Yokota celebrates ‘re-grand opening’ of expanded base exchange
By SETH ROBSON | STARS AND STRIPES Published: June 1, 2018
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — A massive, newly renovated base exchange officially opened Friday at the home of U.S. Forces Japan and 5th Air Force in western Tokyo.
The Army and Air Force Exchange Service has added 25,000 feet of floor space to its largest facility at Yokota so that it can accommodate products that were sold at a BXtra shop on the west side of the installation that shut down last year.
Expanded to 70,000 square feet, the store now sells everything from furniture, sporting goods and gardening supplies to electronics, clothing and alcohol.
Shops and restaurants that were on the second floor of the Yokota Community Center – a mall that accommodates the exchange — have moved downstairs.
Crowds of shoppers flooded aisles during Friday’s “re-grand opening,” filling shopping carts with discounted products after officials cut a ribbon and cake to reopen the facility.
Yokota exchange manager Shinobu Matsui said the store, which employs about 200 people, isn’t as large as facilities at Camp Humphreys, South Korea, or Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, but “it’s the perfect size for this community.”
AAFES Pacific commander Air Force Col. Scott Maskery said the facility is an example of the quality of life that his organization helps provide to servicemembers all over the world.
“We go where you go,” he said.