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Update from Team TOMODACHI
April 2020

TOMODACHI Alumni RISE Leadership Program Orientation Held on Online for the First Time

From March 20 to 22, 2020, the TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Impact for Social Empowerment (RISE) Leadership Program kicked off with a three-day online workshop.
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the event was changed from an in-person workshop in Tokyo to an online-workshop.

Regional Leaders, selected from TOMODACHI Alumni community from six regions across Japan, attended the workshop to gain valuable skills needed to identify and tackle social issues, create events, and bolster their regional alumni communities. This program is a year-long multi-part leadership development program that focuses on social innovation at the local level.
Through group discussions, remarks from guest speakers, and other breakout sessions, the Regional Leaders and Mentors, who are also selected in the same six regions from TOMODACHI Alumni and support Regional Leaders,  began to build relationships — both within their local teams and across regions — based on trust, gained insights on ways to address local community issues while engaging TOMODACHI Alumni, learned about event planning, and worked together to develop visions, goals and action plans for their Welcome and Theme Events. Read More>>

Upcoming Programs and Events

May – June

June 26

June 27 – 28

August 13 – 21

August 28 – September 14

TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Impact for Social Empowerment (RISE) Leadership Program: Welcome Events (Online)

TOMODACHI Sumitomo Corporation Scholarship Program Post-Program Presentations and Award Ceremony (Online)

RISE leadership two-day training workshop

TOMODACHI-STEM @ Rice University Program (Houston, Texas and Washington, D.C.)

TOMODACHI-U.S. Embassy Go for Gold Leadership Program (Los Angeles and New York City)

Message from the TOMODACHI Initiative in Response to the Recent Novel Coronavirus Outbreak

The novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”) outbreak that was first detected in China is now having an increased impact on business, events, and travel in Japan and beyond. The U.S.-Japan Council (USJC) continues to monitor the situation in Japan and the United States and implement the expert recommendations of national and international authorities including the World Health Organization (WHO), United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW). In addition, the USJC regularly tracks guidance from both governments and local municipalities where the programs are held.  

USJC’s highest priority is the safety of all participants and the effectiveness of our programs.  As the situation evolves and new information and guidelines from the WHO, CDC, and/or MHLW are released, USJC will coordinate with stakeholders and donors to determine whether to continue, cancel, or postpone each program on a case-by-case basis. For more information, click here.

In Memoriam: President Irene Hirano Inouye

U.S.-Japan Council President Irene Hirano Inouye passed away on April 7, following an extended illness. The TOMODACHI staff extend their deepest condolences to her family.   

If you are interested in giving to the U.S.-Japan Council and the TOMODACHI Initiative in honor of President Irene Hirano Inouye, please visit the U.S.-Japan Council’s web page for more information.

Also, there is a special page for  memories and tributes, Remembering Irene Hirano Inouye, on the U.S-Japan Council website.

TOMODACHI Alumni Activities

TOMODACHI Alumni Activities Q&A with TOMODACHI Program Participants and TOMODACHI Alumni

<Yuki Nishimura>

Yuki Nishimura is an alumnus of the Building the TOMODACHI Generation: Morgan Stanley Ambassadors Program 2016.  

Four years after participating in his TOMODACHI program, Mr. Nishimura is now enrolled in University of Tsukuba’s Ph.D. Program in Empowerment Informatics. Through his Ph.D. program, Mr. Nishimura is learning how engineering systems can improve people’s everyday lives and has started research on mobile robots to reduce the labor burden and the development of personal mobility devices. He is also managing the construction of a search system that can find higher education institutions and workplaces suited for the individual needs of students with developmental disabilities. Read More>>

<Marina Yagi>

Marina Yagi is a participant of the 2019 TOMODACHI-UNIQLO Fellowship.
In 2019, she enrolled at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) to study international business strategy for an MPS in Global Fashion Management. In her classes, she is studying business policy and international culture and business. Next semester, she has marketing and branding and retail classes. She shares her study abroad experiences in the U.S. and practices listening to high-level English exchanges, beyond daily conversation, while keeping an English dictionary close by. Read More>>

TOMODACHI Opportunities

Internship 2020 - the TOMODACHI Alumni Leadership Program (Tokyo Office)

The U.S.-Japan Council (Japan) is looking for a qualified intern to support the TOMODACHI Alumni Leadership Program. The Program produces impactful and innovative programming for program participants who have experienced a TOMODACHI program to take the next step in their journey. We seek an intern who can assist the Alumni Manager and participate in various stages of engagement to support the next generation of leaders dedicated to the U.S.-Japan relationship. The intern hired for this position will need strong critical thinking skills and excellent attention to detail in order to integrate into our vibrant and passionate team. Be prepared to work in our fast-paced bilingual and bicultural working environment. You will finish this internship having gained a broad experience in various aspects of project management, marketing, social media, nonprofit, public-private partnerships and civic engagement. 
For more information, click here.
Please send applications to

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

The U.S.-Japan Council (Japan) and the TOMODACHI Initiative are 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 2020

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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