Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | June 13, 2022

Yokota, Japan Remember WWII Fallen during U.S.-Japan Joint Memorial Service

By Tech. Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal 374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

SHIZUOKA CITY, Japan -- Representatives from Yokota Air Base, Japan Air Self-Defense Force and Shizuoka City attended a U.S.-Japan Joint Memorial Service June 11, 2022, at Mt. Shizuhata, Shizuoka city, Japan, to honor the fallen and reflect on acts of heroism showcased in the aftermath of a raid of Shizuoka City during World War II.

During the early morning of June 20, 1945, two U.S. Army Air Forces B-29 Superfortresses collided mid-air during an air raid over Shizuoka City. The two aircraft crashed into farmland, resulting in the death of 23 Airmen on board the aircraft.

Dr. Hiroya Sugano, the ceremony’s host, works every year to ensure U.S. forces are able to participate in the annual ceremony, to remember the lives lost as a result of the crash and the sacrifices made during the aftermath of the tragedy.

Fukumatsu Itoh, a Shizuoka City resident, searched the crash site for any signs of life, and found two American Airmen survivors in the debris who later died from their injuries. Despite the wartime environment, Itoh gave the two Airmen proper burials alongside the fallen Japanese citizens he was able to recover.

“As I reflect on the tragedy that occurred more than 75 years ago, I am reminded of the courage shown by Japan to help U.S. Airmen those following days,” said Col. Julie Gaulin, 374th Airlift Wing vice commander. “Mr. Itoh did not differentiate between the dead and wounded by background or nationality. His selfless actions and compassion for humanity give us this immense opportunity to stand together today as allies and friends. Today we reflect on the profound example demonstrated through his heroism.”

U.S. and Japanese representatives payed their respects together by sharing remarks, laying down flowers, and performing an incense offering. As a tradition, participants poured ceremonial bourbon on the shrine’s B-29 monument as Japanese attendees poured Sake on the shrine’s Japanese monument.

“I personally feel that consoling and paying respect to the souls of all the fallen, regardless of who they are, is the first step toward international reconciliation and world peace,” said Sugano. “Every year, I pray that this ceremony will bring us one more step closer toward world peace.”

The joint ceremony is an opportunity for the U.S. and Japan to honor sacrifices made during World War II, and fortify and reflect on the strong alliance and bond the U.S. and Japan share today.


Like Us
Follow Us



U.S. INDOPACOM announces establishment of Joint Task Force Red Hill
220630-N-BD629-1009 CAMP H.M. Smith, Hawaii (June 30, 2022) Commander, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command Adm. John C. Aquilino addresses members of the media during a press conference announcing the establishment of Joint Task Force Red Hill. JTF Red Hill, in close coordination with the State of Hawaii, will oversee the safe and expeditious defueling of the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility, demonstrating DoD’s commitment to remove fuel as quickly as possible, in a safe and informed manner, and with full transparency to regulators, intergovernmental partners, and with the people of Hawaii. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Shannon M. Smith/Released)
July 1, 2022 - CAMP H.M. SMITH, Hawaii – Adm. John C. Aquilino, Commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, announced the establishment of Joint Task Force Red Hill (JTF Red Hill) on June 30.The Secretary of Defense directed the standup of JTF...

Rim of the Pacific 2022 Officially Begins
Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022 participants network at the Southern California opening ceremony. Twenty-six nations, 38 ships, four submarines, more than 170 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC from June 29 to Aug. 4 in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity while fostering and sustaining cooperative relationships among participants critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2022 is the 28th exercise in the series that began in 1971.
June 30, 2022 - U.S. Navy -- Twenty-six nations, 38 surface ships, four submarines, nine national land forces, more than 30 unmanned systems, approximately 170 aircraft and more than 25,000 personnel will train and operate in and around the...

Chief of Naval Operations, Japanese Chief of Staff Meet to Discuss Maritime Security
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday meets with Chief of Staff of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Adm. Ryo Sakai during an office call at the Pentagon, June 28. The two leaders discussed maritime security and ongoing efforts to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific.
June 30, 2022 - WASHINGTON -- Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday hosted the Chief of Staff of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Adm. Ryo Sakai in Washington, D.C., for an office visit, June 28.The two leaders discussed...

Remarks by U.S. Ambassador Peter Haas on Account of U.S. Independence Day 2022
Remarks by U.S. Ambassador Peter Haas on Account of U.S. Independence Day 2022.
June 30, 2022 - U.S. Embassy in Bangladesh -- Good afternoon, everyone! And thank you for joining us for this celebration of the 246th anniversary of U.S. independence. Independence Day in America is a day of red, white, and blue; a day of...

The U.S. Provides Immediate Assistance to Respond to Drought in Kiribati
US $500,000 in humanitarian assistance to respond to the drought across Kiribati
June 30, 2022 - SUVA, U.S. Embassy in Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga, and Tuvalu -- The U.S., through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is providing US$500,000 in humanitarian assistance to respond to the drought across...