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Update from Team TOMODACHI
May 2016

Tokyo Conference Concludes the 2015-2016 TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program

On April 24, 2016, TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program participants from Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, and Naha gathered in Tokyo for the capstone conference.  All the mentors and mentees were joined by MetLife executives for an inspirational one-day event, involving a total of over 140 people.This year’s speakers included the honorable Yuriko Koike, Member of the House of Representatives; Kathy Matsui, Vice Chair of Goldman Sachs Japan; and journalist Hiroko Kuniya. Each speaker shared some of their own experiences of being a working woman in Japan, along with advice and encouragement for the next generation of female leaders.

The conference included an interactive leadership workshop led by Lumina Learning.  Each participant reflected on their own leadership strengths and discussed ways to utilize these strengths in groups. 
An additional highlight was the announcement by the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MetLife, Sachin N. Shah, that MetLife would continue their support for the program for five more years.  Starting this year, the program will also be expanding to include Sapporo. Since 2013, MetLife has supported over 230 female participants in the TMWLP program.  Read More>>
Currently recruiting mentors and mentees! To apply and for more information, click here
(Application Deadline: June 15)

The Latest on TOMODACHI Programs and Activities

From Tohoku to Kumamoto—Students Join in on Relief Efforts on the Ground

From April 25 to 27, a group of students from affected areas in Fukushima and Iwate Prefectures reached out to Kumamoto Prefecture to help local residents rebuild their lives after the devastating earthquake on April 16, 2016. 
The relief mission is part of the TOMODACHI Alumni Disaster Resilience Training Program, a joint project led by the TOMODACHI Initiative, Japan IsraAID support program (JISP) and Peace Boat, and included training in disaster preparedness and psychological first aid. The students used the experience and skills they learned during the training and in their recovery efforts in Tohoku to support the people of Kumamoto. 
Ms. Aoi Seto, a student originally from Iwaki, Fukushima currently studying at Chiba University, said this relief mission in Kumamoto was very meaningful to her, and she felt that her experience as a victim of the Great East Japan Earthquake was very helpful in approaching the local people in Kumamoto and understanding their feelings of stress and fear, as well as in connecting with them on a very deep and personal level. Read More>> 

TOMODACHI Alumni Attend the 6th U.S.-Japan Council Business Advisory Board Meeting and Learn About the Implications of the Presidential Race on U.S.-Japan Relations

Three TOMODACHI alumni had an opportunity to attend the 6th U.S.-Japan Council (USJC) Business Advisory Board Meeting that was held in Tokyo on May 17. The alumni were able to with the USJC Business Advisory Board (BAB), business leaders in Japan with extensive experience in the United States, and American business leaders working in Japan.
In addition to networking, the alumni listened to the keynote speech given by Dr. Gerald Curtis, Burgess Professor of Political Science at Columbia University. Dr. Curtis discussed the deep fissures in American society that were revealed by this year’s Presidential Race, and stressed the need for both Japanese and American leaders to understand that although their national interests with regard to wider foreign policy may not always be aligned, the bilateral friendship and alliance between the two countries serves the interests of both.
This was the second time TOMODACHI alumni were invited to this exclusive meeting as representatives of the next generation of leaders in U.S.-Japan relations. Read More>>

TOMODACHI Initiative Recognized at Japan Day @ Central Park in New York City, Attended by 55,000 Visitors

On May 8, 2016, the TOMODACHI Initiative was recognized as one of three organizations that had contributed significant efforts to supporting Tohoku after the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011 at the 10th Annual Japan Day @ Central Park that took place in New York.  The representatives of Japan Day thanked TOMODACHI, Japan Society and Hideki Matsui for their support over the past five years and their continued dedication to the Tohoku region. Over 55,000 visitors joined the festivities in New York and donations were collected to support current relief efforts in Kumamoto after severe earthquakes struck the region this past April.

The award was accepted by Vice Chair of U.S.-Japan Council (USJC) Board of Directors Gary Moriwaki on behalf of USJC alongside Mr. Dale Prince from the U.S. Department of State who represented the U.S. Embassy in Japan. Read More>>

TOMODACHI Alumni Discover their Own Leadership Style

On April 23 and 24, twenty one high school and university students participated in the TOMODACHI Alumni Learning Journey Program held in Tokyo. Students gathered to identify and develop their leadership style and apply it within their own communities in the long term. This alumni-led program was developed and implemented by Mio Yamamoto, alumna of the TOMODACHI Emerging Leaders Program and adapted World in Tohoku (WIT)’s model of building capacity of social entrepreneurs and leaders from diverse fields to create long-term social impact on society. Read More>>
This alumni workshop was made possible by the generous support of The Prudential Foundation, which sponsors the TOMODACHI Alumni Leadership Program.

Four Students Represent the United States at the Junior-7 Summit in Mie Prefecture

From April 19-29, four high school students, including one TOMODACHI alumnus, representing different regions of the United States were in Japan as U.S. representatives to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) sponsored Junior 7 Summit in Mie prefecture. In Mie, the students worked with high school delegates from other G-7 countries including Japan, on a proposal paper that was later presented in person to U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy, the government of Mie, and Prime Minister Abe. Read More>>

“I will continue to keep in touch with [my host] family and my host brother to help expand their English language capabilities and continue this life long relationship that has been created as a result of this Summit.”
     – Omar Saracevic, U.S. delegate (Virginia) and TOMODACHI Alumnus


Voices of the TOMODACHI Generation

Shota Sakurai (on right) is a TOMODACHI alumnus that participated in the TOMODACHI 2014 Summer Coca-Cola Homestay Program. He is currently active in a student-organized disaster relief organization called Connect_Sent and led the collection effort for a Kumamoto earthquake relief fund at his school. The donations were hand delivered to the local government in Kumamoto when TOMODACHI alumni went to provide relief efforts as part of the TOMODACHI Alumni Disaster Resilience Leadership Program. Read more about Shota Sakurai>>
Omar Saracevic (on left) participated in the TOMODACHI Toshiba Science & Technology Leadership Academy in 2015 and more recently, the Junior-7 Summit in Mie as a TOMODACHI alumnus. He attends Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia and is interested in Biomedical Engineering. Read about his TOMODACHI experiences>>
Emily (Mimi) Walker (on left) participated in the TOMODACHI Inouye Scholars Program in March 2016 and visited Japan for the first time. She currently attends Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts, majors in journalism and hopes to become a JET. Read about her experience on the program>>

Register Now for the 2016 U.S.-Japan Council Annual Conference in Silicon Valley!

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
May 16-29        Ten Japanese participants will travel to Seattle, Washington to participate in the TOMODACHI Food Innovation for Regional Sustainability in Tohoku Program implemented by iLEAP

June 3-4           U.S Delegates selected for the TOMODACHI-Mitsui & Co. Leadership Program will meet in Chicago, Illinois for a program orientation

June 20-28        Four middle school and high school students from Hawaii will travel to Sendai on the TOMODACHI Aloha Leadership Program
June 22-24         Non-profit leaders in Japan will attend the InterAction Forum in Washington, D.C. as part of the TOMODACHI NGO Leadership Program supported by J.P. Morgan
June 25-26        TOMODACHI J&J Disaster Nursing Training Program Kicks-off with a Two-Day Sendai Workshop
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

The TOMODACHI MetLife Women's Leadership Program, a ten-month mentorship program which pairs highly-motivated Japanese female university students with female mid-career professionals to encourage networking, is currently recruiting mentors and mentees for the 2016-2017 program. Participants will be recruited from Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, and Naha and will be invited to visit Washington, D.C. and New York City in spring 2017 to meet with business leaders, government officials, and nonprofit leaders. 
Application Deadline: June 15, 2016. For more information, click here

TOMODACHI High School Women Career Mentoring Program in Fukushima
Apply to be a Mentor!
TOMODACHI is recruiting women in Fukushima who are interested in mentoring female high school students participating in the TOMODACHI High School Women Career Mentoring Program. This program provides career support to female students living in Fukushima prefecture who are in their junior year of high school. For more information, click here (Japanese only)
Apply to be a Mentee!
TOMODACHI High School Women Career Mentoring Program in Fukushima is a career support program for Fukushima prefecture female high school students in their junior year. Students will broaden their perspectives for their future and obtain the skills for becoming the next generation of leaders in the Fukushima area by meeting exchange students who are currently studying in Japan and participating in discussions with successful young professional women. For more information and to apply, click here (Japanese only)
Application Deadline: June 13, 2016

For TOMODACHI Alumni: TOMODACHI Disaster Resilience Leadership Training Program in Ishinomaki 
From July 2-3, 2016, this two-day training program aims to build the capacity of TOMODACHI Generation young leaders and provides them with both practical skills and theoretical knowledge in the fields of disaster preparedness, disaster management and Psycho Social Support. It also provides TOMODACHI alumni with the opportunity to interact with other alumni interested or involved in disaster relief and Psycho Social Support, building a strong network of young leaders passionate about making an impact. More>>
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 - May 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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