First-time Japanese vendor fair at Misawa Air Base

  • Published
  • By Air Force Airman 1st Class Xiomara M. Martinez, 35th Fighter Wing
  • 35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
For the first time, the 35th Contracting Squadron conducted a vendor fair here in order to allow Japanese businesses opportunities to contract with various Misawa Air Base organizations, July 18.

The vendor showcase provided an opportunity for Department of Defense personnel to meet with local vendors and learn more about the small businesses within the community.

Roughly 100 resource advisors, Government Purchase Card cardholders and other squadron personnel attended to view booths, and approximately 104 businesses from Aomori, Japan, and other prefectures participated. The vendors had the chance to exchange information with members in charge of purchases from base units.

First Lt. Shannen Duffy, a 35th CONS contract specialist, said this vendor fair held particular importance for a few reasons.

“The fair has a significant reputation because it helps optimize our business relationships and increase support provided for the fighter wing,” said Duffy. “The focus was to support our host nation economy through increased GPC expenditures from Misawa, Aomori, or other Japanese vendors. We spend $10 million annually through GPCs, so we briefed the contractors about the program and how they can support base requirements.”

The vendor fair also helped to support the partnership between the base and local community.

"This is a good opportunity for us to be able to promote our products face-to-face," said Naoki Saito, a local store representative. "I want them to continue to hold this event."

With immense interest from the local community, Duffy said she hopes to increase the number of Japanese businesses achieving contracts with the base.

“I’m happy the event was a success,” said Duffy. “We allocate about a billion yen annually for purchases using the GPC. U.S. businesses make up 70 percent of the overall deals, and the Japanese make up the rest. In order to reduce transportation cost and decrease the amount of time needed in the acquisition process, we aim to boost the Japanese participation ratio.”

[Editor’s note: Ryo Osawa with Daily Tohoku news and Keiitsu Okada with Toonippo news contributed to this article.]