17-027 | Nov. 5, 2017
Yokota Air Base, Japan --
More than 2,000 U.S. and Japanese service members and families turned out at Yokota Air Base Nov. 5 to attend a troop call with President Donald Trump, making his first trip to Japan as President.
The president’s visit to Yokota was the start of his 12-day trip throughout the Indo-Asia Pacific region, to include Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. The trip is the longest trip to Asia by any U.S. president in the last 25 years, a trip that is intended to demonstrate America’s commitment to strengthening longstanding U.S. alliances and expanding new partnerships.
“It was an incredible honor to host the President and First Lady at Yokota today and a really special opportunity for our joint service members, our families and our partners in the Japan Self Defense Forces,” said Lt. Gen. Jerry Martinez, commander of U.S. Forces Japan. “I think it was especially memorable to have our JSDF colleagues there as well, and I hope they enjoyed the chance to hear from our commander in Chief.
For Martinez, the timing couldn’t have been better for President Trump’s visit, given the tension in the region over North Korea’s continued provocations.
“The presence of our Commander in Chief here at Yokota sends a strong message to our men and women in uniform that their mission here in the Pacific is critically important,” said Martinez. “It also sends a firm signal to Japan that our enduring alliance is unbreakable and that our commitment to the defense of Japan is unwavering.”
According to the White House, one of the President’s goals on this trip is to strengthen international resolve to achieve the de-nuclearization of the Korean peninsula. As the commander overseeing 54,000 U.S. troops in Japan within range of North Korea’s ballistic missiles, Martinez further underscored the importance of the President’s visit.
“We are training and working side by side every day with our alliance partners here in Japan. We want the President to know that no matter what crisis may arise – whether it’s a natural disaster or a contingency operation, we’re ready.”
Both USFJ staff and the 374th Airlift Wing worked closely with the White House over the last month to plan and execute the event, which was covered by more than 125 U.S., Japanese and international journalists. Martinez expressed his gratitude to all the men and women who helped make the troop call a success.
“I am so proud of our service members at USFJ and the 374th Airlift Wing who made this event happen today,” said Martinez. “It’s not every day that the Commander in Chief is able to visit, and this base went all out to give President and Mrs. Trump an amazing welcome to Japan.”
The President will spend the next day in Japan meeting with government and business leaders on a variety of issues before departing for Korea Nov. 7.