NEWS | Feb. 14, 2019

U.S., Japanese Leaders Discuss Misawa Bilateral Programs

By Branden Yamada 35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- U.S. and Japanese military leaders from Misawa Air Base met with Misawa City officials during the annual Community Relations Advisory Council meeting on Feb. 5 at the Misawa International Center to discuss programs that will promote the community and build bilateral relations.

“It is important for all parties to discuss and trade perspectives in a welcoming environment,” explained Col. Paul Kirmis, the 35th Fighter Wing vice commander.

During the meeting, city officials noted several projects including the opening of the Misawa Kids Center, the continuation of an English camp for high school students and the establishment of an English Day for junior high school students, which represent continued efforts to grow relations among on and off-base communities.

The Misawa City Mayor, Kazumasa Taneichi, expressed his hopes of further blending the Japanese and American cultures.

“Our aim is for programs such as the Misawa Kids Center and English Camp to bring our communities closer together in harmony,” said Taneichi. “This will help our cultures to understand one another better and build improved relationships.”

City officials said the Misawa Kids Center will help kids connect with others and expect it to open in April 2019. The English Camp, slated for Aug. 5 to 7, is an English education program for high school students of the city and helps improve their English communication abilities. The English Day will resemble the English Camp program, but will be shorter and involve junior high school students instead. A portion of both of these events will be held on Misawa Air Base and will be hosted by Misawa Air Base personnel.

“We are grateful to live alongside neighbors who deeply care about us and the wonderful partnerships we’ve created,” said Kirmis.

The two communities have conducted the CRAC for five years, and the event continues to serve as a median to strengthen community relations.