Service members visit school, interact with children
Stripes Japan | .
published: May 05, 2016
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- Service members from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni visited children at Josho Hoikuen School in Iwakuni City, Japan, as part of a community relations event hosted by the Marine Memorial Chapel April 19, 2016.
Visiting the school provided service members the chance to teach children how to speak and count in English, fostering the friendship between the U.S. and Japan.
“I believe we can influence the kids in a positive way if we take the time to play and teach them new things,” said Seaman Solmayra Zarco, a harbor operations dispatcher with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron. “We have great opportunities to interact with the local Japanese community in different ways.”
Ayako Harada, a Josho Hoikuen nursery teacher, said she believes these visits afford children the chance to create relationships with Americans at a young age, which can last throughout their lifetime.
“This is a rare opportunity for the children,” said Harada. “The children enjoy interacting with Americans. I’m glad that service members came today. I think this relationship is important, and I hope you will visit again.
Zarco said she believes the good deeds they did for the preschoolers will have a positive effect on the two nations’ future relationship.
“Visiting the Japanese school allows us to make a good impression with the Japanese, which could affect our future presence in the country,” said Zarco. “I believe reciprocating the trust Japanese have by providing us the opportunity to visit their schools can further cement our bond with Japan. Many of the children could potentially be future military or political leaders, and having a good lasting impression of us from their childhood could strengthen the relationship between the U.S. and Japan.”
For information on upcoming events, call the Marine Memorial Chapel at 253-3371.