Lake used to practice for Pearl Harbor now unites U.S. and Japan

Ebina Ikuko, a Lake Ogawara volunteer, serves soup to attendees at the Lake Ogawara Appreciation event in Tohoku Town, Japan, April 15, 2018. The community engagement event signifies the close relationship between Team Misawa members and the people of Tohoku Town. . (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Collette Brooks)

Ebina Ikuko, a Lake Ogawara volunteer, serves soup to attendees at the Lake Ogawara Appreciation event in Tohoku Town, Japan, April 15, 2018. The community engagement event signifies the close relationship between Team Misawa members and the people of Tohoku Town. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Collette Brooks)

U.S. Air Force Col. R. Scott Jobe, the 35th Fighter Wing commander, thanks community members for their support of Misawa Air Base during his speech at the Lake Ogawara Appreciation event in Tohoku Town, Japan, April 15, 2018. Jobe spoke on the enjoyment Lake Ogawara brings to the community such as the cherry blossoms, a variety of lake festivals and the Wakasagi marathon. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Collette Brooks)

U.S. Air Force Col. R. Scott Jobe, the 35th Fighter Wing commander, thanks community members for their support of Misawa Air Base during his speech at the Lake Ogawara Appreciation Event in Tohoku Town, Japan, April 15, 2018. Although Lake Ogawara was used by Imperial Japanese naval forces to practice for the attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II, today it unites the U.S. and Japan through cherry blossom festivals, marathons and camping. The Lake Ogawara Appreciation Event serves as a symbol for just how much the U.S.-Japan alliance has grown over the last seventy years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Collette Brooks)

Bowls of clam soup offered participants warm respace from the chilly breeze at the Lake Ogawara Appreciation event in Tohoku Town, Japan, April 15, 2018. While Tohoku offers a wide variety of popular foods such as shagimi, smelt, ice fish, yam and garlic, clams were the highlighted item on the menu. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Collette Brooks).

Bowls of clam soup offered participants warm respite from the chilly breeze at the Lake Ogawara Appreciation event in Tohoku Town, Japan, April 15, 2018. While Tohoku offers a wide variety of popular foods such as shagimi, smelt, ice fish, yam and garlic, the menu particularly highlighted clams. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Collette Brooks).

Akinori Eto, a member of the House of Representatives , bows at the Lake Ogawara Appreciation event in Tohoku Town, Japan, April 15, 2018. The event focused on community relations and fundamentals for the U.S. and Japan alliance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Collette Brooks)

Akinori Eto, a member of the House of Representatives, bows at the Lake Ogawara Appreciation event in Tohoku Town, Japan, April 15, 2018. The event focused on community relations and the fundamentals of the U.S. and Japan alliance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Collette Brooks)

U.S. Air Force Col. R. Scott Jobe, left, the 35th Fighter Wing commander, shakes hands with Governor Shingo Mimura, right, the Aomori Prefecture governor, at the at Lake Ogawara Appreciation event in Tohoku Town, Japan, April 15, 2018. The partnership of local communities is vital to the U.S. and Japan friendship. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Collette Brooks)

U.S. Air Force Col. R. Scott Jobe, left, the 35th Fighter Wing commander, shakes hands with Governor Shingo Mimura, right, the Aomori Prefecture governor, at the at Lake Ogawara Appreciation event in Tohoku Town, Japan, April 15, 2018. The partnership of local communities is vital to the U.S.-Japan friendship. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Collette Brooks)

TOHOKU TOWN, Japan -- Tohoku Town, Japan, welcomed Americans and Japanese alike to the Lake Ogawara Appreciation Event in Hohko-kan April 15, celebrating the two nations' friendship and enjoyment of seasonal festivals including the lake's local cuisine.

“Many Americans come to your town and enjoy seasonal festivals such as the cherry blossoms, lake festival, the Wakasagi marathon and the Lake Ogawara park camp site as well as special gourmet foods” said Col. R. Scott Jobe, the 35th Fighter Wing commander, addressing Tohoku Town residents during the event.

Although the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service units at Misawa Airfield used the lake to practice for the attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II, its shores now serve Misawa Air Base, home to both the 35th FW and the Japan Air Self-Defense Force's 3rd Air Wing, and, through celebrations such as the Lake Ogawara Appreciation Event, the lake is now bringing U.S. and Japan together.

Americans and Japanese alike said care and appreciation were mutual feelings shared by all in attendance. This event signifies the close relationship between Team Misawa and Tohoku Town city members.

“The partnership of local communities is vital to the U.S. and Japan friendship,” said Jobe. “Local community relations are fundamental to our alliance.”

Misawa AB residents said they look forward to joining their Japanese neighbors in more events in the future.