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Update from Team TOMODACHI
May 2018

Entrepreneurship and Leadership seminars kicked off in Tokushima;
the series of seminars will be held at 13 locations throughout Japan

The pre-seminars for the 8th U.S. Embassy-Keio SFC-TOMODACHI Entrepreneurship Seminar kicked off in Tokushima Prefecture on May 10, followed by pre-seminars in Fukushima Prefecture on May 17, and Niigata Prefecture on May 27.
This nine-months program consists of pre-seminars that take place between May and July at approximately 13 locations throughout Japan; a camp seminar in September; a final session in November; and a concluding field study tour which sends the winning groups from the final session to Silicon Valley. The program is generously funded by the Boeing Company.
The pre-seminars provide opportunities for university students seeking means to solve social issues to learn about entrepreneurship and the concept of idea building. The participants also take part in discussions and group projects to understand the process of turning ideas into concrete plans. Read More>>

The Latest on TOMODACHI Programs and Activities

Welcoming the Five TOMODACHI Bridging Scholars

On April 26, the United States-Japan Bridging Foundation celebrated its 20th anniversary at U.S. Ambassador to Japan, William F. Hagerty’s residence. The Bridging Scholarship is implemented by the foundation, and approximately ten 2017-2018 Bridging Scholars were invited to the reception.

Among the 105 recipients of the foundation’s 2017-2018 Bridging Scholarship, the TOMODACHI Initiative is supporting five scholars. Benjamin Klehr represented the TOMODACHI Bridging Scholars and attended the reception. He is a student at Honolulu Community College, and is currently studying abroad at J. F. Oberlin University. Read More>>

Upcoming Programs and Events

May 12 - June 3               

May – July                     

June 1- 2                            
June 9 – 10                       

June 10                     

June 16 – 17           

June 23 – 24  

June 27                          

TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework Theme Events (throughout Japan)

US Embassy-Keio SFC-TOMODACHI Entrepreneurship Seminar Pre-Seminars (throughout Japan)

TOMODACHI-Mitsui & Co. Leadership Program U.S. Delegates orientation (Los Angeles, California)

TOMODACHI J&J Disaster Nursing Training Program Pre-Trip Seminar (Sendai, Miyagi)

2017-2018 TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program Annual Conference (Tokyo)

TOMODACHI Honda Global Leadership Program Orientation (Tokyo)

TOMODACHI Summer 2018 SoftBank Leadership Program Orientations

The TOMODACHI Sumitomo Corporation Scholarship Program Post-Program Presentations and Award Ceremony (Tokyo)

TOMODACHI Alumni Activities
TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework Welcome Event
in Chubu-Hokuriku Region

On May 12, 2018, the Chubu-Hokuriku Region kicked off with their very first TOMODACHI Alumni event in the region. The Welcome Event was hosted at the residence of U.S. Nagoya Consulate Principal Officer, Mr. Gary Schaefer. Ten people from across the region gathered; some joining locally from the Nagoya area and others traveling as far as from Toyama and Shizuoka.

Lillian Hart, Regional Leader and alumna of the TOMODACHI Inouye Scholars Program, along with Tsutomu Sugano, Regional Mentor and alumnus of the TOMODACHI-Mitsui & Co. Leadership Program, opened the event and led the group in an introduction game to find commonalities with one another. Principal Officer Gary Schaefer made remarks on the importance of supporting grassroots exchanges and the value that the TOMODACHI Generation brings to U.S.-Japan relations. Read More>>

TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework Welcome Event
in Kyushu Region

On May 18, 2018, 21 TOMODACHI Alumni from across the Kyushu Region gathered at the Fukuoka American Center to hear from two special guest speakers: Julie Chung, Director of the Office of Japanese Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, and Vanessa Zenji, Consul for Public Affairs at the U.S. Consulate in Fukuoka.

The event started with Ms. Chung’s heartwarming and inspiring speech about her own experiences of having migrated to the United States and her father’s American Dream success story of how he worked his way up from a janitor to become president of that engineering company. She finished her speech with the inspiring words: “Dream big and work hard.” Read More>>

Voices of the TOMODACHI Generation: Natsumi Komatsu

Ms. Komatsu started her Ph.D. at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rice University in September of 2017. She received her bachelor’s degree in applied physics at Keio University in Japan. She spent her junior year at Rice University participating in an exchange program supported by the TOMODACHI Sumitomo Corporation Scholarship Program. She also participated in the TOMODACHI STEM @ Rice University for Female Students Program in 2017. She researches carbon nanomaterials for next-generation semiconductors and renewable energy devices.

We interviewed her about her experiences, from her first exposure to the TOMODACHI Initiative up to the present. Read More>>

TOMODACHI Alumni took part in the  WIN (Women’s International Networking) Conference
On May 10 and 11, 2018, five TOMODACHI alumni attended the WIN (Women’s International Networking) Conference held at IBM Japan. The Conference was attended by 148 middle and senior level managers – all longing for positive change in the world, and their work and life. WIN extended complimentary tickets to TOMODACHI alumni to attend the full two-day conference, including five outstanding plenaries, two learning workshops, and a networking lunch. TOMODACHI alumni gained knowledge and inspiration from speakers and those in attendance.  Alumni Miku Yoshiba wrote, “It was a wonderful opportunity for me as a millennial to connect with other like-minded and motivated women who want to make the world a better place for everyone. Read More>>
Recruitment for TOMODACHI Program Participants
Please forward and share these opportunities with people who may be interested. 
Now Accepting Applications 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.

Application Deadline: Monday, June 18

For more information and to apply: click here (Japanese Only).
Now Accepting Applications for the 2018-2019 TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program !
Now Accepting Applications for the 2018-2019 TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program!

The TMWLP was originally held in Tokyo and Osaka and has expanded to include Naha, Fukuoka, and Sapporo on a rotating basis. The program is held in four cities each year. The 2018-2019 TMWLP program will be held in Tokyo, Osaka, Naha, and Sapporo. In the five-year period from 2013 to 2018, a total of 438 women (219 women university students and 219 mentors) have taken part.Through the year-long program, highly-motivated Japanese women university students work to hone their leadership skills. The students attend regular group sessions hosted by the U.S. Embassy that provide training in leadership development and financial empowerment by MetLife Japan. The students are also paired with female mid-career professionals as mentors to have one-on-one support and networking opportunities. Mentees also visit Washington, D.C. and New York for a weeklong study trip. Throughout the program mentees and mentors are invited to attend special seminars with members of government and business leaders.

Application Deadline: Monday, June 18
For more information and to apply: click here.
Now Accepting Applications for the Building the TOMODACHI Generation: Morgan Stanley Ambassadors Program !
The Building the TOMODACHI Generation: Morgan Stanley Ambassadors Program is currently recruiting candidates for its 2019 program, which will take place from February 16 – March 4, 2019 (tentative).

Students attending the U.S.-Japan Research Institute (USJI) member universities (Doshisha University, Keio University, Kyoto University, Kyushu University, Ritsumeikan University, Sophia University, The University of Tokyo, University of Tsukuba, and Waseda University) are eligible to apply by early July (freshmen and sophomores preferred; deadlines vary among the 9 member universities).

For more information and to apply: click here.
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 - May 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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