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Update from Team TOMODACHI

August 2016

Twenty Middle and High School Students from Three Prefectures in Tohoku Travel to California on the 5th TOMODACHI MUFG International Exchange Program 2016

From July 23 to August 6, twenty students from the three Tohoku prefectures--Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima—traveled to Los Angeles, California to experience a homestay and cultural exchange activities on the TOMODACHI MUFG International Exchange Program 2016
During the program, the middle and high school students from Japan were invited to an event held at the residence at the Consulate-General of Japan in Los Angeles. The participants received a warm welcome from Mr. Akira Chiba, the newly inaugurated Consul General, and met with U.S.-Japan Council President Ms. Irene Hirano Inouye and former Chairman of the Board, Mr. Thomas Iino, and it was an opportunity for a friendly interaction between the participants and guests.
Other activities during the program included visiting the Japanese American National Museum and the Tanaka Farm run by third-generation Japanese Americans. These trips deepened their understanding of U.S.-Japan relations and the history of Japanese Americans. Furthermore, the students toured the Yakult USA factory and interacted with American culture and language through volunteer activities and English classes. Read More>>
This program is made possible by the generous sponsorship by the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group.

100 Tohoku High School Students Develop Plans to Create the Future for their Communities on the TOMODACHI Summer 2016 SoftBank Leadership Program

From July 21 to August 10, 2016, one hundred students from the Tohoku region – Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima prefectures – traveled to America and participated in the TOMODACHI Summer 2016 SoftBank Leadership Program and learn about the Y-PLAN (Youth, Plan, Learn, Act, Now!), an intensive community revitalization program run by the University of California, Berkeley.

The three-week program commenced with a team building session in which the students were divided into four groups. While in these groups, the students spent the first week exploring their own stories, sharing them with others, and taking an intensive workshop focused on developing a plan for community building and sustainability.
In this discussion-based workshop, the instructor solicited ideas and opinions from the students. The students were hesitant at first, due to the difference in classroom style in Japanese schools. However, as they became accustomed to this classroom style, they began to speak up and raise their hands to participate in the discussions.
During the three-week training abroad in America, the high school students learned leadership skills through friendly competition between the 100 colleagues and program participants. They reflected upon the current situation and future of Tohoku, discussed the “Present and Future of Tohoku,” and took their first steps to becoming the next generation of Tohoku leaders. Read More>>
The Latest on TOMODACHI Programs and Activities

Fukushima High School Students Receive Applause from 200 People in New York After Conveying their Feelings through the Japanese Folksong "Furusato"

From August 16 to 21, 2016, eight students from the music club of Fukushima Futaba Mirai Gakuen High School traveled to New York to participate in a workshop with the New York Philharmonic through the TOMODACHI Suntory Fukushima Mirai Music Program. The program was launched in February 2016, and aims to help “rehabilitate the hearts” of the students through music, five years after the Great East Japan Earthquake. 

In the United States, the students participated in a music composition program run by the renowned New York Philharmonic and interacted with American student composers. This culminated in a concert in which the students performed their original music they composed in front of two hundred people at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center.

The club leader, Issei Endo, who continues live in an evacuation shelter since the disaster, reflected, “It was a rare opportunity to interact with renowned players. In the piece, I wanted to convey how I met different people and how I gradually found hope for recovery of the disaster after I lost everything in the Great East Japan Earthquake.”

Kumpei Iki (clarinet player) and Takeru Saito (piano player), recipients of the TOMODACHI Suntory Music Scholarship Program, performed jazz pieces which captured the hearts of the audience. Read More>>

TOMODACHI High School Women Career Mentoring Program in Fukushima Step 1

From August 18-21, 2016, Step 1 of the TOMODACHI High School Women Career Mentoring Program in Fukushima 2016, entitled “Dance Workshop with the Young Americans”, took place in Tokyo. One hundred twenty two sophomore high school women throughout Fukushima prefecture were selected to participate in this career mentoring program, which consists of four steps.
During the program, the women participated in a song and dance workshop led by the Young Americans, an American non-profit organization dedicated to music education and building confidence through music, and they performed a show on the last day.
In the four days that comprised of step 1 of the program, the participants learned the importance and satisfaction of creating something with a group, opening themselves up to new challenges, and trusting teammates. This experience help prepare the participants for Step 2: Session with Foreign Exchange Students Studying in Japan, which will take place from October 29-30, 2016. Read More>>

This program is funded through the TOMODACHI Combini Fund which is supported by Lawson and FamilyMart Co., Ltd.

The 2016 TOMODACHI Toshiba Science & Technology Leadership Academy Concludes with Strengthened Ties Among Students and Teachers from Japan and the U.S.

From July 31-August 7, 2016, 16 high school students and eight teachers from Japan and the United States gathered in Tokyo for the TOMODACHI Toshiba Science & Technology Leadership Academy. United by their shared passion toward Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM), the participants were driven by their borderless aspiration to create a disaster-resilient global community.
The various group activities were under the theme, “Developing Resilient and Smart Communities”, in which the students were split into four teams and explored how science ensures global safety. They were given introductory lectures on smart communities, the present and future of technology, and disaster mapping, as aid for their analyses and final presentations to be shared at the closing ceremony. Read More>>

American University Students from the Winning Teams of the Building the TOMODACHI Generation Program Reunite and Present Civil Society Projects in Japan

The Building the TOMODACHI Generation closing session was held at the Reconstruction Agency in Tokyo on August 10, to celebrate the completion of the third year of the program.
From August 2-11, 2016, American university students traveled to Japan for a ten-day visit. These students had won the trip while participating in the two-week program in February 2016, which brought together Japanese and American university students to Washington, D.C. to learn about civil society and its role and function in the U.S. and in Japan.
At the end of the program, the student groups developed projects that were presented to the Reconstruction Agency in Tokyo. The session enabled students to deepen their knowledge of the countless initiatives that the Agency is working on, and participants immediately began to think about solutions based on their knowledge that they gained through the program. Read More>>
This program is generously supported by Toyota Motor Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation and Hitachi, Ltd. through the TOMODACHI Fund for Exchanges, as well as by Morgan Stanley.

High School Students from Japan and the United States Learn About Social Entrepreneurship and Leadership in Tokyo, Fukushima and Washington, D.C.

Nine high school students from Tohoku and Tokyo flew to Washington, DC to join nine students from Washington, DC public schools to explore topics on leadership, culture, community engagement, social entrepreneurship, diversity and historical memory on the TOMODACHI U.S.-Japan Youth Exchange Program. In Washington, DC the students met with social entrepreneurs and learned about programs that help diverse populations and immigrants, while exploring the connections between Japan and the United States.
The group then traveled to Japan and spent two weeks in Tokyo and Fukushima. By participating fully in both sides of the program, participants gained a deeper understanding of their own culture through the eyes of their partners, while honing their skills in global competence by working with a diverse team. Read More>>
This program was funded by TOMODACHI’s Fund for Exchanges through generous contributions from Toyota Motor Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation, and Hitachi, Ltd.  Participation by the alumni were funded through the TOMODACHI Alumni Leadership Program supported by Prudential Foundation.

Tohoku Nursing Students Travel to the United States to Learn About Disaster Nursing and Participate in Hands-On Training

In its second year, the TOMODACHI J&J Disaster Nursing Training Program took twelve nursing students who study in Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima prefectures and three mentors to New York, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C. from August 6-21, 2016. This program aims to support the capacity building of nurses in the Tohoku region by visiting facilities and organizations specializing in disaster medicine and nursing and meeting leaders of the field in the United States, as well as in Japan.

In the U.S., the participant shared their experience from the Great East Japan Earthquake and also listed to those who experienced and supported the rescue and evacuation of 9.11 and Hurricane Sandy. The participants also visited Johnson & Johnson’s headquarters in New Jersey, where they learned about the history of the company and their disaster relief efforts.

In Washington, D.C, the students took part in hands-on activities such as the disaster management technique of carrying patients on the stairs during emergency situations.
After returning to Japan, the goal is for the participants to bring back and share their experiences and take action. Read More>> 

Students from Randolph-Macon College Visit Japan and Conduct Research on the Earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear Accident

During the first two weeks of July, 2016, a group of Randolph-Macon College students, faculty, and staff members traveled to Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima, and Ishinomaki, Japan on the TOMODACHI Taylor Anderson Memorial Fund (TAMF) Research Exchange Program.
In its second and final year, this program brings together students and faculty from Randolph Macon College with students and faculty from Ishinomaki Senshu University.  The students and faculty are participants in the College’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) Program, and are conducting research into the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear accident. As a part of the program, they met with and interviewed local and national political leaders, heard from a survivor of the Hiroshima A-Bomb, and observed first-hand the effects of the 3.11 disaster and the ongoing recovery efforts in Ishinomaki and Onagawa. Read More>> 

This program was funded by TOMODACHI’s Fund for Exchanges through generous contributions from Toyota Motor Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation, and Hitachi, Ltd.  

Register Now for the 2016 U.S.-Japan Council Annual Conference in Silicon Valley!

The 2016 U.S.-Japan Council Annual Conference will be held from November 14-15, 2016 in Silicon Valley, California. Held in the center of high-tech startups and development, this year’s Conference will be an opportunity to advance an innovative agenda in U.S.-Japan relations, exchange views among leaders about challenges and opportunities, and identify ways that the U.S.-Japan relationship can be strengthened. It will be attended by hundreds of distinguished American and Japanese leaders from all sectors, providing a unique opportunity for learning and networking. It will highlight innovation and entrepreneurship, and inspire the next generation of leaders. For more information and to register, click here
Register Now

Over 60 Attendees Participate in the Inaugural U40 Summit Launched by TOMODACHI Emerging Leaders

On August 19, sixty leaders under the age of 40 gathered from all over the United States and Japan for the first U40 Summit in Los Angeles, California which was organized by the U.S.-Japan Council (USJC)’s TOMODACHI Emerging Leaders Program
Discussions during the summit included topics that Japanese Americans and people interested in the U.S.-Japan relations framework feel are important today. There was also a panel identifying "risk" in which each of the panelists shared their story and discussed the reasons why Japanese and Japanese-Americans tend to be more risk-adverse, and what issues within culture and society push Japanese Americans and Japanese in this direction. The discussions were followed by breakout sessions and ideathons on issues related to Japanese Americans and risk.
With generous support by the Prudential Foundation, regional mentors from seven different regions in Japan were also able to join the young professionals. Read More>>

TOMODACHI NAJAS Grassroots Exchange Programs During the Summer of 2016

The TOMODACHI Initiative and the National Association of Japan-America Societies (NAJAS) has developed a partnership that develops cultural exchange programs between the youth in Japan and the United States. In August 2016, the following Grassroots Exchange Programs had taken place:
For two weeks, five high school students from St. Louis visited the city of Ishinomaki, Japan on the 2016 TOMODACHI St. Louis-Ishinomaki Friendship Program. The program consisted of a homestay experience and a study tour focusing on the affects of the Great East Japan Earthquake to the city of Ishinomaki. This is the fourth year of this reciprocating exchange program. More>>
Six children from Sendai traveled to Southern California for one week on the *TOMODACHI Southern California-Sendai Youth Cultural Exchange Program. The week-long experience from July 22 to August 2, 2016 was a life-changing experience for the Japanese students, as well as for the American host families and volunteers. More>>
Ten American students from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania visited Mihama, Aichi prefecture in Japan and met students from the Rakko taiko club on the  TOMODACHI NAJAS Grassroots Exchange Program – Ties Through Taiko. The students practiced taiko together, learned about the region’s culture and historical sites, visited a professional taiko company, and played together for a joint performance. More>>
In the fourth year of this baseball exchange, eight San Diego baseball players were selected to visit Ofunato, Iwate prefecture on the *TOMODACHI San Diego/Tijuana-Ofunato Youth Baseball Exchange Program from July 24 to August 1. The American players stayed with host families, made new friends, and learned about each other’s customs and lifestyles while competing in baseball. More>>
These grassroots programs are unique in terms of program participants, locations, and activities, and are all bound by the common goal of providing young Japanese and Americans with the opportunity to cultivate their global mindsets by being exposed to a different culture.
*These TOMODACHI NAJAS programs are possible through the generous contributions made by the Fund for Exchanges supported by Mitsubishi Corporation, Toyota Motor Corporation, and Hitachi Ltd.
Upcoming Programs and Events
Aug 20-Sep 17        University students and young professionals in Japan will travel to Seattle, Washington for TOMODACHI Microsoft iLEAP Social Innovation and Leadership Program                   
Sep 2-11                    Six International Foster Care Alliance (IFCA) members from the U.S. will travel to Tokyo to visit a large foster care facility and a child guidance office on the 2016 TOMODACHI Foster Youth Leadership Program

Sep 6-9                   The 6th U.S. Embassy-Keio SFC-TOMODACHI Entrepreneurship Seminar will be held in Hiyoshi, Kanagawa

Sept. 7                      Female university students will participate in the first of five workshop sessions for the Osaka TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program

Sept. 9                      Female university students will participate in the first of five workshop sessions for the Tokyo TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program

Sep 11-19                 Ten young professionals from Japan will travel to Detroit, Michigan and Washington, D.C. on the TOMODACHI-Mitsui & Co. Leadership Program 

Sept. 16                      Female university students will participate in the first of five workshop sessions for the Naha TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program

Sept. 30                      Female university students will participate in the first of five workshop sessions for the Sapporo TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program
Recruitment for TOMODACHI Program Participants

Please forward and share these opportunities with people who may be interested. 
Building the TOMODACHI Generation: Morgan Stanley Ambassadors Program
Now recruiting participants for 2017!
Building the TOMODACHI Generation: Morgan Stanley Ambassadors Program, is an intensive, two-week program from February 11-27, 2017(tentative) designed for Japanese and American students with an interest in leadership training, cross-cultural exchange, and entrepreneurial approaches to addressing social challenges. 
TOMODACHI Career Opportunities

Executive Director, U.S.-Japan Council (Japan)  -Tokyo Office

The Council seeks a talented, dynamic individual for a newly-created position of Executive Director, U.S.-Japan Council (Japan). The Executive Director will provide leadership and oversight of the Council’s general programs and activities and of the TOMODACHI Initiative. This will include responsibility for the implementation of program goals and objectives, providing leadership and oversight of program development and management, fundraising, communications and operations. The Executive Director will be based in Tokyo and manage the staff in Japan and will work closely with the U.S.-Japan Council (U.S.) staff in the United States.
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 to begin this Fall. U.S.-Japan Council (Japan) and TOMODACHI offers 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, 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 - August 2016

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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