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2013 Tomodachi Bowl to Feature First Downs Forged in Friendship

For Immediate Release — March 5, 2013 | Yokota AB Schools
: Department of Defense Education Activity Pacific Public Affairs Officer | DSN: 644-5657  | Cell: +81-(0)80-2703-0632

YOKOTA AIR BASE, JAPAN — March 5, 2013 — Sportsmanship will be front and center as all-star athletes from across Department of Defense Education Activity Pacific high schools and the American School in Japan join forces as Team USA to square off against their Japanese counterparts on Team JAPAN in a premiere football matchup literally named for friendship: The Tomodachi Bowl.

Representing Team JAPAN at this year’s event will be teams from Waseda University High School and Hosei High School and Team USA will include students from ASIJ, Kinnick, Yokota, Zama American, Seoul American, Kadena and Kubasaki High Schools.

As an outgrowth of the now defunct NFL Global Junior Championship tournament formerly held the week before the Super Bowl, the first Camellia Bowl took place in 2010 as a way to continue providing Japanese and American youth from communities across the Kanto Plain an opportunity to cultivate international friendship and national pride by representing their respective countries.

The annual event was cancelled in 2011 due to the devastating aftermath of the Tohoku Earthquake that occurred March 11, 2011. In 2012, the organizing committee for the former Camellia Bowl officially adopted the name Tomodachi Bowl in honor of the good will and mutual respect fostered between Japan and the U.S. during the joint disaster recovery efforts that followed the Tohoku Earthquake.

While a contact sport like American football may seem a curious choice to promote friendship and cultural exchange, Japan’s interest in football actually dates back to 1934 when the Japan American Football Association first introduced collegiate competition between Rikkyo, Meiji and Waseda Universities.

With crowds typically numbering well over 500 each year, the Tomodachi Bowl enjoys a unique tradition of top dignitaries and senior military leaders joining fellow fans in the stands to cheer for their favorite team competing on the gridiron.

Kickoff takes place 2 p.m. Sunday at Yokota High School’s Bonk Field located on Yokota Air Base. The event is open to all SOFA status personnel and their dependents with base access and special arrangements have been made for the large crowd of Japanese fans attending via invitation. Yokota AB will host a number of events leading up to the Tomodachi Bowl according to the following schedule:

11:00 | Elementary grades 4-6 Flag Football Game:
Japanese primary school vs. American primary school students

11:30 | Elementary grade 1-3 Flag Football Game:
Japanese vs. American

12:10 | Junior HS "Rough Touch" football game:
Japanese Hurricanes vs. American Little Tigers

12:50 | Team JAPAN and Team USA begin warm-ups on the field

13:40 | Special Addresses delivered by various dignitaries and VIPs in attendance

13:50 | Japanese and American anthems performed by PACAF band of the Pacific

13:55 | Dignitaries/VIPs, referees and team captains meet at midfield for coin toss

14:00 | Kickoff for 2013 "Tomodachi Bowl"

An awards ceremony and photo opportunity for the participants will follow the game.

For the first time, the Tomodachi Bowl will air live via webcast on the DoDEA Pacific Far East Streamcasting Network (FESN) thanks to volunteer efforts by teachers and students at Yokota High School. A recent version of Adobe Flash, modern web browser and high speed internet connection are required to view the game online. Coverage begins Sunday at 1:45 p.m. here:

American Forces Network Tokyo will also be providing a live radio broadcast on Eagle 810 on the AM dial beginning Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

The Tomodachi Bowl is a jointly organized by Japanese, military and school officials including Ko Hirasawa of the Kanto Football Coaches Association and Tim Pujol of Yokota High School.

To arrange media access to the event, please contact Kaori Matsukasa (Kobayashi) with the 374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs Office at DSN: 225-7203 or by March 6.

For general event information about the Tomodachi Bowl, please contact Tim Pujol of Yokota High School at DSN: 225-9827.

Recent Media Coverage of the Tomodachi Bowl (formerly Camellia Bowl):

A video synopsis of the 2012 Tomodachi Bowl courtesy of USAG Japan Public Affairs:

A Stars and Stripes article about the 2012 Tomodachi Bowl:
“Things learned, observed during Tomodachi Bowl I Sunday at Yokosuka”

CNN ScreenshotA CNN article about the 2010 Camellia Bowl:
“Friday night lights: American football in Japan a high school hit”

About DoDEA Pacific:

The first organized schools for the children of U.S. military personnel serving in the Pacific were established in 1946 during post-World War II reconstruction. Throughout the decades, DoD schools evolved to become a comprehensive and high-performing K-12 school system solely dedicated to educating the children of America’s heroes. Today, DoDEA Pacific’s 49 schools serve over 23,500 children of U.S. military and eligible DoD civilian personnel families stationed throughout the Pacific theater. The DoDEA Pacific teaching, administrative and school support team includes more than 3,300 full-time professionals. The schools are geographically organized into four districts: Guam, Japan, Okinawa and South Korea.

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DoDEA Pacific Public Affairs

Unit 35007
APO, AP 96376
DSN: 315-644-5657
From the States: 011-81-6117-44-5657

The initiates and manages DoDEA's communications and outreach efforts for the Pacific to include Guam, Japan, Okinawa, South Korea. The office is responsible for media relations, internal information programs and communication with students, parents, teachers, school administrators and the public.