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Two cultures, one community: Misawa Air Base honors outgoing Misawa City Mayor

“Two cultures, One community”

U.S. Air Force Col. Kristopher W. Struve, the 35th Fighter Wing commander, and his wife, Kathy Struve, left, sit side-by-side with Kazumasa Taneichi, the Misawa City mayor, and his wife, Teiko Taneichi, right, as they pose for a photo during a service recognition ceremony at Misawa Air Base, Japan, June 5, 2019. Craftsmen from the 35th Civil Engineer Squadron built the bench in recognition of Mayor Taneichi's tireless work to enhance Misawa City and the relationship between the city and the base. One of the ci (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class China Shock)

Friendship in Friendship Park

Kazumasa Taneichi, left, the Misawa City mayor, stands beside U.S. Air Force Col. Kristopher W. Struve, right, the 35th Fighter Wing commander, during a service recognition ceremony at Misawa Air Base, Japan, June 5, 2019. During the ceremony, Taneichi and Struve planted a pine tree, Misawa City's official symbol, in MAB's Friendship Park to showcase the strong relationship between the city and the base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class China Shock)

Mayor Taneichi’s speech

Kazumasa Taneichi, the Misawa City mayor, delivers a speech during his service recognition ceremony at Misawa Air Base, Japan, June 5, 2019. Taneichi has served as the mayor during seven commanders' tenures in his 12-year career. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class China Shock)

The farewell speech

U.S. Air Force Col. Kristopher W. Struve, the 35th Fighter Wing commander, delivers a speech during a service recognition ceremony for Misawa City mayor, Kazumasa Taneichi, at Misawa Air Base, Japan, June 5, 2019. Attendees expressed the appreciation for Mayor Taneichi’s dedicated service to the U.S.-Japan alliance during the ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class China Shock)

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan --

Team Misawa members commemorated Misawa City Mayor Kazumasa Taneichi’s service to Misawa City and Misawa Air Base during a service recognition ceremony at Misawa Air Base, Japan, June 5.

Attendees expressed their appreciation for Taneichi’s dedicated service to the U.S.-Japan alliance during the ceremony, which included a speech by Col. Kristopher W. Struve, the 35th Fighter Wing commander, who shared his appreciation for Taneichi’s service and friendship.

“Mayor, for the last 12 years, you created a stronger bond between Misawa AB and the community,” said Struve. “Your leadership, guidance, counsel and friendship produced the best relationship across Japan between U.S. forces and the neighboring Japanese community. I can truly say the warmth of Misawa citizens is special and truly makes this my second home. I have learned from your leadership, and I deeply respect your friendship.”

Taneichi served as mayor for more than a decade, standing beside seven base commanders during his tenure.

“Ever since my assumption, I received tremendous help from successive commanders and the base community,” said Taneichi. “I would like to pay my deepest respect to everyone involved in building such a strong friendship.”

The bond between Misawa Air Base and Misawa City is commonly represented by the phrase "two cultures, one community," and Mayor Taneichi embraced this idea and began instilling his principles of co-existence and co-prosperity as soon as he assumed office on June 17, 2007.

The ceremony concluded the planting of a pine tree, Misawa City's official symbol, and the unveiling of a bench dedicated to Mayor Taneichi, placed at the center of Friendship Air Park, across the street from the base commissary.

“Thank you again for the support and friendship over the years,” said Taneichi. “I hope the bonds between the city and base will continue to be strengthened and also wish good health and happiness to everyone present today.”