Misawa Global Friendship Camp 2022

Participants of the 2022-2023 Youth Exchange Program from Edgren Middle High School and local Japanese middle schools perform during an activity at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Nov. 5, 2022. The activities focused on students communicating and working together to accomplish goals. Base programs involving the local community help strengthen bonds with the host nation and demonstrates the U.S. military’s resolve to support and defend allies in the Indo-Pacific theater. (USAF photo by SrA Joao Marcus Costa)
Participants of the 2022-2023 Youth Exchange Program from Edgren Middle High School and local Japanese middle schools perform during an activity at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Nov. 5, 2022. The activities focused on students communicating and working together to accomplish goals. Base programs involving the local community help strengthen bonds with the host nation and demonstrates the U.S. military’s resolve to support and defend allies in the Indo-Pacific theater. (USAF photo by SrA Joao Marcus Costa)

Misawa Global Friendship Camp 2022

35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- Edgren Middle High School hosted their annual Youth Exchange Program, allowing U.S. students to meet and interact with participating Japanese students from the local area at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Nov. 5-6, 2022. 

The Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA) partnered with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) to host a two-day initiative that creates an environment for local and host nation students to meet one another to break language and culture barriers while making lifelong friends.

The lessening severity of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the success of last year’s event, spurred a program expansion to support more students, almost doubling the number of participants. 

The event's opening ceremony started with the playing of the Japan and the U.S. national anthems performed by the school’s choir. Then, remarks were made by the school and base’s leadership, as well as words from U.S. Air Force Col. Michael Richard, 35th Fighter Wing commander. 


Japanese middle school participants of the 2022-2023 Youth Exchange Program pose with their structure at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Nov. 5, 2022. After lunch, the students had the option to play games, dance, or conversate. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joao Marcus Costa)

“Through different interactive activities, our American and Japanese middle school students will cultivate and expand on a diverse perspective of the world, hone problem-solving skills and increase cross-cultural understanding and acceptance,” Richard said. “We are thrilled to support this event with our Japanese neighbors and further strengthen our partnership with local community members.”
The students were then divided into different groups inside the classroom where they worked together to complete activities. The activities included: coming up with a team name for their group, creating a skit that compared each other's cultures to present to the class, and creating a mascot with the theme of ‘friendship between the U.S. and Japan.’

The games and activities were designed to have students notice, understand and appreciate the differences, as well as the similarities, between the two cultures. They also positioned students to challenge and overcome language barriers in different scenarios.
 
“I like being here and participating,” said Zachery Bell, Edgren Middle School eighth grader and program participant. “It gives us a chance to meet one another where we could’ve just passed by each other on the street.” 


Yoshinori Kohiyama, Misawa City mayor, and U.S. Air Force Col. Michael Richard, 35th Fighter Wing commander, view students’ mascot designs during the 2022-2023 Youth Exchange Program at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Nov. 6, 2022. The students participating in the program were put into mixed groups and tasked to create a mascot with the theme of ‘friendship between Japan and the U.S.’ (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo by the Department of Defense Education Activity)

 

Subscribe to our Stripes Pacific newsletter and receive amazing travel stories, great event info, cultural information, interesting lifestyle articles and more directly in your inbox!

Follow us on social media!

Facebook: Stars and Stripes Pacific
Flipboard: Stars and Stripes Community Sites

Looking to travel while stationed abroad? Check out our other Pacific community sites!
Stripes Okinawa
Stripes Korea
Stripes Guam

Related Content

Recommended Content

Around the Web