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Children sing Christmas carols in front of a large gathering during the Christmas tree lighting event on Yokota Air Base, Japan on Tuesday.
Children sing Christmas carols in front of a large gathering during the Christmas tree lighting event on Yokota Air Base, Japan on Tuesday. (Grant Okubo/Stars and Stripes)
Children sing Christmas carols in front of a large gathering during the Christmas tree lighting event on Yokota Air Base, Japan on Tuesday.
Children sing Christmas carols in front of a large gathering during the Christmas tree lighting event on Yokota Air Base, Japan on Tuesday. (Grant Okubo/Stars and Stripes)
Maj. David Bargatze, his wife Crystal and their 4-year-old son Owen Bargatze take in the Christmas tree lighting at Yokota Air Base, Japan on Tuesday, which helped usher in Owen's first Christmas on base.
Maj. David Bargatze, his wife Crystal and their 4-year-old son Owen Bargatze take in the Christmas tree lighting at Yokota Air Base, Japan on Tuesday, which helped usher in Owen's first Christmas on base. (Grant Okubo/Stars and Stripes)
Children sing Christmas carols at the tree-lighting event at Yokota Air Base, Japan on Tuesday.
Children sing Christmas carols at the tree-lighting event at Yokota Air Base, Japan on Tuesday. (Grant Okubo/Stars and Stripes)
Children at Yokota Air Base, Japan, gather to celebrate the lighting of the base Christmas tree, marking the start of the holiday season at Yokota.
Children at Yokota Air Base, Japan, gather to celebrate the lighting of the base Christmas tree, marking the start of the holiday season at Yokota. (Grant Okubo/Stars and Stripes)

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — The Christmas season officially kicked off Tuesday for many at Yokota as residents came together for the annual lighting of the base Christmas tree.

Christmas carols were sung, lights were lit and Santa made an appearance to the delight of young and old.

“The lighting of the Christmas tree marks the start of the season – kicks it all off especially when you’ve got the little ones,” said Maj. David Bargatze, beaming as he watched his 4-year-old son, Owen, jumping around in delight.

-- Grant Okubo

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