U.S. military veterans and civil servants with a history of service in Japan, including two current civilian employees of U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command at Detroit Arsenal, were invited to a luncheon reception by Consul General of Japan in Detroit, Mitsuhiro Wada, Oct. 5, 2018 at his official residence in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan."It was my pleasure to host this distinguished group of U.S. military veterans who served in Japan, along with their spouses, (many of whom are native to Okinawa). This event is one way the Government of Japan expresses its gratitude to U.S. service men and women for their significant contributions to the unshakeable U.S.-Japan alliance.Over the past seven decades, Japan and the U.S. have forged one of the world's closest and most important bilateral relationships. We've transformed remarkably from one-time enemies into trusted security allies, interdependent economic partners, and close friends.I am ever-mindful that our mutually-beneficial economic, governmental, cultural, and people-to-people interactions have flourished in an environment of: democracy, free markets, human rights, and rule of law. These are shared values embraced by Japanese and Americans alike, all of which have been defended, preserved, and honored by the veterans we recognized today. I am profoundly grateful for their service and their unique role in strengthening U.S.-Japan relations," said Wada.The reception included a luncheon with Japanese food, prepared by the Consul General's chef, and featured Okinawan dance and music presentations.The location of the annual event alternates between Ohio and Michigan every other year.