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Update from Team TOMODACHI
July 2018

The ten TOMODACHI Sumitomo Corporation Scholarship Program scholars shared their year's worth of learning from their study abroad experience in the United States, and the program welcomed ten new scholars to embark on a once-in-a-life-time journey

On June 27, 2018, the 2017 and 2018 scholars and partners for the TOMODACHI Sumitomo Corporation Scholarship Program were brought together for a Post-Program Report and Awards Ceremony at the Sumitomo Corporation Global HRD Center. 

The first half of the day consisted of an orientation and training session for the 2018 scholars. The 2017 scholars used their study abroad experiences to help train this year’s scholars. The session enabled the scholars to not only get to know one another and build friendships, but also to discuss what leadership is and redefine its meaning.

The second half of the day consisted of three parts: the post-program presentations by all of the 2017 scholars, an awards ceremony for the 2018 scholars, and a reception.
The ten recipients of the 2017 Scholarship gave presentations on their study abroad experiences. Each participant spoke about the unique perspective they gained on leadership through the year-abroad experience, as well as the individual leadership style they found through their daily life and special training programs offered by the program. Read More>>

The Latest on TOMODACHI Programs and Activities

After visiting Miyagi Prefecture and Tokyo, the TOMODACHI-Mitsui & Co. Leadership Program for American Delegates  Concludes

Ten young American professionals representing gender and sector diversity from across the United States traveled to Miyagi Prefecture and Tokyo in July as participants of the 2018 TOMODACHI-Mitsui & Co. Leadership Program now in its sixth year.

The delegates spent two days in Miyagi meeting with community leaders in the public and non-profit sectors, gaining valuable insight to revitalization initiatives implemented in the coastal cities of Onagawa and Ishinomaki. In Sendai, they met with government officials and leaders in the energy sector.

In Tokyo, delegates met and engaged a wide range of business leaders aligned with program’s pillars, “Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Leadership” . Ten counterpart Japanese delegates joined the Americans in Tokyo as they prepare to travel to Boston, Massachusetts and Washington D.C. in September. Read More>>

Trainees Selected for the TOMODACHI Disability Leadership Program
in America 2018, Start Training in Boston, Massachusetts

The TOMODACHI Disability Leadership Program in America was established to help young Japanese people with disabilities become stronger and more confident leaders of the next generation. This year, after a rigorous selection process, Kana Takahashi, Keiji Oka and Tomoshige Kabetani were chosen to participate in this intensive four-month leadership and advocacy training that takes place in Boston, Massachusetts from August to November 2018.

Prior to their trip to the U.S., the trainees visited Northrop Grumman Japan with Haruna Sakai, an Alumni of the TOMODACHI Disability Leadership Program in America 2017, and shared their goals for their experience in Boston. The trainees met with Stan Crow, Chief Executive, and staff members of Northrop Grumman Japan, receiving words of encouragement. 

Kana Takahashi was born with a visual impairment and raised in Fukuoka. She attended a mainstream elementary and high school. She spent her junior high school years at a school for the blind. From early on and based on her own experience, Kana has been interested in disability and inclusion, particularly in school. Read More>>

Six American High School Students from Chicago visit Japan for the 2018 Chicago-Tagajo TOMODACHI  Exchange Program

As part of the TOMODAHI NAJAS Grassroots Exchange Program, 2018 Chicago-Tagajo TOMODACHI Exchange Program was held, six Lane Tech High School students of Chicago, Illinois, and their two chaperones had the opportunity to visit Tagajo, Miyagi Prefecture from June 23-30, 2018. After arriving in Japan, each of the students spent the following day meeting their host families and shadowing morning classes with a paired Tagajo student. After being educated on Tagajo High School’s educational policies and disaster control by the principal, Mr. Sasaki, students toured areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake. 

In addition to experiencing the daily life of a Japanese high school student, and typical home life, the Lane Tech students had the opportunity to explore the traditional sides of Japanese culture by wearing traditional Kimonos and getting Japanese-design manicures. Read More>>

Register for the 2018 U.S.-Japan Council Annual Conference in Tokyo!

The 2018 U.S.-Japan Council Annual Conference will be held in Tokyo from November 8 - 9 with the theme of “Partnering for Impact Today, Investing in a Sustainable Tomorrow.” This year, since 2015, USJC returns to Tokyo to discuss how the United States and Japan can build a sustainable future together. The Conference will explore ways to collaborate towards mutual goals like supporting women leaders, and face common challenges like aging populations and security issues in Asia. For more information and to register, click here.

The launch of the U.S.-Japan Council Japan Flood Friendship Fund (JFFF)

The U.S.-Japan Council (USJC) and the TOMODACHI Initiative offer our condolences, support, and prayers to all of those affected by the floods and landslides in Western Japan happened this month.

The USJC and the TOMODACHI Initiative have ties to the communities and alumni in affected areas through the USJC’s Governors Circle program, and through many of our TOMODACHI Initiative leadership programs. The area is also where many Japanese Americans have their ancestral origins.

The USJC, the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i, the United States-Japan Foundation and our friends at other U.S.-Japan related organizations have established the “Japan Flood Friendship Fund (JFFF)” to aid those who were affected. 100% of the contributions will go to relief efforts through our network of nonprofit organizations that are working on the ground. For more details and to make a donation, click here. 

Upcoming Programs and Events

July 20―August 10               

July 25―August 4                       

July 26―August 9                           

July 30―August 14    

August 1―24    


August 3―12     

August 3―27

August 5―16 

August 13―16

August 14 – 22  

August 17―29

September 9

September 16―24

TOMODACHI Summer 2018 SoftBank Leadership Program (Berkeley, California)

TOMODACHI Youth Ambassadors Program (Iwaki, Fukushima and Tokyo)

7th TOMODACHI MUFG International Exchange Program (Los Angeles, California)

TOMODACHI U.S.-Japan Youth Exchange Program Japan Program (Kesennuma, Minamisanriku, Matsushima, Miyagi and Tokyo)

TOMODACHI Microsoft iLEAP Social Innovation Leadership Program Seattle Trip (Seattle, Washington)

TOMODACHI Foster Youth Leadership Program (Seattle, Washington)

70th Japan-America Student Conference (Madison, Wisconsin and Lexington, Virginia and Washington D.C. and Portland, Oregon)

TOMODACHI J&J Disaster Nursing Training Program U.S. Study Tour(Washington D.C. and New York and New Jersey)

TOMODACHI High School Women Career Mentoring Program in Fukushima Step1 (Tokyo)

HLAB TOHOKU Summer School (Onagawa, Miyagi)

TOMODACHI Honda Global Leadership Program (Los Angeles, California and Ohio)

TOMODACHI Generation Summit 2018 (Tokyo)

TOMODACHI-Mitsui & Co. Leadership Program Japanese Delegates visits U.S.(Boston, Massachusetts and Washington D.C.)

TOMODACHI Alumni Activities
Participants of the Fifth TOMODACHI Fukushima “KaoLINK” Program: Through “tourism and fragrance” promote the charm of Fukushima

The Fifth TOMODACHI Fukushima “KaoLINK” program was held on June 23, 2018, at the Air Aroma Japan Co., Ltd. showroom in Tokyo. The aim of the 2017-2018 TOMODACHI Fukushima “KaoLINK” program is to discover “a charm unique to Fukushima” and connect it to “tourism in Fukushima through scents.” Therefore, participants learned about branding related to Fukushima’s tourism industry.

For the fifth program, individuals active in the forefront of advertising and media industries were invited as lecturers. The lecturers advised the participants how to convey the full bodily experience and charm of “Nakayama Setsugekka” and “Hanamiyama,” which they experienced as part of the program. Read More>> 

Regional Leaders Attend the TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Leader Training

On June 30, and July 1, 2018, 25 TOMODACHI alumni leaders (19 Regional Leaders and six TOMODACHI Generation Summit Core Committee members) gathered from across Japan for a two-day training session in Tokyo. This leadership training program for the Regional Leaders and TOMODACHI Generation Summit Core Committee Members focused specifically on reflection of the Regional Welcome Events, goal-setting and skills-building for their next Regional Theme Events and the TOMODACHI Generation Summit to be held in September. The training was held at EDGEof, a new innovative space in the heart of Shibuya that supports change makers to build trust and collaborate in new innovative ways. Read More>>

TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Mentor Retreat in Oita and Kiichiro Sato, Oita City Mayor joined to encourage the Mentors

On July 7, and 8, 2018, seven regional mentors representing their respective regions across Japan gathered for a two-day training session in Oita City and Beppu City. The Regional Mentors are young professionals, all alumni of various TOMODACHI Programs, who are mentoring and supporting rising stars within their communities and regions as part of the TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework. 

The TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Mentor Retreat included opportunities for the mentors to reflect on their Regional Welcome Events that took place across Japan during the months of May and June; to gain insights and knowledge to effectively support their Regional Leaders; and to further develop deeper relationships based on trust and peer-to-peer support networks.

Day one, two speakers joined the group to share their experiences. Kiichiro Sato, Mayor of Oita City, spoke about his cross-border experience as a former diplomat and a JETRO Officer, as well as the vision for Oita City in the years to come. Read More>>

Register for the TOMODACHI Generation Summit 2018!

The 2018 TOMODACHI Generation Summit on September 9, 2018, will gather over 500 people, including university students and young professionals from the United States and Japan who are alumni of various TOMODACHI programs.

This Summit will be planned and executed by a core committee of seven alumni with support from various alumni as speakers, workshop facilitators, volunteers, and regional representatives; thus making the Summit a signature program of the TOMODACHI Alumni Leadership Program that is created by alumni, for alumni. Read More>>

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. 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 2018

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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