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Association Reconnects American-Japanese Ties

  • Published
  • By Jessica Turner
  • AIr Educaiton and Training Command Public Affairs
Active-duty and retired service members searching for new contacts or old connections with Japan may join the latest military networking association.

The U.S. Military Japan Alumni Association, created by a group of retired U.S. senior military leaders previously stationed in Japan, offers venues for connections and cultural exchanges to U.S. veterans and civilians who served under the U.S. - Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security for the past 50 years.

Gen. (Retired) Paul V. Hester, one of the founders and a former US Forces Commander, said creating the USMJ Alumni Association shows the commitment to relationships and cultural value the United States and its military members continue to share with Japan.

"During our tour in Japan my family, like so many others, understood the need to maintain the relationships and the experiences shared with those who welcomed us into their homes and their country," General Hester said.

After five decades, the treaty continues to guide and support more than 75,000 U.S. service members and dependents stationed throughout Japan each year. The treaty has been the foundation for the development of a strong Alliance between the US service members and the Japanese Self Defense Forces. In fact, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said during a recent visit to Japan that the U.S. and Japanese Alliance is the cornerstone of America's defense in the Pacific region.

As a demonstration of the cherished international relations, the Alumni Association goals are to sustain friendships, share memories, stay informed, and to foster continued support of strong U.S. - Japan ties.

Although intended for service members and veterans who served in Japan, other association members may include Japanese military, diplomatic and government service personnel who worked in cooperation with and support of the U.S. - Japan Security Treaty.

Once registered, service members and alumni members may network via the USMJ Association website, and through informative emails from the Japanese Embassy and Consulate.

"This association hopes to strengthen our international bonds and to promote continuing contact to sustain and strengthen the Alliance between the U.S. and Japan," General Hester said.

For more information on how to become a member, visit the association's website, http://usmjnetwork.com.