The latest news from Team TOMODACHI. Also available in Japanese.
View this email in your browser
Update from Team TOMODACHI
July 2017

The TOMODACHI Sumitomo Corporation Scholarship Program: Post-Program Presentations and Award Ceremony

The 2016 scholar post-program presentations and 2017 scholar award ceremony for the TOMODACHI Sumitomo Corporation Scholarship Program took place on June 29, 2017 at Sumitomo Corporation’s headquarters in Tokyo, bringing together partners and supporters of the program. 

For the post-program presentations, the following students represented the 2016 scholars: Ryoko Tsukada, Naoki Tokunaga, Hotsuki Hayama, and Daichi Meguro. These scholars presented their learnings from their study abroad, how they want to utilize the experience in the future, and their next steps.

Following the presentations, three leaders gave remarks: Mr. Masao Tabuchi, Representative Director, Senior Managing Executive Officer, Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Information Officer of Sumitomo Corporation; Mr. Alexei Kral, Environment, Science, Technology and Health Chief, Economic and Scientific Affairs Section, Embassy of the United States, Tokyo; and Ms. Irene Hirano Inouye, U.S.-Japan Council President. These leaders recognized both the 2016 and 2017 scholars for their dedication to strengthening U.S.-Japan relations and encouraged them to make the most of their study abroad experiences.

In particular, Mr. Tabuchi mentioned his own time living in the U.S., and said, “I believe people are made up of their experiences. Having various experiences will enrich and broaden you as a person. I hope you will take this opportunity to make the most of your challenges.” The three speakers then presented scholarships to the ten 2017 scholars. To conclude the ceremony, each 2017 scholar gave a 1 minute speech about their goals during their study abroad.

Afterwards, a reception was held for everyone involved in the program to celebrate the 2016 scholars’ achievements and the future 2017 scholars, who will further strengthen the U.S.-Japan friendship. Read More>>

20 California Students Visit Japan in the TOMODACHI MUFG International Exchange Program 2017

From June 27 to July 12, 2017, 20 high school students from Southern California visited Japan as part of the TOMODACHI MUFG International Exchange Program. This program started in 2012 with aims to deepen the mutual understanding between the United States and Japan and to invest in the next generation of leaders. Every year, students from both countries alternately visit each other’s countries. In this 6th year of the program, the participating students visited Tokyo, Sendai, Minamisanriku, Hiroshima, and Kyoto, and  experienced various cultural exchange activities and homestays. Through the program, the students were able to better understand U.S.-Japan relations from different perspectives.

The two-week long exchange program kicked off with the students’ visit to the headquarters of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. (MUFG) in Tokyo and a welcome reception.At the company visit, the students deepened their understanding of financial operations. The reception guests included Mr. Nobuyuki Hirano, President & Group CEO of MUFG; Mr. Kanetsugu Mike, President and CEO of the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ; Mr. Shinya Fujita, Counselor, Press and International Affairs, from the Reconstruction Agency; Ms. Jenae D. Johnson, Deputy Financial Attaché from the U.S. Embassy Tokyo; and Ms. Irene Hirano Inouye, President of the U.S.-Japan Council. These leaders gave the students words of encouragement for their trip. Read More>>

Reception Successfully Concludes the TOMODACHI-Mitsui & Co. Leadership Program for American Delegates and Prepares Japanese Delegates for their Upcoming U.S. Trip

On July 7, 2017, a closing reception for the American delegates of the TOMODACHI-Mitsui & Co. Leadership Program was held at Roppongi Hills Club in Tokyo. Made possible by generous support from Mitsui & Co., Ltd, the program provides ten American and ten Japanese young professionals from the public and private sectors with the opportunity to travel to each other’s countries for one week. During the program, the participants engage as a group and meet with established and up-and-coming leaders from business and government. 

Now in its fifth year, the program sent the American delegates to Iwate Prefecture to gain valuable insights and perspectives on the ongoing revitalization efforts in the tsunami-affected areas of the coastal cities Rikuzentakata and Kamaishi. They also met with government officials and community leaders in the public and private sectors, including Governor Takuya Tasso. The journey continued in Tokyo where the American delegates engaged in meetings with business and government leaders aligned with program’s pillars of “Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Leadership.” The delegates also met their ten Japanese counterparts, who will embark on their trips to Houston, Texas, and Washington D.C. in September.
Approximately 100 people attended the reception, including executives from Mitsui & Co., Ltd, representatives from the Government of Japan and the U.S. Embassy, representatives from the supporting organizations, Japanese and American young professionals, and U.S.-Japan Council representatives. The guests gathered to recognize and celebrate all delegates in the 2017 program. Read More>>
The Latest on TOMODACHI Programs and Activities

15 American Leaders of the Next Generation Participate in the 27th Japan America Grassroots Summit 2017 in Nara as part of the TOMODACHI CIE Grassroots Summit

From June 27 to July 8, 2017, 15 students (1 middle school student; 13 high school students; and 1 college student) from the Youth Commission of Macon-Bibb County (MBC), Georgia, participated in the 27th Japan America Grassroots Summit 2017 in Nara as part of the TOMODACHI CIE Grassroots Summit. The students participated in cultural activities in Nara and visited Kurobe, Toyama prefecture, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of MBC’s sister city relationship with Kurobe.

Kaitlyn Neel, one of the participating students, reflected on her experience, saying, “Throughout the whole trip in Japan, I noticed many many things that were different from American culture. It showed me how grateful I should be not for the quantity of my things, but for the quality [of my life]. It showed me that when one is good to people, good will be returned. And, finally, it showed me to respect other people and cultures.”

During the trip, the students not only learned about Japan and its culture, but also developed lifelong friendships through the homestays. They also gained confidence through the presentations they delivered four times during the trip, and took their first steps as leaders of the next generation. 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 – 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

Now Available: 2016 TOMODACHI Annual Report!

Find out about all of TOMODACHI's 2016 programs and activities through our newly released annual report. Click here to take a look!

Upcoming Programs and Events
Jul. 21 – Aug. 11

Jul. 28 – Aug. 4

Jul. 31 – Aug. 15

Aug. 1 – 11

Aug. 5 – 20

Aug. 7 – 15

Aug. 14

Aug. 7 – 25

Sept. 10

Sept. 10 – 18
TOMODACHI Summer 2017 Softbank Leadership Program: 100 Tohoku high school students learn about leadership in Berkeley, California

TOMODACHI San Diego/Tijuana-Ofunato Youth Baseball Exchange Program: Middle school baseball players from Ofunato, Iwate, visit San Diego, California, to participate in cultural exchanges

TOMODACHI U.S.-Japan Youth Exchange Program: Japanese and American high school students promote cultural awareness and sensitivity by focusing on service learning and social entrepreneurship

TOMODACHI Southern California-Fukushima Youth Cultural Exchange Program: Students from Tohoku experience cultural exchanges and learn about the history of Japanese Americans in Southern California

TOMODACHI J&J Disaster Nursing Training Program 2017: Nine nursing students from Tohoku travel to New York, Washington D.C., and New Jersey to learn about disaster nursing in the U.S.

TOMODACHI Dallas-Sendai Young Ambassador’s Program: Students from Tohoku learn about American culture in Dallas, Texas

TOMODACHI High School Women Career Mentoring Program in Fukushima supported by the TOMODACHI Combini Fund: Opening Session: 120 second-year high school women students from Fukushima take their first steps as leaders of the next generation

TOMODACHI Microsoft iLEAP Social Innovation and Leadership Program 2017: 18 Japanese university students and young professionals visit Seattle, Washington to participate in a three-week experiential leadership training program

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 Alumni Activities
TOMODACHI-UNIQLO Fellowship Alumnus Kozaburo Akasaka Receives the 2017 LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers 
On June 16, 2017, TOMODACHI-UNIQLO Fellowship alumnus Mr. Kozaburo (Kopi) Akasaka was chosen as the Special Prize Winner of the LVMH Prize. Kopi was selected from a total of 1,200 international applicants from approximately 90 countries. He attended Parsons The New School for Design as a TOMODACHI-UNIQLO Fellowship scholar from 2014 to 2016.

The LVMH Prize is one of the most prestigious prizes for young fashion designers. This year, world-famous singer and fashion designer Rihanna attended the awards ceremony and presented the trophies to the winners. The Special Prize Winner includes a 150,000 euro grant and a yearlong mentorship with the LVMH group. The official website of the LVMH Prize describes Kopi as the following:
“His academic and professional background always prevails when it comes to consideration of quality of garments, fits and finishing which is grounded in his tailoring skill. Timeless design of classic men’s apparel is at the core of his aesthetic. The juxtaposition of high fashion and street culture has come to define the uniquely poetic and contemporary - yet not temporary – style of KOZABURO.” 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. 
Applications Now Open for the Building the TOMODACHI Generation: Morgan Stanley Ambassadors Program!

The Building the TOMODACHI Generation: Morgan Stanley Ambassadors Program is currently recruiting candidates for its 2018 program, which will take place from February 17 – March 5, 2018 (tentative).

The Building the TOMODACHI Generation: Morgan Stanley Ambassadors Program is an intensive, two-week program designed for Japanese and American students with an interest in leadership training, cross-cultural exchange, and entrepreneurial approaches to addressing social challenges. This program is generously funded by Morgan Stanley Japan Holdings Co., Ltd. For more information or to apply, click here.

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 - July 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.
unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences