2010 "Japanese/American POW Friendship Program"
Visit with US Ambassador John Roos
AP. Sep. 13
offers 'heartfelt apology' to U.S. POWs"
Luncheon hosted by Foreign Ministry's Director-General North American Affairs Bureau
the coin's significance
Lester Tenney designed and had manufactured the coin depicting the visitation
program. One side with American and Japanese flags crossed, with the title of
the program “Japanese/American POW Friendship Program” around the edge. And the
other side with the Eagle and barbed wire around the head of the Eagle, and
around the edges all the places (names like Bataan, Corregidor etc.) where
Americans were captured by the Japanese. Each participant gave these coins to
people in Japan as their gift of remembrance of this historic event.
of Lester Tenney,
Clay and Dorothy Perkins of Rancho Santa Fe, CA, also contributed funds for the production of these coins. (Plaque presented to Mr. Perkins)
In the evening, the group visited
the International Christian University and shared their POW experiences with students
Lester and Betty Tenney visited the gravesite of Mr. Toru Tasaka, who they had hosted 40 years earlier in San Diego.
The Tenneys and Mr. Tasaka developed a very special friendship that helped Lester overcome his bitter feelings toward Japan.
His widow calls the Tenneys, "Papa-san" and "Mama-san."
Don Versaw and his daughter Judy visited the gate of former Nittetsu Futase coalmine (Fukuoka #7B) where he had been forced to work. There was a plaque with a picture of the mine. He was greeted by Mr. Tetsuo Ikenushi, who was 15 years old when the war ended and who remembered B-29 food drops. Mr. Ikenushi and Mr. Versaw shared a lot of memories from those days.
Earl Szwabo and his wife Liz visited Ishihara Sangyo in Yokkaichi (Nagoya #5) for whom he had been forced to work. It was very emotional and rewarding for Earl to see the memorial that Ishihara Sangyo built for some of his comrades who died at the factory.
Ed Jackfert and Joe Alexander visited Showa Denko in Kawasaki for whom they had been forced to work. They met with company officials.
Robert Rosendahl visited Beppu where he and his son, Ben, had the opportunity to visit with some of the populations members who did experience the War in Japan.
The group visited Ryozen Kannon in Kyoto whose memorial hall keeps name cards of 48,000 foreign soldiers who died on Japanese territory.
The group returned to Tokyo and attended an exchange meeting hosted by members of the National Diet belonging to International IC. The meeting was arranged by member of the House of Councillors, Yukihisa Fujita.
Later in the afternoon, the group attended a press conference at the National Press Club. The entire press conference can viewed here.
The group attended the farewell party hosted by Vice Foreign Minister Koichi Takemasa
The group visited British Commonwealth War Cemetery in Yokohama where 48 Americans were memorialized. Most of them survived the Oryoku Maru- Enoura Maru- Brazil Maru voyage only to die in Moji. Ms. Keiko Tamura of POW Research Network Japan distributed the roster.