Excerpt of Remarks on the TOMODACHI Summer 2012 Coca-Cola Educational Homestay Program
September 22, 2012
“We were talking to [Hikaru] Suzuki at the beginning of the evening, and I was thinking about the poise, the dreams, the aspirations, and the drive that the young lady has. I was just so impressed. It really comes down to the fact that these children have seized an opportunity, and have seized an opportunity that corporations like mine have had the privilege to provide. I feel very humbled because this is something that we need to do, we should do, and we very much want to do.”
“[During] my management committee’s Monday morning meeting, we were reading some of the letters that have been written by these same students, and the words that kept coming up was, ‘It was like a dream.’ It was like a dream not only because I was able to see things and experience things that I just didn’t think I was able to again, after the disasters of 3.11. It was a dream because I was also able to connect with other young people who were from Japan … that had been through the same experience as I’ve been through.
And when we read that, I turned to my team and I said, ‘Let’s double our participation.’
So I called the Ambassador, and I told the Ambassador that the Coca-Cola Company wants to double our support for 2013 and 2014. So we will be sending 300 students over the 3 years, and it’s a privilege just to see that we could have some small positive impact.”