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.
Attendees at the Japan-US Military Program event in Pensacola, Florida on October 22 were treated to a traditional Japanese dance performance, a spectacular taiko drum ensemble compliments of the Matsuriza Taiko Drummers, and a moving keynote address from Adm. Patrick Walsh.
Adm. Walsh, the former Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet during the 3-11 disaster, spoke on the importance of not only the alliance between Japan and the United States, but also the bond that was strengthened between our two countries following the horrendous earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis on October 11, 2011. Adm. Walsh’s presentation included a video that depicted the devastation of that day’s events, but also featured numerous victims thanking the United States military for all of its help during that troubling time — a true testament to the friendship that exists between our two countries.
The second-annual event, hosted at the National Naval Aviation Museum, also featured opening remarks by Captain Mark A. Truluck, USN, the commanding officer of Naval Aviation Schools Command. Other speakers included Ken Okaniwa, Japan’s Consul General in Miami; Mark Jackson, Honorary Consul General of Japan; Robert Orr, the former American Ambassador to the Asian Development Bank; and Peter Kelly, President of the National Association of Japan American Societies. All speakers had their own stories to complement the overarching theme of the event — U.S.-Japan friendship. The afternoon finished up with a reception on the flight deck of the USS Cabot as part of the museum’s wonderful show room, complete with sushi and sake.
The JUMP team would like to thank the Japan America Society of Northwest Florida for putting on such a wonderful event and hosting the JUMP team.
If you have not done so already, make sure to sign up for the JUMP newsletter to stay on top of upcoming events around the country, as well as interesting content on the U.S.-Japan alliance.
Photos by JUMP and courtesy Japan-America Society of Northwest Florida
Pensacola is gearing up for this weekend’s Japan-US Military Program (JUMP) event, as previewed in the October 19 edition of the Pensacola News Journal.
“The relationship between the U.S. and Japan has evolved and gotten stronger over time,” said JUMP Program Director James Kendall in the article. “Now we are closer to Japan than ever, in part because it has become a lot less of an alien place for Americans. There are many Americans who have visited Japan and come away with a very positive impression.”
“Kendall encouraged local military members who have served in Japan to attend Saturday’s event and share their experiences. He said it is important to reinforce the friendship between the two countries,” the article reads.
“We feel it is never good to take anything for granted. Something may seem very stable, but it doesn’t stay that way through happenstance,” he said.
October 13, 2016
For more information please contact:
(202) 296-6694 x118
|PENSACOLA — American service members will foster friendship with their Japanese allies on Saturday, October 22, at a special event celebrating U.S.-Japan camaraderie at the National Naval Aviation Museum. For the second consecutive year, the Japan-America Society of Northwest Florida is partnering with the Japan-US Military Program (JUMP) and the Consulate-General of Japan in Miami to bring together those who have served in Japan.
This year’s event will kick off with an opening welcome from Japanese Taiko Drums and dancers in the Blue Angels Atrium starting at 1 p.m. A reception will follow at the USS Cabot flight deck until 4 p.m. The event is free and open to the public, and all are invited to join in as we honor veterans and active duty forces while celebrating the deep friendship between the United States and our allies in Japan.
JUMP is excited to welcome distinguished guests to the program including:
• Admiral Patrick Walsh, USN (ret.), Senior Vice President, iSIGHT Partners; Senior Fellow in National Security and Defense, John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies, Southern Methodist University; and Chairman, Dallas Committee on Foreign Relations
About JUMP: www.JUMProgram.org
About The Japan-America Society of Northwest Florida: http://jasnwfl.org/
About Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA: www.SPFUSA.org
2022 The Japan U.S. Military Program (JUMP)
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