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Ambassador James Zumwalt, CEO of Sasakawa USA, former U.S. ambassador to Senegal and Guinea-Bissau, and native of San Diego, was highlighted in a recent San Diego Union-Tribune article while participating in JUMP’s Marine Corps Recruit Depot Breakfast Reception event in San Diego. At the event, Ambassador Zumwalt greeted 200 Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force recruits, on a ship visit to San Diego, with a talk on the U.S.-Japan alliance.

“All these young officers will have the experience of coming to San Diego and seeing that America is a pretty nice place,” Zumwalt told reporter Carl Prine. “That has a benefit down the road when they’re off on a destroyer somewhere exercising with us.”

Describing JUMP, the article mentions JUMP activities throughout the U.S., such as last year’s Padres game with U.S. and Japanese SDF service members and JUMP’s annual visits to Pensacola, Florida. For a full list of our past events, click here.

Through social networks and events, JUMP builds relationships and provides opportunities for service members to engage with each other. JUMP provides a powerful foundation for sustaining the solid alliance and relationship that exists between the U.S. and Japan.

Click here to read the full article, published in the San Diego Union-Tribune on June 16, 2017.

Image source: Soldiers with the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force, Western Army Infantry Regiment, fire the M24 Sniper Rifle in pairs during a known distance range conducted by Marines with 1st Marine Division Schools ‘Pre-Scout Sniper Course’ during Exercise Iron Fist 2017, aboard Camp Pendleton, Feb. 7, 2017. Marine Corps.

Members of our armed services who have served in Japan came together on Friday, February 3 for a celebration of lifelong friendships, shared memories, and the strength of the U.S.-Japan alliance.

In cooperation with the Embassy of Japan, JUMP participated in the U.S. Army Japan Reunion at the Fort Myer Officer’s Club in Arlington, Virginia.

The gathering of about 50 service members was treated to an evening of festivities, including addresses from Col. Masashi Yamamoto, and RADM Yuki Sekiguchi of the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) and Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), respectively. Participants also were greeted by warm remarks from LTG Francis Weircinski, the former Commander of U.S. Army Japan and U.S. Army Pacific, about the wonderful relationships that he formed during his service in Japan. He recalled developing a great respect for the Japanese people through his cooperative effort with the JGSDF following the massive earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011.

MG Michael Harrison, the former Commander of U.S. Army Japan, spoke about the lifelong friendships that he and his family formed while in Japan and the important role that those relationships have played in the development of his children. Finally, the evening was capped off with a toast by Col. Craig Agena, U.S. Army (ret.), honoring the strength of the U.S.-Japan alliance and the bond that the two countries share.

JUMP would like to thank the Japanese Embassy for hosting this event as well as Fort Myer for providing the venue. JUMP continues to look to the future, and we hope to see all of you at the next JUMP event. View the gallery of photos from the event below!

JUMP - San Diego 2016 228

About two hundred active-duty American and Japanese service members and other Southern California-area JUMPers came together Tuesday in San Diego for a JUMP event celebrating camaraderie, baseball, and the U.S.-Japan alliance.

JUMP’s second annual event at Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres, held again in cooperation with the Japan Society of San Diego and Tijuana, brought together the large group for a Padres v. Marlins game. The contingent of active service-members  included U.S. Navy Sailors and their Japanese counterparts who came from three Japan Maritime Self Defense Force ships in San Diego for a port call.

In addition to watching the game, participants had the opportunity to swap stories, network, and enjoy the company of others who have served within US Forces Japan as well as Japanese forces.

The event kicked off just before the game began with a ceremonial kagami biraki sake barrel opening ceremony and a kanpai toast from the T-Mobile Home Run Deck in right field. The game then opened with an on-field ball cap exchange between Rear Admiral Markham K. Rich, Commander of the Navy Region Southwest, and Rear Admiral Hidetoshi Iwasaki with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, who both were attending as part of the JUMP delegation. JUMP also was pleased to welcome the Hon. Hidehisa Horinouchi, Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles, as well as members of JUMP and JSSDT including Dave Tuites, President of JSSDT; and Lieutenant Colonel James Kendall, USMC (ret.), Director of JUMP and a Fellow at Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA.

Back at the home run deck, the group enjoyed dinner and drinks and a surprise visit from retired Japanese professional baseball pitcher Takashi Saito, who last played for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. The group also was excited to watch famed Japanese MLB player Ichiro Suzuki who, at the time of the game, was only one hit away from tying the record for all-time career hits, set at 4,256 by Pete Rose.

The group waved signs of support calling for “Ichiro” to bat, which he finally did at the top of the ninth inning. Suzuki struck a ground ball, but was out before making it to first base — leaving Rose’s record intact for another day. Although the next day’s afternoon matchup was not part of the official JUMP event, several JMSDF members planned to attend. There, they would have witnessed Suzuki land a single in the first inning and a double into the right-field corner in the ninth, officially surpassing Rose’s professional record.

JUMP would like to extend warm thanks to staff members with both the U.S. Navy and the JMSDF who supported this event and helped make it a success. We about doubled participation in this event over the 2015 event in San Diego, and we look forward to collaborating again in the future!

Planning for the next JUMP event in New Orleans on July 14 is now well underway, and additional events are coming up in Pensacola, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. Make sure to visit frequently to check our calendar for upcoming events or sign up for the JUMP newsletter to keep informed on all our projects!



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