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Update from Team TOMODACHI
June & July 2020

2019 TOMODACHI Sumitomo Corporation Scholarship Program Scholars Share Year of Learning from Study Abroad Experiences in the United States Online

On June 26, 2020, the 2019 scholars’ post-program report for the TOMODACHI Sumitomo Corporation Scholarship Program took place online due to the ongoing spread of COVID-19. Around 70 people, including scholars and partners, were brought together virtually.

To start the event, Mr. Hideki Yamano, Representative Director, Senior Managing Executive Officer, Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Information Officer, Sumitomo Corporation, sent words of encouragement to the scholars who finished their study abroad.

The nine recipients of the 2019 scholarship were divided into two groups to give presentations on lessons learned during their study abroad experiences. During the presentation, Nao Fujita, who studied at the University of California, Berkeley, said it was an eye-opening experience for her to see classes in the United States, where students shared their questions and opinions and were open to each other’s remarks, because in Japan, people often read between lines and are more careful. She said, “We discuss because we can find a solution that cannot be found by one person alone. Thus, it's essential for a leader to create an environment where everyone can say what they want to say. In these uncertain times, exercising leadership is more crucial than ever before. I believe appreciating and embracing different values is the first step to improving our leadership skills.” Read More>>

The Latest on TOMODACHI Programs and Activities

2019 TOMODACHI Annual Report

Now Available: 2019 TOMODACHI Annual Report! Find out about all of TOMODACHI's 2019 programs and TOMODACHI Alumni interviews through our newly released annual report. 

Click here to take a look!


Upcoming Programs and Events

July - September 

August 16

August 22 - 23

September 6 MyproRoom supported by TOMODACHI Initiative (online) 

TOMODACHI Industry Insights Revisited COVID-19 Era Talks: Education Industry (online)

TOMODACHI Generation Global Leadership Academy 2020 (Day 1 and Day 2, online)

TOMODACHI Generation Global Leadership Academy 2020 (Day 3, online)

TOMODACHI Alumni Activities

From CHANGE to CHANCE: TOMODACHI RISE Awards Ceremony Commemorates 2019 Regional Leaders and Mentors' Commitment to Community and Beyond

On June 27, 2020, the online TOMODACHI RISE Awards Ceremony was held to commemorate the 2019 Regional Leaders and Mentors. A total of 45 participants gathered together, including TOMODACHI Alumni who participated in the TOMODACHI Alumni RISE Leadership Program as Regional Leaders or Mentors. Read More>>


TOMODACHI RISE Training: TOMODACHI Alumni Leaders Gather Online for Two-Day Training Session on Regional Impact and Leadership

From June 27 to 28, 2020, eight Regional Leaders and eight Regional Mentors gathered online to participate in June Training, a two-day virtual workshop. The training focused on reflecting on the Welcome Events held in June 2020, gaining new insights from guest speakers, and planning for the Theme Events that will be held in fall 2020.  Read More>>


TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework Welcome Event Online in 2020

<Tohoku-Hokkaido Region, Team A>

On June 7, 2020, Tohoku-Hokkaido Region, Team A held their TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework Welcome Event online, supported by Prudential Holdings of Japan and the U.S. Consulate General in Sapporo. 27 TOMODACHI Alumni from Hokkaido and other parts of Japan participated. The event was organized by Regional Leader Hiromi Waragai and Regional Mentor Nanako Saito. Read More>>

<Tohoku-Hokkaido Region, Team B>

On June 13, 2020, the Tohoku-Hokkaido Region, Team B held its 2020 TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework Welcome Event. The event, “TOMODACHI Alumni Online Career Event: Find Your Color,” was organized by Hinako Owada, Regional Leader, and Kanako Ishikura, Regional Mentor and was joined by 23 participants. Read More>>

<Kanto Region, Team A>

On June 14, 2020, the Kanto Region, Team A held its 2020 online TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework Welcome Event, gathering 15 TOMODACHI Alumni. It was organized by Shunsuke Watando, Regional Leader, and Kenji Negi, Regional Mentor, and aimed to help participants understand the issues of food waste in the Kanto region and raise awareness of food banks. It began with opening remarks by Sumio Thomas Aoki, Agricultural Trade Office, U.S. Embassy, Tokyo. Read More>>

<Kanto Region, Team B>

On June 14, 2020, Kanto Region, Team B held its online TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework Welcome Event. It was organized by Hiroko Ogasawara, Regional Leader and Hiroko Hiraki, Regional Mentor, who gathered 23 TOMODACHI Alumni from not only the Kanto region, but also across Japan. Read More>>

<Chubu-Hokuriku Region>

On June 6, 2020, the Chubu-Hokuriku Region kicked-off its 2020 online TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework Welcome Event. Supported by Prudential Holdings of Japan, Inc. and the U.S. Consulate in Nagoya, TOMODACHI Alumni in Chubu Hokuriku hosted the event for 27 participants. It was organized by Taiki Ito, Regional Leader, and Shinichi Fukunaga, Regional Mentor. Read More>>

<Kansai-Chugoku-Shikoku Region>

On June 13, 2020, the Kansai-Chugoku-Shikoku Region held its online TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework Welcome Event, organized by Maho Kitano, Regional Leader, and Miki Sakata, Regional Mentor. The event was supported by Prudential Holdings of Japan, Inc. and the U.S. Consulate-General in Osaka-Kobe, gathering about 20 TOMODACHI Alumni across Japan. Read More>>


<Okinawa Region>

On June 6, 2020, the Okinawa Region held its 2020 TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework Welcome Event, gathering 18 participants. With support from Prudential Holdings of Japan, Inc. and the U.S. Consulate in Okinawa, the event was organized by Rika Yonamine, Regional Leader, and Sarah Arao, Regional Mentor. Read More>>

TOMODACHI Alumni Activities Q&A with TOMODACHI Program Participants and TOMODACHI Alumni

<Danielle Reed>

For this interview, we spoke with Danielle Reed, alumna of the 2018 TOMODACHI Mitsui & Co. Leadership Program.
Ms. Reed experienced life in the Tohoku area during her JET program, in the difficult period after the Great East Japan Earthquake. She worked in communities greatly impacted by the disaster and connected with the TOMODACHI Initiative, later attending a TOMODACHI program herself. 

In November 2019, she started her own consulting company PinPath, LLC. Read More>>

<Monica Estrada>

We interviewed Monica Estrada, an alumna of the 2017 TOMODACHI Daiwa House Student Leadership Conference V and a participant in the Toshizo Watanabe Study Abroad Scholarship Program from 2018 to 2019. Estrada is currently a first year Master of Human Resource and Industrial Relations (MHRIR) candidate at the School of Labor and Employment Relations at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. An aspiring HR professional, she aims to serve as a medium between an organization and its employees at all levels.  Read More>>

<Shunsuke Watando>

For this interview, we spoke with Watando Shunsuke, alumnus of the 2018 TOMODACHI U.S.-Japan Youth Exchange Program and 2019 and 2020 TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Leader, Kanto Region. Since Mr. Watando visited a biogas center in Minami Sanriku-cho as part of his TOMODACHI program, his interests and concerns toward food waste have grown to include ways to turn food scraps into valuable energy. From this experience, he planned and held a TOMODACHI Alumni event themed around food waste. Read More>>

Recruitment for TOMODACHI Program Participants
Please forward and share these opportunities with people who may be interested.

Register Now for TOMODACHI Industry Insights Revisited COVID-19 Era Talks: Education Industry

Date: August 16th (Sun) Japan Time

Time: 10:00am-11:00am/JST (doors open at 9:50am) 

Format: Online (Zoom Webinar) -- Link will be emailed to those who register

Language: Japanese with English simultaneous translation 

Registration: (by August 13th JST)


– Noriko Kadonome (Organizer, DO-IT Japan, University of Tokyo)

– Yasutomo Sanui (Director, Life Is Tech, Inc.)

– Tomoko Nishikawa (PR Leader, TOBITATE Study Abroad Initiative, MEXT)

– Moderator: Sarah Arao (Regional Mentor, Okinawa Region

Registration Deadline: Thursday, August 13 

Register Now for MyproRoom supported by the TOMODACHI Initiative 

Applications are now open for MyproRoom supported by the TOMODACHI Initiative, which will be held online from August 8 to September 27, 2020.
Program Start Date: August 8 (Sat) 11:30-13:00
Format: Online (Zoom)
Applicants: Junior and senior high school students across Japan
For more information, click here (Japanese only):

TOMODACHI Opportunities

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

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.

*Important Announcement Regarding the Newsletter: Due to the postponement or cancellation of various 2020 TOMODACHI programs during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, our newsletter will now be delivered every two months. The next edition will be out at the end of September, as a combined issue for August and September. 

Update from Team TOMODACHI - June & July 2020

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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