Ambassador Kennedy’s schedule in Okinawa on February 13

The following schedule was issued by U.S. Consulate General Naha on February 13.

Morning

[Informal meeting with Kadena Special Olympic hosts]

Eunice Kennedy Shriver, younger sister of the late President John F. Kennedy, established the Special Olympics in 1968. For this reason, Ambassador Kennedy is deeply interested in events related to the Special Olympics. The Ambassador held an informal meeting with Kadena Special Olympic hosts and encouraged their activities.

The hosts provided the following explanation of their activities:

The Kadena Special Olympics has been held at Kadena Air Base for people with special needs. In the first Olympics in 2000, only 100 persons participated, but the number has increased by about fifteen-fold. The Olympics have grown to become the largest regional event supported by the U.S. military in the Pacific region.

Eighteen games and an art exhibition are held in a one-day event. Music and other kinds of entertainment are also offered for participating athletes and their families.

In 2013, 1,460 athletes took part in the event, with support from 500 Japanese and 1,800 American volunteers. Ninety-nine percent of the athletes were from more than 77 nursing homes in Okinawa.

[Encouragement for U.S. service members in Okinawa and their families at Camp Foster]

Met with some 200 members of the four branches of the armed forces in Okinawa and their families at Camp Foster, thanked them for their contributions to U.S.-Japan security, and gave them words of encouragement.

Midday

[Visit to U.S. Naval Hospital]

Visited the U.S. Naval Hospital that was built in March 2013 and received from an official the below briefing on U.S.-Japan cooperation at the hospital.

U.S. Naval Hospital accepts six Japanese doctors every year to help them acquire skills that can be applied to international activities in the future by learning the differences between the U.S. and Japan on the medical front.

In cooperation with a local nursing school, the hospital offers study tours, etc.

Afternoon

[Visit to Camp Schwab]

Visited Camp Schwab by motor vehicle and received a briefing on the Futenma replacement facility.

Departed from Naha Airport in Okinawa at around 2 p.m.