Japanese students learn about Maritime Partnership through Okinawa Tour

by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Steven Khor
CFAO Public Affairs
OKINAWA, Japan – (Nov. 1, 2017) – Students from Otemon Junior High School in Osaka, Japan, toured White Beach Naval Facility, Nov. 1, to learn about the U.S. Navy’s and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s (JMSDF) roles, capabilities and missions.
 
The five-hour White Beach tour was a part of their three-day trip to Okinawa, and included an area brief, visit to the Navy pier, a tug boat ride and lunch. 
 
The public affairs team from Commander Fleet Activities Okinawa (CFAO) described the five Navy installations on Okinawa and emphasized the importance of the Navy’s presence in the area.
 
“I hope this tour gave the students a better understanding of why we are here and what we do,” said Marshall Smith, CFAO's public affairs officer. “Additionally, since White Beach is the only shared-use installation on Okinawa, we were able to show how closely we work with the JMSDF.”
 
“I wanted these students to see first-hand the role that the U.S. military and the JMSDF play here, not only from the past but more importantly the role they will play in the future of the U.S. and Japan partnership,” said Masahide Kaneda, an English tutor at Otemon.
 
“I learned so much about the history here on Okinawa and the reason why both the U.S. military and JMSDF are here,” said student Mao Nakamatsu. 
 
She added that their capabilities really impressed her, and she liked having the opportunity to see the JMDSF in person as opposed to just watching them on TV.
 
The students practiced English with Navy personnel on the pier and rode on a JMSDF tug boat, where they met the crew and saw the base from the water. 
 
Student Mako Yamamoto said she enjoyed the boat ride and tour where she was able to see some of the capabilities of the JMSDF and U.S. Navy.
 
“I learned why the U.S. and Japan services are here to protect Japan and for that I’m very appreciative,” said Yamamoto.
 
Kaneda said the school plans on future tours with U.S. Navy and JMSDF to promote further education for the students.
 
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OKINAWA, Japan - (Nov. 1, 2017) - Chief Boatswain's Mate Andrew Werner, the departmental leading chief petty officer assigned to Commander Fleet Activities Okinawa's Port Operations, explains the function of the Navy pier to students from Otemon Junior High School in Osaka, during a tour of White Beach Naval Facility to learn about the U.S. Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, Nov. 1. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Steven Khor/Released)

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