YOKOSUKA, Japan (March 28, 2013) – U.S. 7th Fleet sailors received small tokens of appreciation in the form of the Japanese art of origami for their efforts during Operation Tomodachi.
Origami artist Ms. Chiyoko Takeda presented over 250 handcrafted origami koma or spinning tops to the offices of the 7th Fleet via Navy Region Japan Chaplains who accepted the generous gifts.
“I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping us when the great earthquake hit,” said Takeda. “What you did really impressed me and I would like to show my appreciation.”
The Chaplains are assisting with the distribution of the tops and letters titled “Thank you. From Japan” to the commands and units that were directly involved in the humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts during the aftermath of the devastating Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of March 2011.
“The true measure of friendship is by the trials we endure and overcome together. It is the remembrance and gratitude shared between us that strengthen the relationship,” said Chief Religious Programs Specialist Tshombe Harris, U.S. 7th Fleet Chaplains Office. “Being that I was personally involved, like so many service members, knowing that Mrs. Takeda personally felt in her heart to express her gratitude through these carefully crafted origami komas is a symbol of true Tomodachi.”
The U.S. 7th Fleet mobilized 22 ships, 132 aircraft and more than 15,000 personnel to support the Japan Self Defense Force (JSDF) in the largest recovery effort in their history. The relief operation was named Tomodachi, after the Japanese word for “friend.”