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Petty Officer 3rd Class Keiko Tani, with the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force, listens as Seaman Marquese Gavin, with Command Task Force 76, repeats a Japanese phrase at the Japanese Sub Area Activity Okinawa on the White Beach Naval Facility, Wednesday. They and other sailors from both navies meet bimonthly as part of a language and culture exchange.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Keiko Tani, with the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force, listens as Seaman Marquese Gavin, with Command Task Force 76, repeats a Japanese phrase at the Japanese Sub Area Activity Okinawa on the White Beach Naval Facility, Wednesday. They and other sailors from both navies meet bimonthly as part of a language and culture exchange. (Cindy Fisher / S&S)

Petty Officer 3rd Class Keiko Tani, with the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force, listens as Seaman Marquese Gavin, with Command Task Force 76, repeats a Japanese phrase at the Japanese Sub Area Activity Okinawa on the White Beach Naval Facility, Wednesday. They and other sailors from both navies meet bimonthly as part of a language and culture exchange.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Keiko Tani, with the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force, listens as Seaman Marquese Gavin, with Command Task Force 76, repeats a Japanese phrase at the Japanese Sub Area Activity Okinawa on the White Beach Naval Facility, Wednesday. They and other sailors from both navies meet bimonthly as part of a language and culture exchange. (Cindy Fisher / S&S)

Lt. Tanabe Yoshinori, with the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force, uses a language computer to translate what he wants to say to the visiting American sailors.

Lt. Tanabe Yoshinori, with the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force, uses a language computer to translate what he wants to say to the visiting American sailors. (Cindy Fisher / S&S)

Petty Officer 3rd Class Keiko Tani, with the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force, and Seaman Marquese Gavin, with Command Task Force 76, practice Japanese phrases.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Keiko Tani, with the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force, and Seaman Marquese Gavin, with Command Task Force 76, practice Japanese phrases. (Cindy Fisher / S&S)

Petty Officer 1st Class Frank Gutierrez, with Command Task Force 76, and Lt. Tanabe Yoshinori, with the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force, go over Japanese phrase.

Petty Officer 1st Class Frank Gutierrez, with Command Task Force 76, and Lt. Tanabe Yoshinori, with the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force, go over Japanese phrase. (Cindy Fisher / S&S)

WHITE BEACH NAVAL FACILITY, Okinawa — Every second and fourth Wednesday of the month, two or three Command Task Force 76 sailors get with some of their counterparts in the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force to speak English and Japanese at the Japanese Sub Area Activity on White Beach.

This 4-year-old program and others like it help build a relationship between the two navies, said Kasumi Sakaida, a community relations specialist with CTF-76.

Although there’s a different mix of sailors at most meetings, one regular participant is Petty Officer 1st Class Frank Gutierrez.

“It gets me out of the office,” Gutierrez said Wednesday, adding that “it’s fun to meet some of our counterparts and converse with them.”

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