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Japan-U.S. friendship day event held at Iwakuni base

  • May 6, 2019
  • , Kanagawa Shimbun , p. 20
  • JMH Translation

The U.S. military’s Iwakuni base (Iwakuni City, Yamaguchi Prefecture) held its annual Japan-U.S. friendship day event for the public on May 5. The Marine Corps’ state-of-the-art F-35B stealth fighter and the MV-22 Osprey transport aircraft were on display and flew at the air show. Some 165,000 visitors (according to the announcement made by the base) attended the event.


F/A-18 fighter/attack aircraft, which were deployed to the Iwakuni base following the relocation of carrier-borne aircraft from the U.S. military’s Atsugi base (in Yamato and Ayase) at the end of March last year, also participated in the air show. This was the 43rd time for Iwakuni base to hold the event.


Many aviation fans enthusiastically took photos of an F-35B jet performing short takeoffs and an F/A-18 demonstrating air-to-air refueling. Visitors smiled as they posed for photos with U.S. service members. Families enjoyed eating pizza and hamburgers.


The Japan Air Self-Defense Force has introduced the U.S. Air Force’s F-35A fighter. But in April this year an F-35A deployed to Misawa Air Base (Misawa City, Aomori Prefecture) crashed in waters off Aomori Prefecture during a training exercise. Makoto Saito, a 46-year-old office worker from Akashi City, Hyogo Prefecture, said: “I was surprised to see the F-35 because I thought the U.S. might refrain for displaying it. I hope the cause of the accident is determined soon.”

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