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Update from Team TOMODACHI
December 2020 & January 2021

The Next Generation of Leaders from the U.S. and Japan Gather for the 2020 Next Generation Summit

On December 12 and 13, the Next Generation Summit was held under the theme of “The 3 Rs of 2020: Reflective, Resilient and Revolutionary.” This summit was held as part of the U.S.-Japan Council Signature Series in lieu of the annual TOMODACHI Generation Summit and USJC Annual Conference.
Despite being held online for the first time, the event gathered over 200 attendees, including TOMODACHI Alumni (past program participants), speakers, workshop facilitators, regional representatives, guests, and supporters from Japan and the United States. The two-day event consisted of a variety of sessions, including TOMODACHI Alumni speeches, workshops, and panel discussions. This event is a signature event of the TOMODACHI Alumni Leadership Program.

The Summit was emceed by two TOMODACHI Alumni: Iain Mason and Reika Mihara. Suzanne Basalla, President and CEO of the U.S.-Japan Council, opened the Summit, and Joseph Young, Chargé d'Affaires ad interim of the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo and Masaharu Kohno, Special Representative of the Japanese Government, welcomed the participants. Read More>>

The Latest on TOMODACHI Programs and Activities

TOMODACHI High School Women Career Mentoring Online Program in Tohoku STEP 2 & STEP 3: Students Learn from International Students and Professionals, and Consider Challenges and the Future

On November 21-22, and December 19-20, 2020, STEP 2 and STEP 3 of the TOMODACHI High School Women Career Mentoring Online Program in Tohoku supported by the TOMODACHI Combini Fund, titled “Session with International Students Challenging Themselves Outside Their Comfort Zones” and “Session with Female Professionals in Japan and Overseas,” were held online. About 90 high school students from Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima Prefectures attended, continuing on from the previous session. Read More>>

High School and University Students Learn Entrepreneurship

From October to December 2020, 19 pre-seminars of the 10th TOMODACHI – Keio SFC Entrepreneurship Seminar were held, joined by a total of 599 high school and university students.
Funded by the Boeing Company, this entrepreneurship program was founded to foster next generation leaders who aspire to reconstruct, revitalize, and develop the future of Japan in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake. The educational program is for high school and university students, with pre-seminars held for 17 schools and organizations in 2020. Read More>>

Future Leaders of Tohoku, Japan, and the World Join Online Post-Program 

On November 29, 2020, nearly 50 alumni and supporters of the TOMODACHI Summer 2019 Softbank Leadership Program participated in the online Post-Program Seminar. 

The seminar began with a movie looking back on the three-week program in Berkeley, California in July 2019. Then all participants enjoyed an ice-breaking game and split into small groups for discussions. Read More>>

Alumni of the TOMODACHI J&J Disaster Nursing Training Program Meet Online with Nurses in the United States

On November 18, 2020, 16 people, including program alumni, joined the TOMODACHI J&J Disaster Nursing Training Program Online Session. The event was also joined by three nurses from the Children’s National Health System, the implementer of the program’s U.S. Study Tour. Participants discussed the medical situation in Japan and the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read More>>

Upcoming Programs and Events

March 1-10, 15, 16, 19, 20

March 20, 21, 28

July 3 - 4

2020-21 TOMODACHI-STEM @ Rice University Program Spring Virtual Session

TOMODACHI - Keio SFC Entrepreneurship Seminar
Online Camp

TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework Orientation (online)

TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework Training (online)
TOMODACHI Alumni Activities

Announcing the New Regional Leaders of the TOMODACHI Regional Framework for 2021!

With support from the U.S. Embassy and Consulates across Japan, fourteen Regional Leaders and Regional Mentors, all alumni of various TOMODACHI programs, will lead the TOMODACHI Generation by creating opportunities for alumni to connect in region and tackle various challenges together.

The TOMODACHI Generation Regional Framework will support alumni engagement by furthering opportunities for alumni to connect with, empower, and inspire one another in their respective regions across Japan. Read More>>

Check out their bios and more information about the TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework on the TOMODACHI Alumni Website.


TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework Theme Event Online 2020

<Okinawa Region>

On November 14, 2020, the Okinawa Region held its 2020 TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework Theme Event, gathering 20 participants including TOMODACHI Alumni, university students and young professionals in Okinawa. With support from Prudential and the U.S. Consulate in Okinawa, the event was organized by Rika Yonamine, Regional Leader, and Sarah Arao, Regional Mentor. Read More>>


<Tohoku-Hokkaido Region Team A>

On November 22, 2020, the Tohoku-Hokkaido Region, Team A held an online TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework Theme Event. The event, “Learn How the Power of Scent Reaches You,” was organized by Hiromi Waragai, Regional Leader, and Nanako Saito, Regional Mentor and was joined by 20 TOMODACHI Alumni including general participants across Japan. Read More>>

<Tohoku-Hokkaido Region Team B>

On December 6, 2020, the Tohoku-Hokkaido Region, Team B held its 2020 TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework Theme Event. The event, “Online Event: Take Your First Step” was organized by Hinako Owada, Regional Leader, and Kanako Ishikura, Regional Mentor, and was joined by 24 participants. Read More>>

<Kyushu Region>

On December 16, 2020, the Kyushu region held its 2020 TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework Theme Event at Iizuka Municipal Kobukuro Junior High School in Iizuka City, Fukuoka. The goal of the event was to establish language learning for around 70 junior high school students in their second year and create a classroom open to society and the world. The event was jointly hosted by the U.S. Consulate in Fukuoka, and organized by Haruka Kurosawa, Regional Leader, and Taito Kameishi, Regional Mentor. Read More>>

Q&A with TOMODACHI Program Participants and TOMODACHI Alumni

<Rachel Brooks>

For this interview, we spoke with Rachel Brooks, a 2018 alumna of the TOMODACHI Mitsui & Co. Leadership Program.

She is a Rotary Peace Fellow and MA candidate in international relations and security at England's University of Bradford. Her research centers around democracy, corporate social responsibility, and technology policy, particularly the fight against disinformation. Read More>>


<Kaylin George>

Kaylin George is an alumna of the 2017 TOMODACHI Internship Program

Influenced by both a passion for exploring the world and by her mixed background, Kaylin finds herself drawn to stories centered around diverse characters and their unexpected connections. She graduated from Chapman University with a BFA in Film Production - Directing. Kaylin currently works as a coordinator at Media RED, a production company built by Hollywood's best cinematic storytellers. Read More>>

Recruitment for TOMODACHI Program Participants

Applications Open for the TOMODACHI Sumitomo Corporation Scholarship Program 2021

The TOMODACHI Sumitomo Corporation Scholarship Program 2021 is open to undergraduate students who will take part in exchange study abroad programs in the United States at Japanese partner universities.

The program includes an Award Ceremony and Orientation where participants will come together to discuss their ambitions for their time abroad and their future goals, and a leadership training program in New York and Washington D.C., hosted by Sumitomo Corporation of Americas, as well as the TOMODACHI Alumni Leadership Program.

By interacting with various leaders in the field of U.S.-Japan relations, the program aims to foster leaders who will contribute to both the bilateral relationship and the world as a whole.  

For more information and to apply: click here
TOMODACHI Opportunities

TOMODACHI Women’s Leadership Program Manager - Part-time

The TOMODACHI Women’s Leadership Program Manager oversees the TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program (TMWLP) in all aspects, from program development, to marketing, to implementation, and through reporting. For more information and to apply, click here.

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

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.

The next edition will be out at the end of March 2021, as a combined issue for February and March.  

Update from Team TOMODACHI - December 2020 & January 2021

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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