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YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Yokota Air Base signed a largely symbolic friendship pact with neighboring Hamura City on Thursday in a ceremony attended by senior leaders from both city and base.

The Hamura Yokota Friendship Club becomes the fourth formal association established between the base and a bordering community. The others are with Fussa City, Mizuho Town and Akiruno City.

“The significance … is to express to citizens and Yokota Air Base residents that we are interested in understanding and strengthening relationships with surrounding communities,” said Col. Scott Goodwin, 374th Airlift Wing commander.

“We already have a wonderful relationship with Hamura City by participating in their spring and summer festivals. Also, Yokota Air Base residents visit unique locations during their off time in Hamura.

“The friendship club will help enhance our relationship with the city by allowing both groups the opportunity to coordinate on future events.”

Thursday’s signing took place at Hamura’s Yutorogi Community Center.

The event included a taiko drum performance and appearance by the U.S. Air Force Band of the Pacific-Asia.

Other bases have similar friendship clubs but Yokota is in a “unique location because we maintain strong relationships with five cities and one town that share a border with the base,” said Capt. Warren Comer, a wing spokesman.

Goodwin said healthy ties among Yokota and local communities “contribute to … mission success, while giving citizens an outlet to base officials in a more relaxed environment.”


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