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Update from Team TOMODACHI
August & September 2020

Junior and Senior High School Students from All Over Japan Gather to Learn Ways to Realize Their Ideal Futures MyproRoom supported by the TOMODACHI Initiative,” a one-month online program for junior high and high school students, was held in July and August 2020. 41 students joined the online program, which enabled participants living in different areas of Japan to communicate and inspire one another.

In the first week of the program, the participants started thinking about their ideal future, and plan what they could do to realize it as a project during the coming month. For the second to fourth week, they chose either a “creative course,” in which they learned presentation and design skills, or an “online event course,” in which they planned an online event to share their thoughts, and then worked on their own projects before the final presentation and event. They presented their final works at the report-sharing event, “Online Project Fes!”
One of the students who participated in the program in July shared his own experience with refusing to go to school, as well as other students’ opinions on the issue through SNS. He also discussed the necessity of mutual understanding between students who refuse to go to school and teachers. During the presentation, he shared his enthusiasm for creating a safe space where students and teachers can have a conversation. The audience had an active discussion on the topic, with one participant asking, “what can classmates do?” Another student planned a discussion session, with the desire to create a space for the audience to experience the fun of having various talks. His discussion topic was “how can Japanese people work happily?” and he planned to gather opinions from the audience from the perspectives of “what individuals can do” and “what companies/organizations can do.” Read More>>

The Latest on TOMODACHI Programs and Activities

TOMODACHI J&J Disaster Nursing Training Program Holds First Alumni Reunion Online

On August 23, 2020, a reunion was held online for the TOMODACHI J&J Disaster Nursing Training Program, with 15 participants, including first through fifth year program alumni, joining the event. The online reunion made it possible for alumni from different program years to interact with one another. After sharing their updates, the alumni discussed their current situations and futures in small groups, reflecting on the impact of the program. Read More>>

Upcoming Programs and Events

October - December

October 4

October 18

October 24 - 25, November 8

October 31

November 14

November 21 - 22

November 22

December 6

December 18

December 19

December 19 - 20

January 30 - 31

US Embassy-Keio SFC-TOMODACHI Entrepreneurship Seminar

TOMODACHI High School Women Career Mentoring Online Program in Tohoku supported by the TOMODACHI Combini Fund "Opening Session" (online)

TOMODACHI RISE Leadership Program Theme Event Kanto Region Team A (online)

TOMODACHI High School Women Career Mentoring Online Program in Tohoku supported by the TOMODACHI Combini Fund “Young Americans Workshop” (online)

TOMODACHI RISE Leadership Program Theme Event Kansai-Chugoku-Shikoku Region (online)

TOMODACHI RISE Leadership Program Theme Event Okinawa Region (online)

TOMODACHI High School Women Career Mentoring Online Program in Tohoku supported by the TOMODACHI Combini Fund “Session with International Exchange Students” (online)

TOMODACHI RISE Leadership Program Theme Event Tohoku-Hokkaido Region Team A (online)

TOMODACHI RISE Leadership Program Theme Event Tohoku-Hokkaido Region Team B (online)

TOMODACHI RISE Leadership Program Theme Event Kyushu Region (online)

U.S.-Japan Council Annual Conference Signature Series – Next Generation (online)

TOMODACHI High School Women Career Mentoring Online Program in Tohoku supported by the TOMODACHI Combini Fund “Session with Female Professionals” (online)

TOMODACHI High School Women Career Mentoring Online Program in Tohoku supported by the TOMODACHI Combini Fund “Final Presentations” (online)

TOMODACHI Alumni Activities

What is BLM? TOMODACHI Critical Conversations Series Offers an Opportunity to Learn from the BLM Tokyo Co-Founder for 50 Participants

On July 25, 2020, the first of the three-part TOMODACHI Critical Conversations Series titled “Part 1: What is BLM?” was held, with a goal of facilitating peer-to-peer learning opportunities for the youth of Japan and the United States on the widespread international impact of the #BlackLivesMatter movement and subsequent protests of support in Japan. Read More>>


“Let’s start with the things we CAN change”: Discussing the impact of COVID-19 on the Education Industry in Japan and imagining what the future holds

On Sunday, August 16th 2020 four speakers came together to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the educational industry in Japan. We heard from these four speakers at the TOMODACHI Generation Summit in September 2019, before the pandemic outbreak began, to discuss the education industry in Japan from a local, federal, entrepreneurial, and technological perspective. Read More>>

Part 2 of the TOMODACHI Critical Conversations Focuses on the Japanese American Experience on Race

On September 5, 2020, the TOMODACHI Critical Conversations Series Part 2, titled “Voices of the Japanese American Experience on Race,” took place online, joined by 50 participants.

Part 2 looked at the Japanese American experience, addressed concepts like allyship and the model minority myth, and looked at the impact race has on our daily lives and how it can help us play a role in advancing US-Japan relations. Read More>>

“Leadership in the Post-COVID Era:” 26 TOMODACHI Alumni from Tohoku Learn About Leadership During Unprecedented Situations 

Marking its eighth year, the TOMODACHI Generation Global Leadership Academy (GLA) 2020 was held online from August 22 to 23 and on September 6, 2020. The event was attended by 26 high school and college TOMODACHI Alumni (past program participants) from Tohoku. Read More>>


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

<Koki Yamamoto>

For this interview, we spoke with Koki Yamamoto, an alumnus of the TOMODACHI Summer 2014 Softbank Leadership Program. He participated in the U.S.-Japan Council Annual Conference held in Silicon Valley, California, in 2016 as one of the alumni speakers, and shared his feelings toward his hometown and his thinking at the time of the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011.

In 2020, he opened a bar called Sachi in Namie where youth can come and spend time together. Read More>>

Recruitment for TOMODACHI Program Participants
Please forward and share these opportunities with people who may be interested.

TOMODACHI RISE Leadership Program 2021

The application for 2021 Regional Leader is now open for TOMODACHI Alumni to continue learning and using leadership skills by planning Welcome Events and Theme Events. The TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Impact for Social Empowerment (RISE) Leadership Program will change the dynamics of alumni engagement by furthering opportunities for alumni to connect, empower, and inspire one another in their respective regions.

Details can be found here.

To apply, please complete the Application Form:

Deadline: November 1, 2020 at 23:59 Japan Standard Time

TOMODACHI Opportunities

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.

*Important Announcement Regarding the Newsletter: Due to the postponement or cancellation of various 2020 TOMODACHI programs during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, our newsletter will now be delivered every two months. The next edition will be out at the end of November, as a combined issue for October and November. 

Update from Team TOMODACHI - August & September 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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