KURE, Japan (Jan. 22, 2013) -- The 83rd Ordnance Battalion hosted approximately 50 Japanese military, government and municipal community leaders for a New Year's Reception at the Harbor Club at Akizuni Pier 6, here, Jan. 16.

Lt. Col. Kevin D. McCarley, commander, 83rd Ord. Bn., opened the reception by thanking the Hiroshima Prefecture community for their continued support, loyal friendship and partnership.

"Through your kindness, cooperation and trust we are able to accomplish our mission while maintaining a great quality of life for our Soldiers, civilians and family members." said McCarley.

Tatsumi Tanaka, mayor, Etajima City, served as the guest speaker and explained the entire Hiroshima Prefecture is thankful the 83rd has conducted safe ammunition operations in addition to enhancing relationships with local citizens.

Tanaka also highlighted the importance of the American and Japanese bi-lateral relationship by referring to Japan's Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, remarks during his first interview after taking the position this past December.

"I want to reiterate what Prime Minister Abe stated, it's imperative to continue to build on the relationship of trust we enjoy under the U.S. and Japan alliance. The first step in turning Japan's foreign and security policy around is reinforcing our bond of friendship and establishing friendships under our alliance which is the cornerstone of Japanese diplomacy," explained Tanaka

Throughout the reception, Soldiers, civilians and family members and their Japanese counterparts enjoyed food and great music from the United States Army Japan band. It was a recipe that enabled everyone to strengthen partnerships by enhancing friendships which are vital and important.

"We greatly appreciate the lasting friendships of the past and seek to broaden and make stronger our partnerships in the future," said McCarley