Friendship Festival draws large crowds to Yokota Air Base

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: September 19, 2016

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Tens of thousands of Japanese nationals poured onto the flight line at Yokota Air Base over the weekend for a taste of American and military culture.

The annual Japanese-American Friendship Festival, which took place Saturday and Sunday, gives the surrounding community a chance to learn about and meet the American and Japan Self-Defense Force servicemembers who work and live on the western Tokyo air base.

This year’s festival included live performances — from rock bands to traditional Japanese drumming and dancing — a strongman competition, static aircraft displays and military demonstrations.

Visitors could also enjoy classic American festival fare such as hamburgers, hot dogs, turkey legs and fries.

The festivities wrapped up with a large fireworks display on Sunday evening.


Fireworks explode over Yokota Air Base, Japan, during the 2016 Friendship Festival on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016. Tens of thousands of people attend the festival every year to learn more about the U.S. military and American culture.

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