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7th Fleet Band cleans beach in Japan.

The U.S. 7th Fleet Band Far East Edition recently cleaned the Painagama Beach shoreline in Miyakojima, Japan, one day after the band arrived on the island for a friendship concert. The 23 band members are the most recent Sailors to visit the island since USS Defender (MCM 2) made a port call visit at Hirara Port in Miyakojima in the fall of 2010.

U.S. Consulate General Naha Deputy Principal Officer Claire Kaneshiro, said the consulate likes to do community service events whenever there is a military visit in the Okinawa prefecture of Japan, where there is no military installation.

"We coordinated with the city of Miyakojima and asked what would be a helpful community relations event for the city," Kaneshiro said. "The city said they would like to do the beach cleanup.

"This is a great grassroots example of our commitment to environmental protection," Kaneshiro said. "While living in Japan we have access to world-class historic sites, amazing natural parks and beaches, and it is a great way of showing of how we view ourselves as part of the community."

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The Sailors devoted the early morning to the community service project, landscaping the white sandy beach and picking up trash.

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Senior Chief Musician Joe Rundall, 7th Fleet Band senior enlisted leader and assistant director, said it was nice seeing the smiles on the Sailors faces as they picked up trash on the beach.

"It's good to see them do other things than just play music, which is what they normally do all the time," Rundall said. "Community service projects like this help keep Sailors sharp in the event of an actual humanitarian aid mission."

MU3 Camellia Akhamie, a drummer for the 7th Fleet Band, said everything went well and this was the second time in her naval career that she took part in a beach cleanup.

"It shows the people who live in the area that we care about other places in the world," Akhamie said.

Story by MCs(SW/AW) Kenneth R. Hendrix, Commander U.S. /th Fleet.

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Title Annotation:This Just in
Author:Hendrix, Kenneth R.
Publication:All Hands
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Feb 1, 2011
Words:345
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