Today is a special day. Since my first visit to Okinawa in April 2022, I have had a vision for creating a farmers market between U.S. military bases in Japan and the local community – and today that vision became a reality.
At Camp Hansen, a U.S. Marine Corps installation located in the northern part of Okinawa’s main island, I joined U.S. servicemembers, their families, and members of the local community to inaugurate the Okinawa Farmers Market. This market brings healthy local specialty fruits and vegetables to consumers at Camp Hansen, and also provides the local farmers and businesses with a new customer.
Moreover, as a Mayor and Congressman, I have witnessed farmers markets bringing a community closer together, and I fully expect this market to foster a similar benefit between the people of Okinawa and the American men and women who are contributing to the defense of Japan. To me, this is the very definition of “win-win-win,” and I look forward to establishing more farmers markets at other U.S. bases across Japan.
I would like to thank III Marine Expeditionary Force Commander Lt. Gen. James Bierman, Marine Corps Installations Pacific Commander Maj. Gen. Stephen E. Liszewski, and Camp Hansen Commander Col. Rich Martin for their terrific support. I would also like to thank Kin Town Mayor Nakama Hajime and Onna Village Mayor Nagahama Yoshimi for their presence, which is a symbol of the strong U.S.-Japan partnership.