• Kyodo

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A nonprofit organization launched on Wednesday a series of commemorative events at U.S. military bases in Japan to pay tribute to the victims of the Sept. 11 terror attacks in New York and Washington.

The Tokyo-based Asian Cultural Exchange Association’s program of events included an exhibition of paintings and a choral recital at the U.S. Yokosuka Naval Base in Kanagawa Prefecture.

After submitting a request to U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, the association, which organized similar events in New York in April, received permission to hold these events at the U.S. military base.

The association has scheduled memorial events at four other U.S. base locations. It has arranged events in Urasoe, Okinawa Prefecture, on Saturday and Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture, from Sept. 26 to 28.

Events are also planned for areas around the Misawa Air Base in Aomori Prefecture and the U.S. Yokota Air Base in Tokyo.

“Understanding foreign cultures is essential to preventing the recurrence of terrorism and wars,” said Etsuko Abe, the association’s director. “(The association) wants to deepen mutual understanding through culture and art.”

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