By Ryo Isobe, FLEACT Yokosuka Public Affairs
YOKOSUKA, Japan (Oct. 20, 2016) － Commander, United States Forces Japan (USFJ) and the Japan Ministry of Defense hosted the annual Length-of-Service award ceremony at the Yokosuka City Cultural Hall and honored Japanese Master Labor Contract (MLC) employees in the Kanto area.
The Japan Ministry of Defense’s South Kanto Defense Bureau, the U.S. Navy and Japan’s public office representatives expressed gratitude to the Japanese workforce and honored a total of 595 MLC employees for their long-term dedication to the U.S. military installations with length-of-service awards.
“The recipients of the award have been working and fulfilling duties in USFJ installations such as engineers, guards, firefighters and cooks,” said Toru Hochi, director general of the bureau. “Taking this opportunity, I would like to extend my deepest respect to you for your daily hard work and endeavors.”
Of the 185 Ship Repair Facility Japan Regional Maintenance Center (SRF-JRMC) honorees, 40 were recognized for 10 years of service; 55 for 20 years; 80 for 30 years; and 10 for 40 years.
Gratitude and respect were shared by leadership from the U.S. Navy in Japan.
“There is a reason why serving in Japan is a coveted and competitive assignment in the U.S. Navy. Simply put, working alongside the most genuine and capable teammates in the world make it the most humbling and rewarding experience imaginable,” said Capt. Steven J. Wieman, Commander, Naval Forces Japan Deputy and Chief of Staff.
On behalf of all the awardees, a representative from the MLC employees gave an address in reply.
“In retrospect, we have been able to serve our duties,” said Seiji Kawashima, a management analyst from the SRF-JRMC MLC manpower division, “without any serious mistakes in an environment, […] having done our best at our respective duties for the past 10, 20, 30, and 40 years.” Kawashima received recognition for 30 years of service.