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On Saturday, February 24th, Rear Admiral Takaaki Hayamizu, the Defense and Naval Attaché, Embassy of Japan in the United States, paid his first visit to Seattle as a featured speaker for the 9th Japan-U.S. Military Program (JUMP) at NVC Memorial Hall.   Rear Admiral Mark Sucato, Commander, U.S. Navy Region Northwest also keynoted the event organized by Japan-America Society of the State of Washington in partnership with the Nisei Veterans Committee and supported by the National Association of Japan America Societies (NAJAS) and Sasakawa USA. 

The luncheon was free to the public, and featured food from Terry’s Kitchen and Hiroshi’s.  Additionally, Nigiri Sanzan, a new food business and first tenant of the JASSW Kitchen @ NVC provided a selection of rice balls prepared at the Hall.  The program featured welcome remarks from Consul General of Japan in Seattle, Makoto Iyori; Shanti Shoji, Sasakawa USA, and U.S. Army Major General McFarlane, deputy commander of I Corps on behalf of Lt. General Xavier Brunson.

Honoring Nisei Veterans – This portion of the program featured a special video from David Ono, ABC commentator, and comments from John Suzuki, author of American Grit:  From a Japanese American Concentration Camp Rises an American War Hero.  John himself available to sign books for attendees.

Background: 

Before JUMP started in 2016 with JASSW support, the NVC provided a potluck lunch gathering for JBLM soldiers and Japanese Ground Self Defense Force (JGSDF) soldiers thanks to the outreach from MG Lanza to NVC Commander Allen Nakamoto to create a community event that started in 2013.  The additional support from Sasakawa USA/NAJAS and the partnership between JASSW and NVC expanded the event with Japanese and American food as well as recognizing and celebrating the Japan-U.S. alliance and honoring Nisei veterans, many of whom were directly involved with rebuilding the bridges between the U.S. and Japan. 

Although few WWII Nisei soldiers remain, honoring them remains an important part of this event.  During the COVID years, the annual JUMP event was streamed and remains available for viewing.

Photo Caption:           

Performances by Mari Ikeda-Wilson (Japanese Dance) and Seattle Kokon Taiko entertained the crowd.