What is the TOMODACHI Initiative?

tomodachi-logo-squareThe TOMODACHI Initiative is a public-private partnership between the U.S.-Japan Council and the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. Born out of support for Japan’s recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake, TOMODACHI invests in the next generation of Japanese and American leaders through educational and cultural exchanges as well as leadership programs. 

To advance our vision, TOMODACHI supports activities in the following areas:


Meet the TOMODACHI Generation

Ryo Serizawa

Ryo Serizawa is a second-year student at Iwaki High School in Fukushima Prefecture. He participated in the TOMODACHI Summer 2012 Softbank Leadership Program at the University of California, Berkeley. Read his story »

Arimoto Atsuko

Arimoto Atsuko is from Okuma City, Fukushima prefecture.  She is currently studying abroad through a scholarship provided by TOMODACHI Initiative and BEYOND Tomorrow.  Read her story »

Rachel Tang

Rachel Tang is Rachel Tang is a student at Pacifica High School who participated in the TOMODACHI MUFG International Exchange Program 2013 in Japan. Read her story »

Ryohei Kawanishi

Ryohei Kawanishi is from Tottori prefecture in Japan and had been living in London when he was accepted to the TOMODACHI UNIQLO Fellowship.  Through the fellowship, he will be attending Parsons The New School for Design to obtain an MFA in Fashion Design and Society. Read his story »

Minori Endo

Minori Endo lives in Ishinomaki City in Miyagi Prefecture and is a first-year student at Ishinomaki Senshu University. She participated in the TOMODACHI Summer 2012 BEYOND Tomorrow U.S. Program. Read her story »

Keita Abe

Keita Abe is a third-year Business Management student at Ishinomaki Senshu University and a native of Osaki City in Miyagi Prefecture. He participated in the 1st TOMODACHI TAC-Keio SFC Entrepreneurship Seminar and Business Plan Competition in February 2012. Read his story »

Ayaka Ogawa

Ayaka Ogawa lost her entire family on March 11, 2011 when the tsunami struck her hometown of Kamaishi in Iwate Prefecture. She moved to the United States in the Fall of 2012 for a one-year study program in Michigan, and shared her initial impressions with us. Read her story »

Haruna Shiraiwa

Haruna participated in the TOMODACHI Summer 2012 Softbank Leadership Program at the University of California, Berkeley.  After returning to Japan, she established TOMOTRA, which offers tours of Iwaki City. Read her story »

Koto Oota

Koto participated in in the TOMODACHI Summer 2013 Coca-Cola Educational Homestay Program and had an opportunity to live in Burlington, Vermont. She was invited to the US Ambassador’s residence to participate in a roundtable with other TOMODACHI alumni where she shared her experience. Read her story »


Meet the TOMODACHI Donors

Why do top Japanese and U.S. business leaders support TOMODACHI?

 Masayoshi Son


Akio Toyoda

Toyota Motor Corporation

Tadashi Yanai

Fast Retailing Co., Ltd.

metlifeSachin N. Shah

MetLife Alico Japan

Masayoshi Son (Chairman and CEO, Softbank)

"The students from the disaster-affected areas will have difficult times ahead.  But, if through this program I can change one, even two lives which will in turn affect their families, our children and our friends, and they are provided the opportunity to challenge themselves, to realize that the world is a big place and that the skies are high and blue out there in the world, I will have done my part." Read more »

Akio Toyoda (President and CEO, Toyota Motor Corporation)

"[ I] was invited to the US Embassy to listen to a woman [Ayaka Ogawa] speak.  I remember to this day about what she said — how we 'gave her a dream.'  Something terrible had happened in her life but she was trying to move forward, pursuing a dream, and I was able to be a part of providing that dream to her." Read more »

Tadashi Yanai (Founder and President, Fast Retailing-UNIQLO)

“I believe that there needs to be a trend for young people in general to look beyond Japan when thinking of development and growth opportunities.  We have decided to join the TOMODACHI Initiative because of these beliefs.” Read more »

Sachin N. Shah (President and CEO, MetLife Alico Japan)

“The TOMODACHI MetLife Women's Leadership Program will encourage program participants to grow as individuals and professionals, contributing to women's empowerment in Japan." Read more »


TOMODACHI Strategic Partners

   Honda_cSlo_color Print   MetLife Alico_Japanese_Blue (2)    PruBYC_BlueBlack_R  SumitomoCorp-1line_L SUNTORY   T_03_01_Rd_Wh-(1)

Learn More »









US-Japan Council
Embassy of the United States Tokyo, Japan