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Update from Team TOMODACHI
April 2018

TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program Mentees Meet with Influential Women Leaders in Washington, D.C. and New York City

From March 21 to 29, 2018, 50 mentees who are part of the TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program participated in activities and meetings in Washington D.C. and New York City where they met with influential women leaders and expanded their understanding of global leadership.

The kick-off in Washington D.C. included a series of intensive skill-building workshops covering team work, giving presentations, networking, and building confidence. Subsequent days included discussions on leadership with Susan Greenwell, Senior Vice President and Head of International Government Relations at MetLife, Inc. and Irene Hirano Inouye, President of the U.S.-Japan Council and; a networking dinner with professionals from a variety of fields; lunch with female Japanese diplomats; a panel discussion with Japanese women professionals organized by the Japan Institute for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship (JSIE); a U.S. Capitol tour; a “couples coffee” session where couples shared how they work as a team to pursue dual careers and have a fulfilling family life. Read More>>

The sixth TOMODACHI Daiwa House Student Leadership Conference convened in Los Angeles, participants learn how to become global leaders of tomorrow

From April 5 to 8, forty-one students (sixteen Japanese and twenty-five American) from across the West Coast convened in Los Angeles, California for the sixth TOMODACHI Daiwa House Student Leadership Conference.

This conference is a unique opportunity to nurture future leaders in the United States and Japan. It enables Japanese and American undergraduate and graduate students currently studying at a U.S. college or university to come together for leadership and development training. This year’s conference participants were selected from schools located in and around major West Coast cities including Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles and the islands of Hawaii.

This past conference was titled “U.S.-Japan Business and Community Partnerships: Practical Insights for Tomorrow’s Global Leaders.” After arriving at Los Angeles on April 5, the students gathered for an introduction of Daiwa House, TOMODACHI Program and what to expect during the Conference. After an overview of the program, students divided up into groups for icebreaker activities, which served as an opportunity to get to know one another and develop teambuilding. Read More>>

The Latest on TOMODACHI Programs and Activities

Students learn various leadership styles through TOMODACHI Sumitomo Scholars Spring Leadership Training program

From March 25 to 30, five TOMODACHI Sumitomo Corporation Scholarship Program Scholars visited Washington, D.C. as part of their Spring Leadership Training program. (To view the Winter Leadership Training program, click here.) The program spans across New York City and Washington, D.C. and presents the scholars with opportunities to meet and engage with leaders from a variety of sectors. In New York, the scholars had an opportunity to meet with Mr. Shingo Ueno, General Manager for the Americas; President and CEO of Sumitomo Corporation of Americas Group; Director and President of Sumitomo Corporation of Americas.

Takara Inoue reflected his most memorable moment of training as followed; “the interview with the CEO changed the way I saw leadership. He told me that leadership was not about leading, and I came to understand leadership as the everyday act of improving each other’s lives.” Read More>>

Ten female university students successfully complete TOMODACHI-STEM@Rice University Program in Houston and Washington, D.C. after six-week research and internship program

The ten women of the TOMODACHI-STEM@Rice University Program visited Washington, D.C. at the end of March for the last week of their six-week program.

Prior to their visit to Washington, D.C., the participants spent five weeks in Houston conducting research in a lab connected to their major and fields of interest at Rice University. In Houston, the first two weeks of the program consisted of various tours, panel discussions and seminars to get accustomed to the area and gain helpful insights from students and professors at the Rice University. One of the students who joined the participants was Natsumi Komatsu, a PhD candidate, 2015 TOMODACHI Sumitomo Corporation Scholarship Program scholar and 2017 STEM @ Rice University alumna. Natsumi spent several days connecting with the participants while facilitating panel discussions and serving as a guide on multiple expeditions around Houston. Read More>>

TOMODACHI Award Winners Travel to Silicon Valley to Present Their Business Plans

From March 26 to 29, 2018 the winning four teams of the TOMODACHI Social Entrepreneurship Award from the Campus Venture Grand Prix Competition 2017 traveled to Silicon Valley for a study tour.

The tour aimed at leveling up the top student startups in Japan by coordinating pitch meetings with founders and investors in Silicon Valley. Students, many of whom had never been to America, were required to prepare a 5-minute pitch in English and field questions at each meeting. While some teams initially struggled with this new challenge, by the end of the trip, each team was able to confidently pitch their business in English. Read More>>

Upcoming Programs and Events
May 12 - June 3

May - July
June 1- 2
June 9 - 10
June 10
TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework Theme Events (throughout Japan)
US Embassy-Keio SFC-TOMODACHI Entrepreneurship Seminar Pre-Seminars (throughout Japan)
TOMODACHI-Mitsui & Co. Leadership Program U.S. Delegates orientation (Los Angeles, California)
TOMODACHI J&J Disaster Nursing Training Program Pre-Trip Seminar (Sendai, Miyagi)
2017-2018 TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program Annual Conference (Tokyo)
TOMODACHI Alumni Activities
Alumni Meet with Ambassador William F. Hagerty at the 13th U.S.-Japan Council Business Advisory Board Meeting

March 14th 2018, four alumni from different programs attended an exclusive meeting with special guest U.S. Ambassador to Japan William F. Hagerty. This was the 13th U.S.-Japan Council Business Advisory Board (USJC BAB) Meeting and was held in Tokyo at the Tokyo American Club and was attended by over 70 guests inlcuding four TOMODACHI Alumni and prominent business executives.
During the Q&A session, Kazuki Kokubun, TOMODACHI Alumnus from Fukushima Prefecture, asked the final question: “Now that it has been seven years after the 3.11 disasters, how does the United States plan to continue to support or collaborate with the Tohoku Region in the future?” to which Ambassador Hagerty responded that he was going up to Fukushima that following Friday and that he looks forward to having first-hand knowledge of the current needs through the visit and that he hopes that will be more progress in the region. Read More>>

The 4th TOMODACHI KaoLINK Fukushima Rebranding Program takes place in Fukushima City, Fukushima Prefecture

The 4th TOMODACHI KaoLINK Fukushima Rebranding Program took place in Fukushima City, Fukushima Prefecture, on April 14 and 15, 2018.

The TOMODACHI KaoLINK Fukushima Program 2017-2018 provides opportunities for TOMODACHI alumni to learn tourism branding through the lens of revitalizing Fukushima Prefecture. The program aims for participants to discover the uniqueness and charm that can only be found in Fukushima and to utilize scent to boost tourism in the prefecture.

The 4th part of the program was held in Hanamiyama Park in Fukushima city, with the theme of "Discover and share the charm of Hanamiyama with your loved ones.” Read More>>

TOMODACHI Opportunities

Marketing & Communications Manager (Tokyo Office)

The U.S.-Japan Council (Japan) and the TOMODACHI Initiative is seeking a Marketing & Communications Manager that will develop and implement a comprehensive strategic communications program to develop the profile and brand of TOMODACHI among a diverse audience and stakeholders, including senior corporate executives, government leaders, recipients of support, donors, press and the general public. For more information and to apply, click here.

Intern, U.S.-Japan Council (Japan) & TOMODACHI Initiative (Tokyo Office)

The U.S.-Japan Council (Japan) and the TOMODACHI Initiative is seeking unpaid interns. U.S.-Japan Council (Japan) and TOMODACHI offer an exciting environment for interns to be exposed to non-profit, corporate, and government fields. Responsibilities for interns include creating and drafting documents, translation, website management, social media management, newsletter development support, public speaking, communication with program participants, designing presentations and posters, and event planning. For more information and to apply, click here.

Update from Team TOMODACHI - April 2018

For donors, supporters, and friends of the TOMODACHI Initiative and
the TOMODACHI Generation.



Led by the U.S.-Japan Council, and the United States Embassy Tokyo, the TOMODACHI Initiative is a public-private partnership 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.
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