

The experiment was carried out in a section of the Enoshima Aquarium in Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture. Early this month, pale pink flowers began blooming one after another from a tokaizakura cherry flower arrangement in a room maintained at 28 C (82 F) during the day.

The cherry tree blossomed over about a week as leaves gradually budded on its branches. Another experiment using cut flowers was carried out until Aug. 20.

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