Yukie Wada

by Cpl. Joseph Abrego
MCAS Iwakuni

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- “The Kintai is just one way to inform the local Japanese about Marines and Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni,” said Yukie Wada, an editorial desktop publishing specialist and the Kintai editor with Communication Strategy and Operations at MCAS Iwakuni, Japan. “I want Marines to remember that people are really looking at what you are doing, and Japanese people really appreciate what you are doing, so please continue to be a good ambassador because Iwakuni has a very good history between the Japanese and Marines.”

Wada-san works hand-in-hand with the Marines of MCAS Iwakuni’s CommStrat team creating the Kintai – a biannual, quarterly magazine – which highlights the relations between U.S. service members and the host nation.

“Wada-san is our sole translator for the Kintai magazine,” said U.S. Marine Corps 1st Lt. Melissa Heisterberg, the deputy director of CommStrat for MCAS Iwakuni. “The language barrier is often the biggest factor that detracts from our relationship with our Japanese hosts, so the Kintai helps break down that barrier. Her work ethic always amazes me. She’s hard working and very creative.”

Dedication to providing accurate information and fostering the relations between the U.S. and Japan led to the creation of 2017’s best print publication across the entire Marine Corps.

“The most important part about my job is to translate stories precisely and properly so that the Japanese people don’t misunderstand things about the Marines and the air station,” said Wada-san. “My favorite part about my job is receiving the good comments from Japanese people through Facebook or email, and they are positive messages saying ‘Marines you are our real friends,’ or ‘I appreciate what you have done.’ So when I receive them, I always tell them to the Marines so I feel really good.”

Seven years ago, during her spare time, Wada-san took it upon herself to create the Kintai magazine, which acts as a buffer to the language differences, highlights service members interactions with the community and helps the local Japanese in Iwakuni City better understand the air station.

“The thing I like most about the Kintai magazine is to see the community relations photos,” said Heisterberg. “Especially the sporting events because sports are often the same in every language.”

The recognition the Kintai received was an opportunity to highlight not only the capabilities of the editor, but MCAS Iwakuni and Iwakuni City as a whole throughout the entire Marine Corps.

“We encourage our English and Japanese speakers to pick up a copy of the Kintai,” said Heisterberg. “It can be found at either the main gate, the JR train station, the Iwakuni libraries or Iwakuni City Hall in order to learn more about a bridge between two cultures.”

Photo caption:

Yukie Wada, an editorial desktop publishing specialist with Communication Strategy and Operations at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, poses for a photograph at MCAS Iwakuni, Japan, June 6, 2018. The Kintai magazine was created in order to act as a buffer to the language differences, highlight service members’ interactions with the community and help the local Japanese in Iwakuni City better understand the air station. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Joseph Abrego)

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