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NEWS | Oct. 31, 2016

Ambassador Caroline Kennedy Greets Service Members, Families on Okinawa

By Cpl. Janessa Pon III Marine Expeditionary Force / Marine Corps Installations Pacific

CAMP FOSTER, OKINAWA, Japan -- U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy toured installations and visited senior leadership and Status of Forces Agreement families Oct. 28 aboard Camp Foster, Okinawa, Japan.

The visit served as an opportunity for Kennedy to discuss the Japan-U.S. alliance with officers and senior enlisted leadership and their families.
Along the tour of the military installations on Okinawa, Kennedy addressed senior leadership during a working luncheon.

“This is a place of longstanding friendships as much as it is a strategic location,” said Kennedy. “The role you play living here on Okinawa is vital and I thank you for all that you do in your daily lives just making friends and engaging with the people out here.”

During the luncheon, officers and senior enlisted service members discussed the Japan-U.S. alliance and potential future projects on the island.

“The amount of involvement and volunteers for the projects that take place on the island of Okinawa has always been impressive,” said Lt. Gen. Lawrence Nicholson, the commanding general of III Marine Expeditionary Force and the Okinawa area coordinator. “We are doing great things in the community here on and off our bases and we will continue to do more to build upon this bilateral partnership.”

The next stop on the tour was the Camp Foster Community Center, where Nicholson introduced Kennedy to service members and their families.

“There are many moving parts to this great alliance and Ambassador Kennedy is a huge asset to maintaining it,” said Nicholson. “She has served passionately and tirelessly for the same thing that we seek-a stronger relationship between these two great nations.”

Kennedy joined senior officials from U.S. Forces Japan and addressed the families in attendance.

“My father served here during World War II and it is an honor to serve here as his daughter and work with the government of Japan,” said Kennedy. “We need to continue to educate ourselves and educate each other so we can enjoy the support and strong alliance we have here in Japan.”

After Kennedy’s address, families joined her on the stage to take photos together.

“I am always inspired by the patriotism I see here when I visit,” said Kennedy. “This area could not be more critical to the representation of the U.S. The service members and families are a great example of the great work we are doing here in Japan.”

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