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Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan


Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan

MCAS Iwakuni is a mission-ready air station, capable of providing continuous base-operating support for tenant organizations and follow-on U.S. and allied forces during training, combat or contingency (HA/DR) operations throughout the Indo-Asia Pacific region.
American, Japanese neighbors sip on cups of friendship

By Cpl. Carlos Jimenez | Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan | March 8, 2018

Japanese locals invited their American neighbors from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni to a community cultural exchange event in Iwakuni City, Japan, March 3, 2018.

MCAS Iwakuni’s Cultural Adaptation Program took station residents to Tsuzu Elementary School where they took part in a tea ceremony and cooking class.

“These events are very important because we have a great alliance between Japan and the United States, and they’re the building blocks of the relationship we’ve built here in Iwakuni,” said U.S. Marine Corps Col. Richard F. Fuerst, commanding officer of MCAS Iwakuni. “That relationship builds up throughout Japan and increases the bond between both countries.”

Fuerst and his wife attended as guests of honor alongside Yoshihiko Fukuda, mayor of Iwakuni City, and the superintendent and deputy superintendent of the Iwakuni Board of Education.

They, along with the air station residents, watched as demonstrators performed a tea ceremony, teaching them the tradition behind mixing herbs and more. Students helped mix green tea to serve to guests after the ceremony and taught people how to properly drink the tea.

Cooking instructors demonstrated how to make miso soup, sushi, adzuki bean paste and more. The station residents took part in cooking dishes of their own, which they were able to eat afterwards.

“It’s good that people had the chance to learn new things from the cooking class and tea ceremony,” said Mikie Watanabe, cultural adaptation program specialist. “Now they can go by themselves and buy the tea they drank and food they ate if they want to, and they can also attend tea ceremonies by themselves now that they’ve learned how to do it.”

Giving station residents the opportunity to participate in events like these is part of the Cultural Adaptation Program’s ongoing mission to give Americans insight on Japanese customs and traditions, and it allows them to experience it for themselves.

“I appreciate the events that they put on,” said Fuerst. “They bring the citizens of Iwakuni City and the air station closer together. This will build memories of their time getting out into the local communities to learn some things and have some fun.”