CAMP ZAMA, Japan (Nov. 16, 2015) -- Soldiers, civilians and local national employees from U.S. Army Japan and I Corps (Forward) and U.S. Army Garrison Japan participated in the garrison's second annual Employee Appreciation Day Nov. 10 on Camp Zama.
The day of food, fellowship and games was held to show appreciation for the labor, support and accomplishments of the employees.
A kick-off of the day's events were held in Yano Fitness Center's gym with opening remarks from Maj. Gen. James Pasquarette, commander of USARJ.
"Today is for you- our Soldiers, our Department of the Army civilians and our great Japanese employees that work together to make this a great place to serve. So thank you," Pasquarette said. "This is just one little way today to say thank you."
In spite of the rainy weather, the day progressed with several activities and events around the installation, including a golf tournament, bowling tournament and several activities at Yano.
"Every once in a while it's good to say thank you, take a day out to have some camaraderie, play some games, enjoy friendly competition and refresh," said Col. William Johnson, commander of USAG Japan.
"It's really important to keep us motivated and Employee Appreciation Day really, really does that," said Melissa Charles, industrial hygiene technician for U.S. Army Medical Department Activities-Japan.
"I really appreciate the commanding general and garrison commander for having a day like today for us where we can have fun," said Kei Niimoto, chief for the Local National Classification in the Japanese Employment and Services Office. "But they show their appreciation to people working hard every day, and I feel really appreciated."
Several teams of employees by unit/directorate competed for the trophy in the Ichi Dan Cup events, which included games of four-person bowling, four-person golf scramble, 10-person tug of war and unit dodge ball.
Ichi Dan is an informal Japanese word coined at USAG Japan that means "one team."
The day ended when the team members from the Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation of USAG Japan were presented with the Ichi Dan Cup Trophy by Johnson for winning the most points in the overall competitions.