YOKOSUKA, Japan - Winners of Commander U.S. Naval Forces Japan’s (CNFJ) U.S-Japan alliance slogan contest got a chance to experience the U.S. Navy for a day Nov. 6 during a VIP tour of Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka (CFAY).

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the U.S.-Japan alliance, CNFJ hosted a slogan contest on its Twitter site, allowing Japanese citizens to choose a catchphrase that best describes the half-century partnership between the U.S. Navy and the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force. CNFJ chose five winners, and as a reward they were offered a chance to step inside CFAY and see first hand what life is like on the installation, including an in-depth tour of the Navy’s only permanently forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73).

“This is one way that we are combining traditional and new ways of communicating with our host nation publics in sharing the message about the purpose and capabilities of our bilateral security alliance,” said Cmdr. Ron Steiner, CNFJ’s public affairs officer.

The top slogan was “One Ocean: One Mission” by Koji Morooka. The runner up slogans included “Together We Lower the Anchor of Peace” by Mayumi Kinoshita, “Defending Together the Cornerstone of Peace” by Minato Takiguchi, “Unsinkable Alliance” and “A partnership that Begins from the Sea” by Mami Hioki, and “Bonds Across the Seas” by Yuichi Hokazono.

CNFJ created the English and Japanese Twitter in May 2009, and since then followers have grown from several hundred to over seven thousand five hundred. In response to the growing interest in learning about the U.S. Navy in Japan and the Seventh Fleet Area of Responsibility, Steiner says CNFJ will be providing opportunities similar to this in the future to allow more Japanese citizens to learn accurate and in depth information about the mission of the U.S. Navy.

“I really appreciate what the U.S. Navy does and so I decided to participate in the contest,” said Mami Hioki.

Hioki, along with the four other winners received copies of “Enduring Partnership”, a book describing the history of the U.S.-Japan alliance, with a special signed letter from Rear Adm. Richard Wren, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Japan. Following a tour of George Washington, the fans got a chance to see workers in action beneath the U.S. 7th Fleet Flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), which is currently undergoing a dry dock maintenance availability at CFAY’s Ship Repair Facility. For Mayumi Kinoshita, seeing the daily activities of U.S. personnel in motion up close was awe inspiring.

“I’m a big fan of ships,” said Kinoshita. “It was really exciting to actually go on the George Washington and see what its like on the ship,” she added.

The contest’s top winner, Morooka, who has been following CNFJ’s Twitter page for nearly half a year, says he was surprised with the opportunity to see the base in person.

“I couldn’t believe it when I found out I had won,” said Morooka.

This is Morooka’s second visit to CFAY. The last visit was during one of the installation’s Friendship Day events, which draws thousands of guests inside the gates.

“It was very crowded and busy during my last visit, but this time I was able to take my time and see a lot more. I feel very fortunate to have been given this opportunity,” Morooka said.

After a quick tour of the rest of the installation, the guests concluded the tour with lunch at CFAY’s food court, where they got a chance to indulge in American style food.

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