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Update from Team TOMODACHI
August 2017

100 High School Students from Tohoku Develop Action Plans in Berkeley, California, to Bring Change to Their Communities

From July 21 to August 10, 2017, 100 high school students from Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima prefectures participated in the TOMODACHI Summer 2017 SoftBank Leadership Program in Berkeley, California, and its suburbs. It was a fruitful three weeks in which the students learned about leadership and community service. 

The students designed action plans that they will carry out in their respective communities through Y-PLAN (Youth, Plan, Action, Now!), a community service-focused, experiential workshop implemented at schools in the U.S. During the program, the students stayed at the University of California, Berkeley, where Chairman and CEO Mr. Masayoshi Son of SoftBank Group Corp., the corporate sponsor of the program, had previously studied. In the latter half of the program, the students were joined by six “adult allies,” young professionals from non-profits in Tohoku, who supported the students in their learning process and implementing their action plans. 

Though program in the U.S. has ended, the challenging journeys of these students have only just begun. TOMODACHI hopes that their action plans will further revitalize and bring change to Tohoku. Read More>>

Nursing Students from Tohoku Learn About Disaster Medicine, Disaster Nursing, and Medical Procedures in the U.S.

From August 5 to August 20, 2017, eight nursing students from Tohoku traveled to the U.S. to participate in a two-week U.S. Study Tour as part of the TOMODACHI J&J Disaster Nursing Training Program 2017. The cohort was joined by two nursing students from Rutgers University in New Jersey. The students visited New York, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C., and learned not only about disaster medicine and disaster nursing, but also about medical procedures in the U.S. and the types of medicine and care that are specific to life in the U.S. 

The students also received a warm welcome at the program’s sponsor, Johnson & Johnson’s, headquarters, and learned about the company’s history, its current efforts, and the importance of supporting these efforts. The students were also impressed by the American nurses and nursing students’ activities. On the second to last day of the Tour, three participating students made speeches in English at a reception held at Children’s National. Read More>>
The Latest on TOMODACHI Programs and Activities

The TOMODACHI U.S.-Japan Youth Exchange Program Concludes with Successful Presentations by the 12 Participating High School Students

From July 15 to August 15, 2017, 12 high school students (six students from Washington, D.C., public high schools, three students from Keio Shonan Fujisawa High School, and three selected TOMODACHI alumni (past program participants) from the Tohoku region) participated in the TOMODACHI U.S.-Japan Youth Exchange Program 2017, which took place in Washington, D.C., Tokyo, and Tohoku. 

During their stay in Washington, D.C., the students visited the office of Toyota Motor North America, Inc., one of the contributors to the Program, to hear stories from various professionals about their careers. 

From the end of July to August 15, the students traveled to Tokyo as well as Kesennuma and Minami Sanriku, coastal towns devastated by tsunami, to learn from many individuals rebuilding their communities after the Great East Japan Earthquake. Read More>>

Participants of the TOMODACHI High School Women Career Mentoring Program in Fukushima 2017 Complete the Step 1 Dance Workshop with The Young Americans

From August 14 to August 17, 2017, Step 1 of the TOMODACHI High School Women Career Mentoring Program in Fukushima 2017, supported by the TOMODACHI Combini Fund, entitled “Dance Workshop with The Young Americans,” took place in Tokyo. 125 female high school juniors from Fukushima prefecture were selected to participate in this career mentoring program consisting of four sessions or “steps.” Over the course of the program, the students interact with and learn from female mentors of various backgrounds, nationalities, and careers. The goal of the program is for students to develop leadership skills to broaden their perspectives and gain the confidence to open doors and opportunities for their futures.

In the four days that composed Step 1 of the program, the participants learned the importance of creating something with a group, opening themselves up to new challenges, and trusting teammates. This experience will prepare the participants for the rest of the program.

Step 2: Session with Foreign Exchange Students Studying in Japan will take place from October 28 - 29, 2017. The theme is “Challenge.” Participants will talk with foreign exchange students of different nationalities about the reasons why chose to study in Japan, their future dreams, and their struggles. Through the discussions, the participants will determine their challenges, develop goals, and define how to meet them. Read More>>

Students from Iwate Experience Cultural Exchanges in Southern California

Four students from a foster care home in Iwate prefecture were "pioneers" as the first delegation to travel abroad in the home's more than 60-year history. The four students, along with their chaperone, visited Los Angeles, California from August 3 to August 11, 2017 as part of the TOMODACHI Southern California-Iwate Youth Cultural Exchange Program. The experience was life-changing for the Japanese students, as well as for their American host families and volunteers. Due to their circumstances, these students do not have the financial means to participate and benefit from international cultural exchange activities. This program positively impacted their lives by planting the seeds of international understanding, particularly concerning the U.S.-Japan relationship. Read More>>

Register for the 2017 U.S.-Japan Council Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.!

The 2017 U.S.-Japan Council Annual Conference will be held in Washington, D.C. from November 11 to November 14 with the theme of “Unity in Diversity: Shaping the Future Together.” This year’s conference will focus on developments under the new administration and provide a platform for speakers and attendees to exchange views on how to strengthen the U.S.-Japan relationship. Discussion topics will highlight governmental and security issues, business and growth opportunities, promoting diverse leadership and a more global talent, strengthening multi-sector partnerships, and more. Hundreds of distinguished American and Japanese leaders from all sectors will attend, providing a unique opportunity for learning and networking. For more information and to register, click here
Register Now
Upcoming Programs and Events
Sept. 1

Sept. 8

Sept. 10

Sept. 10 – 18

Sept. 15

Sept. 22
TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program:Naha Session 1

TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program:Fukuoka Session 1

TOMODACHI Generation Summit 2017: TOMODACHI alumni gather in Tokyo to network with other alumni and to enhance their understanding of leadership

TOMODACHI-Mitsui & Co. Leadership Program: 10 Japanese young professionals visit Houston, Texas, and Washington, D.C. to exchange ideas about industrial development and new technology with American delegates

TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program:Tokyo Session 1

TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program:Osaka Session 1
TOMODACHI Alumni Activities
TOMODACHI Alumni Participate in Volunteer Activities in Fukuoka in Response to the Flooding in Northern Kyushu
Starting on August 2, 2017, three TOMODACHI alumni participated in three days of volunteer activities with the Peace Boat Disaster Relief Volunteer Center in Toho, Fukuoka prefecture. The alumni went as part of the TOMODACHI Alumni Disaster Resilience Training Program to northern Kyushu to support the areas devastated by the floods.

Kei Imai had previously participated in the TOMODACHI Alumni Disaster Resilience Training Program: Tokyo Workshop. He reflected on his experience from this volunteer activity, saying, “The knowledge I gained through the TOMODACHI programs in which I participated was very useful, especially the concept of the disaster cycle, the importance of mental health in disaster-affected areas, and the crossroads game (a disaster-preparedness decision-making exercise).”

The TOMODACHI staff, as well as the alumni who volunteered in Fukuoka, offer prayers to the people who were affected by the disaster and wish them a quick restoration and recovery. Read More>>
Under-40s (U40s) Discuss Local Perspectives to Collaborate Towards Global Change at the 2nd U40 Summit 

On August 4 and 5, 2017, the 2nd U.S.-Japan Council TOMODACHI U40 (Under-40) Summit took place in Los Angeles, California.

Under the theme “Global Connections, Local Perspectives” approximately 60 leaders under the age of 40 gathered from across sectors in the U.S.-Japan community. This included TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Mentors from Japan, representing the Tohoku, Kanto, Kansai, and Okinawa regions, alumni of the TOMODACHI-Mitsui & Co. Leadership Program, as well as current and prospective U.S.-Japan Council (USJC) Associates. Taking advantage of multicultural Los Angeles, they gained insight on the unique Japanese and Japanese American community in Little Tokyo. Hosted by the TOMODACHI Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) Steering Committee, they took the initiative to create this U40 Summit for the first time last year and have continued to support it into its second year. Read More>>

Register for the TOMODACHI Generation Summit 2017!
We invite all university students and young professional alumni of programs and events managed and funded by the TOMODACHI Initiative since our founding in 2011 to join the TOMODACHI Generation Summit 2017. The Summit will be held on Sunday, September 10, 2017, at Showa Women’s University. The Summit promotes and deepens ties between TOMODACHI alumni and provides alumni a platform to develop successful future engagements in Japan and the United States. For more information or to register, click here.

Registration Deadline: Friday, September 1, 2017
Recruitment for TOMODACHI Program Participants
Please forward and share these opportunities with people who may be interested. 
Come Meet TOMODACHI at the America EXPO 2017 hosted by the U.S. Embassy Tokyo! 
The America Expo is an annual event hosted by the U.S. Embassy Tokyo. At the EXPO, participants will be able to talk to representatives and alumni from American universities, and attend seminars on such themes as studying in the U.S. for undergraduate and graduate studies, and studying abroad for language or career benefits. Participants will also be able to learn more about the TOMODACHI Initiative at TOMODACHI’s booth.

Date: Saturday, September 9
Time: 12:00 – 6:00pm
Place: Ochanomizu Sola City Conference Center
Fee: Free

Click here to go to the EXPO website (Japanese only)
Click here to view the EXPO flier (Japanese only)
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 for this Fall. 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 - August 2017

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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