By Garrett Zopfi, Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka Public Affairs
YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) — Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka (CFAY) Sailors and other Yokosuka-based military members joined City of Yokosuka residents to cook a Japanese summertime favorite dish during a cultural exchange event at the city’s Sogo Fukushi Kaikan Community Center, July 19.
The two groups worked together to prepare a chilled Chinese noodle dish – something often served during the summer in Japan. The colorful array of ingredients, including noodles, ham and several vegetables, were cooked and plated with the ultimate goal of the participants sitting together for a friendly luncheon.
“I was surprised when I moved to Yokosuka 30 years ago because there were so many Americans and they were beautiful like dolls,” said Toshiko ‘Mymee’ Takahashi, a makeup artist from Yokosuka’s Nobi neighborhood. “When I heard about the event from my neighbor, I really wanted to attend to meet Americans and speak English.”
Electrician’s Mate Petty Officer 1st Class Renee Yates-Brisbon from CFAY Port Operations jumped at another opportunity to engage with the base’s neighbors. “This is my second time volunteering. Since I’m learning Japanese now, I really appreciate the rare opportunity to speak intimately with native speakers,” said Yates-Brisbon. “Today’s exchange was really great not only to practice my Japanese but also to eat some really great food.”
This is the fourth cooking and cultural exchange event CFAY has organized in partnership with the City of Yokosuka.
“We are so happy to do joint events like this with our partners from the City of Yokosuka,” said Kyoko Sugita, CFAY’s cultural and media relations representative. “The base and the city share a common goal to enhance friendship between our communities and we appreciate opportunities like this to enrich our Sailors’ experience in Japan and take with them some delicious recipes to share with their family and friends when they leave.”
CFAY provides, maintains, and operates base facilities and services in support of the U.S. 7th Fleet’s forward-deployed naval forces, 71 tenant commands, and more than 27,000 military and civilian personnel and their families.