The latest news from Team TOMODACHI. Also available in Japanese.
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Update from Team TOMODACHI
June 2016

TOMODACHI Food Innovation for Regional Sustainability in Tohoku (FIRST) Program Concludes with Success

Macintosh HD:Users:yukasadayuki:Downloads:13323256_10153479626031097_8490152464514219453_o.jpgFrom May 15 to 29, ten delegates from Japan travelled to Seattle, Washington to partake in the TOMODACHI Food Innovation for Regional Sustainability in Tohoku (FIRST) Program. Given its name, the program participants all possess deep ties with Tohoku, and work as fishermen, food processors, farmers, and community specialists. They all actively work to advance food innovation in the region and strive to be next generation leaders for food innovation in Japan.

Each delegate was able to share his or her knowledge of food innovation in Japan while being exposed to innovative practices in the United States at farmers’ markets and local restaurants. The participants made new cross-cultural connections, discovered that passion for food innovation is borderless, and now have new ideas to implement in their work in Japan.

One delegate reflected, “I met many people who have expanded my possibilities for my work and life.” Their heightened commitment to a positive future for Tohoku and Japan will surely inspire other next generation food leaders to tackle global challenges in food and farming innovation. Read more>>
The Latest on TOMODACHI Programs and Activities

NGO Leaders attend “Global Security Management System for NGOs Workshop” for the TOMODACHI NGO Leadership Program supported by J.P. Morgan

From June 6 to 9, 39 NGO leaders from Japanese NGOs working in the Middle East and South East Asia regions attended a security workshop titled the “Global Security Management System for NGOs Workshop” to discuss global security management and field security planning.

The workshop was the final event of the TOMODACHI NGO Leadership Program supported by J.P. Morgan, which consisted of short-term exchanges and workshops promoting the exchange of ideas and practical training for capacity building of Japanese NGOs.  Read more>>

Pediatric Oncology Doctor to Begin the 4th TOMODACHI Aflac Program Fellowship in Atlanta from August

The 4th recipient of the TOMODACHI Aflac Program fellowship, Dr. Shogo Kobayashi is an Assistant Professor of Pediatric Oncology at the Fukushima Medical University. After the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011, he provided weekly medical support as a volunteer for Minamisoma, a town severely damaged by the earthquake.

“I strive to become a person who can contribute to the development of the Japanese childhood cancer care system.” he commented, when asked about his commitment to the program.

Dr. Kobayashi will undertake the fellowship from this August until January 2017, at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Georgia. The TOMODACHI Aflac Program invites pediatric cancer specialists who are next generation leaders of their field to the Center to observe and share the best practices related to the care and treatment for children with cancer.

For more information about the program and Dr. Kobayashi, read the press release>>

Stay Connected to the TOMODACHI Initiative through Social Media

As social media continues to be a  medium for networking and people-to-people connections, the TOMODACHI  Initiative puts effort into maintaining effective social media platforms. Aside from the official TOMODACHI website, there are currently three domains in which information and photos are posted: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Discover what is currently going on

Find program recruitment information and posts about events and programs that occurred or are ongoing. Facebook is the most effective way to stay updated and be informed about TOMODACHI’s most recent activities, and is a great way to connect with alumni, participants, and implementers, in addition to corporate sponsors.


Share your experiences

The TOMODACHI Initiative hopes to hear about individual program experiences and create an interactive atmosphere on social media, especially on Instagram and Twitter. By creating friendly and informal connections, the goal is to share experiences and encourage active involvement in the initiative, linking participants, alumni, business leaders, and U.S.-Japan Council members who work toward investing in the next generation of leaders in Japan and the United States.  

While being involved in a TOMODACHI program or event, share your experience by using #TOMODACHI or tag the TOMODACHI Initiative accounts to share your tweets and photos!

From Twitter re-tweets and Instagram likes and tags, stay connected to the TOMODACHI Initiative experience through the social media arena and enhance personal connections.

Voices of the TOMODACHI Generation

Shiro Ueno was awarded the 2015 TOMODACHI Social Entrepreneurship Award from the University Venture Grand Prix Entrepreneurship Contest (UVGP), and more recently was a participant of the TOMODACHI Alumni Disaster Resilience Leadership Program to help with Kumamoto Earthquake relief efforts. He is currently a student at Sojo University. Read more about Shiro Ueno>>
Mariko Nakajima (middle) is half Japanese and half American, and grew up in London, England. She became a TOMODACHI intern from February 2016 for five full months during her gap year before beginning University in fall 2016.  Read about her internship experience>>
Wakana Inoue (right) was born and raised in the United States, and currently studies Law at Keio University in Tokyo. She participated in the 2016 Building the TOMODACHI Generation Program in hopes to gain cross-cultural experiences and to help deepen understanding between students from Japan and the United States. Read more about Wakana Inoue>>

2016 USJC Annual Conference: Early Bird Rates Expiring June 30

Have you signed up yet for the 7th USJC Annual Conference? Early bird rates will expire after June 30. Register now while you still can for the best rate available!

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

Just Released: TOMODACHI 2015 Annual Report is Now Available!

Find out about all of TOMODACHI's 2015 programs and activities through our newly released annual report. Click here to take a look!
Upcoming Programs and Events
June 27-July 5           Six American high school students will travel to Sendai, Japan to participate in the TOMODACHI Dallas-Sendai Young Ambassadors Program

June 27-July 6         TOMODACHI Lead On! Tour Japan Cities 2016

July 13                       Sumitomo Awards Ceremony and Presentations will be held at Sumitomo Headquarters, recognizing the scholars for the TOMODACHI Sumitomo Corporation Scholarship Program

July 16-August 16     Eighteen participants from both Japan and the United States will partake in the TOMODACHI U.S.-Japan Youth Exchange Program and will travel to Washington, D.C., Tokyo, and the Tohoku regions

July 21-August 4        Six high school students from St. Louis, Missouri will travel to Ishinomaki to learn about the 3.11 tsunami and disaster on the 
TOMODACHI St. Louis-Ishinomaki Grassroots Exchange Program

July 21-August 10      One hundred high school students from the Tohoku region in Japan will participate in an intensive three week leadership program at the University of California, Berkeley on the TOMODACHI Summer SoftBank Leadership Program

July 22-August 2        Six high school students from a home in Tohoku will travel to Los Angeles, California on the TOMODACHI Southern California-Fukushima Exchange

July 23-August 6       Twenty High School students from areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake will travel to Los Angeles, California for the 5th TOMODACHI MUFG International Exchange Program 
August 5-14               TOMODACHI NAJAS Grassroot Exchange Program-TOMODACHI Ties Through Taiko will kick-off its second year, with ten Pittsburgh high school students traveling to Mihama, Aichi Prefecture for a cultural exchange
Recruitment for TOMODACHI Program Participants

Please forward and share these opportunities with people who may be interested. 

Apply to be a Mentor or Mentee for the 2016-2017 TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program

Apply to be a Mentor
TOMODACHI is recruiting active mid-career working women in Sapporo, Naha, Osaka, and Tokyo who are interested in mentoring female university students participating in the TOMODACHI MetLife Women's Leadership Program. This program provides career support to female students in the four locations, who wish to hone their leadership skills in and out of university. For more information and to apply, click here
Application Deadline for Naha Osaka and Tokyo: July 11, 2016
Application Deadline for Sapporo: July 31, 2016
Apply to be a Mentee
TOMODACHI is recruiting female university students in Sapporo, Naha, Osaka, and Tokyo for the ten-month TOMODACHI MetLife Women's Leadership Program. Through this mentorship program, students will broaden their perspectives for their future and obtain the skills for becoming female leaders in their area. They will be invited to visit Washington, D.C. and New York City in spring 2017 to meet with government and business leaders. For more information and to apply, click here
Application Deadline for Sapporo: July 31, 2016
Apply Now to the TOMODACHI Emerging Leaders Program 2016
Are you a Japanese American young professional interested in U.S.-Japan relations?

Apply now to the TOMODACHI Emerging Leaders Program  that  identifies, cultivates and empowers a new generation of Japanese American leaders. Selected emerging leaders participate in leadership education, design and implement original programming for the U.S.-Japan Council, and develop powerful, lifelong personal and professional friendships. This year's participants will also attend the 2016 U.S.-Japan Council Annual Conference in Silicon Valley held in November 2016 for multi-day workshops and programming.

For more information and to apply, click here
Application Deadline: Sunday, July 10
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.

Update from Team TOMODACHI - June 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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