Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

JUMP deepened and broadened its focus and event offerings in its second year, while rerunning a few old hits. In January, we held an event focusing on U.S. bases on Okinawa featuring the chairman and CEO of Sasakawa USA, Admiral Dennis Blair, JUMP program director Lieutenant Colonel James Kendall and Lieutenant General Chip Gregson. The three had written a report on the issue, which has become more and more politically volatile recently.

In February, we held a networking event in Port Tampa Bay to honor veterans who had been stationed in Japan and let them meet Japanese people living in the Tampa Bay area. On a lighter note, we also attended the Japan Festival at the Marine Corps Base Quantico, a family-friendly affair with a ninja skit, Okinawan classical dance, and Japanese toys.
March kicked off with a joint US-Japanese military band concert held at the Embassy of Japan to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the March 11, 2011 tsunami and thank the U.S. for its efforts to help. Lieutenant General Kenneth Glueck and LtCol Kendall delivered remarks. One of the highlights of the year was our first annual dinner at the Army and Navy Club, where General Robert Neller, commandant of the Marine Corps, joined Adm Blair to speak about the future of the U.S.-Japan alliance. Save the date for our second annual dinner coming up this spring!

The evening networking continued later in the month with an open bar at Sine’ Irish Pub in Arlington and a reception in Los Angeles for service members who have been stationed in Japan. And once again, we participated in a kid-friendly festival: the April Sakura Matsuri (Cherry Blossom Festival) in Washington, D.C., the largest one-day celebration of Japanese culture in America. Our booth offered kingyo sukui, a traditional Japanese goldfish-catching game.

Japan loves baseball, so we had to bring back the popular baseball game event from 2015. This year, we visited a Padres-Marlins game in San Diego in June, which brought together American sailors with Japanese sailors visiting for a port call. Retired Japanese pro baseball pitcher Takashi Saito even showed up. In July, JUMP headed to the Big Easy for an event at the National World War II Museum. The keynote speaker, Lieutenant General Burt Field, celebrated the progress in U.S.-Japan relations in the past 70 years.

September was a busy month for JUMP — we had a reception at the Marine Corps Base Quantico that reunited Marines with a connection to Japan. Then at an event at Seattle’s Nisei Veterans Committee Memorial Hall, we honored other veterans with a connection to Japan: second-generation Japanese-Americans who fought for the U.S. in World War II. Distinguished guests included the consul general of Japan and generals from both countries. At the end of the month, our members acquainted themselves with a selection of Japanese whiskies and sake at a tasting event at the Army and Navy Club.

Our final two events this year were continuations of successful gatherings from last year. In October, we met at the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola to watch a taiko performance and hear from distinguished speakers, including Consul General Ken Okaniwa and Admiral Patrick Walsh. Our November event at the National War College in Washington, D.C. focused on challenges for the U.S. and Japan in Northeast Asia. We heard from Adm. Blair along with Japanese Rear Admiral Yuki Sekiguchi and prominent scholars of Asia associated with Washington think tanks. JUMP also attended a reception for the Japan Self-Defense Forces at the Japanese Embassy on October 27.

We hope to continue building on this strong foundation of events next year, and thank you to our members for their support! If you’d like to see photos of these events, there are plenty more in our galleries.

If you’re not already a JUMP member, sign up today to ensure you’re invited to all the great events to come in 2017!


The Japan-U.S. Military Program (JUMP) was featured in an episode of SoCal Japan for its recent event on board the USS Iowa in Los Angeles.

JUMP seeks to bring together together those with the shared experience of having served in Japan. The event on board the USS Iowa brought together past, present and future service members for a social night of building new relationships.

Sasakawa USA CEO and Chairman Admiral Dennis C. Blair said the friendly and mutually beneficial relationship between the United States and Japan is a strong foundation for maintaining peace and security in East Asia.

“It really is the key to doing what we need to do out there,” he said.

The video above begins its segment on JUMP at 5:44. For more information and photos from the event, click here.

IMG_0157The USS Iowa gained a a new crew of past and present United States and Japanese service members on November 19 when JUMP held its inaugural Los Angeles event aboard the retired battleship museum.

The JUMP (Japan-U.S. Military Program) event, hosted by the Japan America Society of Southern California with support from Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA and the Consulate-General of Japan in Los Angeles, brought together those with the shared experience of having served in Japan for a social night of building new relationships.

The event began as the sun set with a tour of the battleship, which served as the flagship of American Pacific forces in World War II. Soon after, drum beats filled the air as taiko drummers signaled the start of a forum featuring speakers representing both countries.

Admiral Dennis C. Blair said the friendly and mutually beneficial relationship between the United States and Japan is a strong foundation for maintaining peace and security in East Asia.

“It really is the key to doing what we need to do out there,” he said.

Deputy Consul General Izuru Shimmura remarked hosting the event on board the USS Iowa served as a reminder of how far the relationship between the two countries has come in the 70 years since the end of the war. Now, he said, it’s “one of the best friendships between nations.”

Lt. Comm. Kohei Sueki, the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s Japanese liaison to the U.S. third fleet, echoed those remarks.

“The bond between the U.S. Navy and Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force is vital for the security” of Asia, he said.

View coverage of this event on local television show SoCal Japan here.

Speakers and Performers

Progressive Taiko – Taiko drum performance
• Wilmington Veterans of Foreign Wars 2967 California – Military Honor Guard
• Erika Mariko Olsen – National anthems of U.S. and Japan
Chaplain Dov Cohen, Department Chaplin CA JWV
Rear Admiral Markham K. Rich, Commander, Navy Region Southwest
Admiral Dennis Blair, USN (ret.), Chairman and CEO, Sasakawa USA
Deputy Consul General Izuru Shimmura, Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles
Lieutenant Commander Kohei Sueki, Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force, liaison to the U.S. Third Fleet
Dr. William Farrell, Immediate Past Chairman, National Association of Japan-America Societies Inc.


Photo Gallery

2024 The Japan U.S. Military Program (JUMP)

Custom WordPress Design, Development & Digital Marketing by time4design