MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- Thirty-five Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) members competed in the fourth annual JASDF English contest, which was judged by JASDF personnel and two U.S. Air Force members Aug. 29 and 30.
On the first day, six different teams, comprised of both enlisted and officers, presented a 15-minute brief to the judges. On the second day, the judges oversaw an interpretation contest, which included only five people out of 35.
Throughout the competition, the enlisted Airmen's subject matter involved the rank structure and JASDF heritage. The officers discussed threats Japan faces. All contestants, however, received a score on grammar, tone of voice, pronunciation and other criterion.
“This event promotes JASDF members in their English-speaking abilities,” said Manami Miki, the JASDF Northern Air Defense Force liaison.
While some attendees appeared to increase their communications skills, the U.S. military judges felt the experience also provided a unique perspective.
“I volunteered because I’ve never been to an event like this and thought it would be neat to attend,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Grissel Cid, a 610th Air Control Flight weapons director technician.
The English competitions take place nationwide with the Northern sector occurring at Misawa Air Base. The winner progresses to the final for the entire country.
“Events like this aid JASDF in building their confidence by practicing their English,” Cid explained. “We get to see the hard work they put into their presentations. It also helps build our relationship in a positive way.”