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Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan

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Iwakuni Kintaikyo Airport opening offers Iwakuni convenient traveling

By Lance Cpl. B. A. Stevens | Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni | December 09, 2012

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Col. James C. Stewart, Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni commanding officer, stands next to distinguished guests at the tape cutting ceremony for the Iwakuni Kintaikyo Airport Dec 9, 2012. Distinguished guests cut the tape and 1,000 civilians invited by the city of Iwakuni were given a pair of scissors to cut ribbon symbolizing the airport as a community asset.

Col. James C. Stewart, Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni commanding officer, stands next to distinguished guests at the tape cutting ceremony for the Iwakuni Kintaikyo Airport Dec 9, 2012. Distinguished guests cut the tape and 1,000 civilians invited by the city of Iwakuni were given a pair of scissors to cut ribbon symbolizing the airport as a community asset. (Photo by Lance Cpl. B. A. Stevens)


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Iwakuni City Mayor Yoshihiko Fukuda speaks to distinguished guests at the Iwakuni Kintaikyo Airport opening ceremony Dec. 9, 2012. Fukuda
spoke on how the opening of airport was a new beginning for Iwakuni, but not the final goal. The airport marks the second commercial airport
using U.S. military runways in Japan. Opening of the airport also signifies the reintroduction of civil aviation in Iwakuni after 48 years.

Iwakuni City Mayor Yoshihiko Fukuda speaks to distinguished guests at the Iwakuni Kintaikyo Airport opening ceremony Dec. 9, 2012. Fukuda spoke on how the opening of airport was a new beginning for Iwakuni, but not the final goal. The airport marks the second commercial airport using U.S. military runways in Japan. Opening of the airport also signifies the reintroduction of civil aviation in Iwakuni after 48 years. (Photo by Lance Cpl. B. A. Stevens)


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Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan --

Japanese distinguished guest, U.S. servicemembers and civilians met at the Iwakuni Kintaikyo Airport for the opening ceremonies Dec. 9, 2012.

The opening consisted of an indoor formal ceremony of approximately 100 people and an outdoor ribbon cutting with approximately 1,000 people.

“More than 20 years of long lasting efforts of so many people in the community is finally bearing the fruit,” said Shigetaro Yamamoto, governor of Yamaguchi Prefecture. “I continue my full efforts to have the opening of a commercial airport in Iwakuni surely deliver vitalization and prosperity in the local community and its development.”

The airport marks a significant completion in the Iwakuni community, but the work is far from done.

“The opening of this commercial airport is not the final goal,” said Yoshihiko Fukuda, mayor of Iwakuni City. “This is a new beginning. To develop a community filled with vitalized power and to make our place where different people and supplies meet and exchange, I continue my efforts to achieve that goal using the best benefit of having a commercial airport here.”

Maj. Gen. Andrew W. O’Donnell Jr. spoke on behalf of servicemembers and their families.

“I'd like to say how pleased we are to see this monumental effort and labor in the opening of the Kintaikyo Airport. This facility represents prosperity for our friends and neighbors, it means an increased quality of life for us too. As guests, most of us come here from far away to live and work in Japan. The ordeal of traveling half way across the world has just been made easier. Kintaikyo Airport and all it brings to the community while standing firmly aboard MCAS Iwakuni, symbolizes the mutual cooperation and friendship of our countries. Friends and neighbors, we wish you good fortune and prosperity at this opening of a new chapter in our shared history. Thank you very much.”

All Nippon Airways is scheduled to run four round-trip flights per day between Iwakuni Kintaikyo Airport and Haneda, Tokyo International Airport. With construction complete, the airport can make traveling for servicemembers and families much more convenient.

ImageAirport Opening Travel ImageIwakuni Kintaikyo Airport

2 Comments


  • Yukie Wada 1 years 98 days ago
    Col. Pappas;
    Thank you for the comment. We, the Iwakuni residents are so happy that the commercial airport finally (re)open. Please keep reading our news.
    Y. Wada
    Public Affairs Office
    MCAS Iwakuni, Japan
  • Colonel Robert Pappas, USMC (Ret) 1 years 119 days ago
    As former Commanding Officer of MCAS Iwakuni, allow me to extend my hearty contratulations on this auspicous occasion.

    The long and enduring friendship between the Japanese people of Iwakuni, Yamaguchi Prefecture and U.S. Marines is a shinning example for all the world to see.

    I am proud and honored to be a part of the history and of that great relationship; and I extend my heartfelt congratulations and best wishes for continued and strengthened bonds of friendship.

    Robert L. Pappas
    Colonel,USMC (Ret)
    CO MCAS, Iwakuni May 25th, 1988-9 Sept. 1989.

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