YOKOUSKA, Japan (NNS) -- A group of Sailors from Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka (CFAY) and other Yokosuka based commands met with Japanese civilians during a community relations event called the “Navy Café” that kicked off at the CFAY Japan U.S. Cultural Exchange Center, July 25.
The first Navy Café event was held in 2016, and it offers local Japanese citizens a glimpse into the lives of American Sailors by providing a rare opportunity to gain basic knowledge about the U.S. military overseas. The café group meets two to three times a year, and it also provides a venue for Sailors where they are able to engage in general conversations about American and Japanese customs with people from the surrounding Yokosuka community.
“This event was really great, despite my English ability,” said Yoichi Morikawa from Yokosuka City. “I was able to hear interesting stories from the military today.”
A variety of topics were discussed during the nearly four hour event to include culture practices, home life, travel, sports, and job responsibilities working for the Navy in Japan.
“The Navy Café is a bit more intimate as far as the level of interaction that you have with Japanese locals,” said Information Systems Technician Second Class Llangston Radford who mentioned this was the second time he’s participated in the Navy Cafe. “I always enjoy being able to impact such programs like this that I’m involved in.”
Some highlights of the visit included playing group charades, one-on-one conversations, taking photos, and lunch at the Chief Petty Officer’s Club.
“I have helped coordinate five (past) events and the reception is always excellent,” said Kazuyuki Takagi, CFAY information and editorial specialist. “By the end, people are less shy and excited to talk, learn more about each other, and establish friendships.”
CFAY provides, maintains, and operates base facilities and services in support of the U.S. 7th Fleet's forward-deployed naval forces, 71 tenant commands, and more than 27,000 military and civilian personnel and their families.
For more news from Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka, visit www.navy.mil/local/cfay/.