The latest news from Team TOMODACHI. Also available in Japanese.
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Update from Team TOMODACHI
May 2017

Inspiring Annual Conference Concludes the 2016-2017 TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program

On May 28, 2017, the 2016-2017 TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program (TMWLP) participants from Tokyo, Osaka, Naha, and Sapporo gathered in Tokyo for the capstone annual conference. Over 140 people attended this inspirational one-day event, which reached a broad audience that included program mentors and mentees, USJC representatives, MetLife leaders, and U.S. Embassy representatives.

The conference kicked off with a speech by U.S. Embassy Tokyo Minister Counselor for Public Affairs Margot Carrington, followed by presentations by Hikariko Ono, Spokesperson of Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and social entrepreneur Maco Yoshioka, Founder and Co-director of Madre Bonita. Panelists Kathy Matsui, Vice-Chair of Goldman Sachs Japan, and Christina Ahmadjian, Professor of Hitotsubashi University, Graduate School of Commerce and Management, with moderator Janelle Sasaki, Executive Director of Diversity & Inclusion, Ernst & Young Advisory Services Co., Ltd., discussed “Moving Forward with Mentorship.”

President and CEO of MetLife Japan Sachin N. Shah concluded the conference with a moving speech about the accomplished women in his family, including his daughter who recently joined the workforce. He shared his three most important pieces of advice: “take control, aim high, and just do it.” Since 2013, MetLife’s generous support for this program has had a remarkable impact on the future women leaders of Japan. Read More>>

We are excited to announce that recruitment for mentees and mentors is now open for the 2017-2018 TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program. For more information or to apply, click here
The Latest on TOMODACHI Programs and Activities

TOMODACHI Food Innovation for Regional Sustainability in Tohoku (FIRST) Program: Japanese Food Industry Leaders Inspired to Ignite Change in Tohoku

From May 1 – May 13, 2017, eight young Japanese leaders dedicated to revitalizing the food industry in Tohoku traveled to Seattle, Washington for the 2017 TOMODACHI Food Innovation for Regional Sustainability in Tohoku (FIRST) Program

This program aims to develop leadership and cross-cultural skills within the next generation of Japanese committed to social innovation in the production, processing, distribution, and/or consumption of food in Tohoku and Japan.

Shinichi Chiba, the owner of Japanese sweets store Shokado Kashiten in Miyagi prefecture, commented, “This program has helped me solidify my vision of wanting the world to see Tohoku in a different light – to not just see the disaster that happened but to experience the beauty the region holds.”

The delegates have returned to Japan with not only new ideas for their individual work in the food industry, but with a stronger commitment to being a part of a community dedicated to building a positive future for Tohoku. 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
Upcoming Programs and Events
Jun. 3 - 4

Jun. 17 - 18

Jun. 24 - Jul. 10

Jun. 29

Jun. 30 - Jul. 8

Jul. 21 - Aug. 11

Aug. 5 - 20

Aug. 7 - Sept. 8
TOMODACHI Alumni Disaster Resilience Training Program: Participants develop both theoretical and practical leadership skills through workshops (Kobe)

TOMODACHI Alumni Learning Journey on Leadership: TOMODACHI alumni develop their own leadership style

6th TOMODACHI MUFG International Exchange Program: High school students from Southern California visit Japan (Tokyo, Miyagi, Hiroshima, and Kyoto)

TOMODACHI Sumitomo Corporation Scholarship Program: Award Ceremony

TOMODACHI-Mitsui & Co. Leadership Program: American delegation visits Japan (Iwate and Tokyo)

TOMODACHI Summer 2017 SoftBank Leadership Program: 100 Tohoku high school students learn about leadership in Berkeley, California

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

TOMODACHI Microsoft iLEAP Social Innovation and Leadership Program 2017: Twenty five Japanese university students and young professionals visit Seattle, Washington to participate in a five-week experiential leadership training program
TOMODACHI Alumni Activities
TOMODACHI Alumni Leadership Program: The Fourth Session of the Fukushima KaoLINK Project Takes Place in Minamiaizu – Participants Connect Scents and Colors to Express Feelings of Fukushima  
On April 29 and 30, 2017, thirteen students, ranging from high schoolers to graduate school students, traveled to Minamiaizu, Fukushima to participate in the Fukushima KaoLINK Project. The students arrived with hopes of using scents to rebrand the region dealing with negative effects from the Great East Japan Earthquake. 

The weekend’s theme was to connect aroma with experiences and to understand that scent is about creating memories and combining different senses together. By the end of the program, the participants created nine scents related to nine colors that were connected with memories reflecting the best aspects of Fukushima.

Yuuka Abe, one of the participants of the project, said, “I am very thankful for the people who were involved in planning this project. I look forward to the changes that scent will bring about to Fukushima.” Read More>>
Save the Date: 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, click here.
Recruitment for TOMODACHI Program Participants
Please forward and share these opportunities with people who may be interested. 
2017-2018 TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program: Recruiting Women University Student Mentees and Female Mid-Career Professional Mentors

The TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program was launched in 2013 to develop the next generation of globally active women leaders. During the 10-month program, Japanese female university students will hone their leadership skills by attending seminars in Japan and participating in a U.S. trip at the end of the program.

Inspired by the idea that the development of women leaders requires role models, students are also paired with female mid-career professional mentors, further providing valuable networking opportunities. For more information or to apply, click here.

Application Deadline: June 26, 2017

Applications Open for the 2017 TOMODACHI Emerging Leaders Program!
The TOMODACHI Emerging Leaders Program (ELP)  offers Japanese American leaders of the next generation an opportunity to develop their leadership skills, design and implement original USJC programming, and foster powerful, lifelong personal and professional friendships.

Every year, young leaders aged 24 – 35 are selected to attend the USJC Annual Conference, and join program alumni in bridging the future of the U.S.-Japan relationship. For more information or to apply, click here.

Application Deadline: July 2, 2017, 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Recruitment Open for the TOMODACHI High School Women Career Mentoring Program in Fukushima supported by the TOMODACHI Combini Fund

TOMODACHI High School Women Career Mentoring Program in Fukushima supported by the TOMODACHI Combini Fund provides career support to second-year high school women living in Fukushima prefecture. Through special sessions with students who have studied abroad and with professional women, the program explains the many options that high school women have for the future, which will lead to the development of leaders in Fukushima prefecture.

For more information and to apply, click here (Japanese only).

Application Deadline for Participants: Monday, June 12

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 Spring and Summer. 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 - May 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.
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