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Servicemen from Okinawa get close look at Japan

Date Posted: 2003-08-02

Climbing Mount Fuji, meditating at Zen Buddhist temple and riding on a bullet train were but a few treats that were on agenda for 32 young service members from Okinawa who took part in a “Welcome Marines Program” that was organized for the eight time from Jul. 14 through 21.

The program is sponsored by US-Japan Link, a non-profit organization that wants to promote mutual understanding and friendship between junior US service members and the Japanese and acquaintance them with Japanese culture and customs. The program has organized annual tours since 1996.

Recognizing that Japan is a very expensive country and that few young GIs have means to travel the country extensively, the organization arranges a tour that offers a deeper than usual peek at the Japanese culture and customs.

The NPO recognizes that the servicemen and women to risk their lives for the defense of Japan and the stability of the East-Asian region whenever required. Helping some of these service members to gain deeper understanding of Japan plays an important role in strengthening Japan-US alliance and defense cooperation.

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