BETHESDA, Md. and WASHINGTON, March 4, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Sucampo) (Nasdaq:SCMP) and the National Cherry Blossom Festival (Festival) today announced their ongoing partnership to support the historic celebration of Japan's gift of cherry trees. Built on a passion for science and dedicated to supporting good health, Sucampo is co-sponsoring with the Festival this year's "Step Into Spring" fitness program. This program features free exercise and wellness classes over the course of the three weeks during the Festival, encouraging a healthy lifestyle for all participants. "I am pleased to be continuing Sucampo's legacy of supporting the National Cherry Blossom Festival," said Peter Greenleaf, Sucampo's Chief Executive Officer. "We are excited that this year's Festival includes a focus on health and wellness, and we look forward to launching the 'Step into Spring' program and bringing messages about the importance of healthy living to Festival participants." Expanding from successes in Japan by its founders Ryuji Ueno, M.D, Ph.D., Ph.D., and Sachiko Kuno, Ph.D., Sucampo was founded in 1996 to pursue biopharmaceutical research and development in the United States. This is the third year that Sucampo supports the Festival as a Host sponsor. Each year, the Festival focuses on cultural collaboration and supporting the arts, culture and the environment. The 2014 Festival commemorates the 102nd anniversary of the gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Tokyo to Washington, DC. More than 1.5 million people visit Washington, DC each year to admire the blossoming trees and participate in diverse and creative programming that make up the nation's most famous springtime celebration. This year's festivities will take place Thursday, March 20, through Sunday, April 13. For more information, visit nationalcherryblossomfestival.org. About the National Cherry Blossom Festival The National Cherry Blossom Festival is the nation's greatest springtime celebration. The 2014 Festival, March 20 – April 13, includes three spectacular weeks and four weekends of events featuring diverse and creative programming promoting traditional and contemporary arts and culture, natural beauty, and community spirit. The 2014 Festival commemorates the 102nd anniversary of the gift of the cherry blossom trees and the enduring friendship between the United States and Japan.