TOMODACHI Fund for Exchanges Renew Their Support for Tohoku
Five years after the Great East Japan Earthquake, support for next generation leaders from Tohoku continues
March 4, 2016 — Five years after the Great East Japan Earthquake, the TOMODACHI Initiative (TOMODACHI) announced the renewal of support from the “TOMODACHI Fund for Exchanges,” which will continue to provide exchanges between the U.S. and Japan and to invest in the next generation of young people in Tohoku.
The TOMODACHI Fund for Exchanges was established in 2012 through generous contributions from Toyota Motor Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation, and Hitachi, Ltd. To date, the Fund has supported approximately 700 young people in Tohoku who participated on 43 exchange programs.
The Fund provides grants to nonprofit organizations that apply for financial assistance for exchange programs. Three times a year, the TOMODACHI Initiative Program Committee meets and approves the most impactful educational and cultural exchange programs, as well as leadership development programs, that will be funded. These programs broaden the perspectives and potential of young people in the disaster-affected areas of Tohoku, giving them hope while providing the skills and opportunities they need to pursue their dreams.
Miyu Sugita, who participated in the TOMODACHI Spring Homestay Program, said, “As a high school student, I participated in an exchange program that was supported by the TOMODACHI Fund for Exchanges, and experienced an inspiring new world. After returning to Japan, I saw my daily life from a different perspective and made new discoveries. Through TOMODACHI, I met friends that motivate and encourage each other to become better next generation leaders. I believe that many young Tohoku students will have an amazing, eye-opening experience thanks to this Fund.”
Irene Hirano Inouye, President of the U.S.-Japan Council, remarked, “The TOMODACHI Initiative was born out of support for Japan’s recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake and has evolved alongside Tohoku. Toyota Motor Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation and Hitachi, Ltd., were the first leading Japanese companies to establish a Fund to support the TOMODACHI Initiative, providing opportunities to the disaster-affected youth in Tohoku who will become leaders of the next generation. I hope that global-minded youth who are interested in contributing to society will become leaders by participating in programs supported through this Fund.”
About the TOMODACHI Initiative
The 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. We seek to foster a “TOMODACHI generation” of young American and Japanese leaders who are committed to and engaged in strengthening U.S.-Japan relations, appreciate each other’s countries and cultures, and possess the global skills and mindsets needed to contribute to and thrive in a more cooperative, prosperous, and secure world. Visit us at www.tomodachi.org.
For inquiries, please contact:
TOMODACHI Initiative Tel: 03-4510-3400 E-mail: email@example.com