U. S. Military in Alaska and Japan Self-Defense Force Reception
On Saturday, June 22 2019, Masatoshi Sato, Head of the Consular Office of Japan in Anchorage, and Mrs. Sato hosted a reception at the Hotel Captain Cook to celebrate the close ties between the Japan Self-Defense Forces and the U.S. Military in Alaska.
The reception was held during the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) and 1st Airborne Brigade, Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) stay in Alaska to participate in joint training exercises. These are held annually and are called RED FLAG Alaska and Arctic Aurora, respectively.
Mr. Sato, Lt. Governor Meyer, BG Aitchison of U.S. Army Alaska (USARAK) and Lt. Colonel Brazil of the 11th Air Force, each gave a few remarks. A toast was proposed jointly by Colonel Ota, JASDF, and Lt. Colonel Nishiguchi, JGSDF.
In addition, prizes were awarded to two members each of the U.S. Air Force, USARAK, JASDF, and JGSDF. Award recipients were chosen in recognition of their outstanding achievement in or their significant contribution to RED FLAG Alaska 19-2 or Arctic Aurora 2019. The bottles of Japanese sake the four American winners received were donated by JASDF and JGSDF. They also received ballpoint pens made in Japan to promote the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Guests had the opportunity to sample Japanese sake and plum wine. JASDF and JGSDF members received gift bags containing maps and travel information for Anchorage and Fairbanks. Military members from JBER received gift bags containing information on Alaska’s sister cities in Japan, most of which are located in the northernmost island of Hokkaido.