The latest news from Team TOMODACHI. Also available in Japanese.
View this email in your browser
Share Share
Tweet Tweet
Forward Forward
Update from Team TOMODACHI
May 2020

TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program Holds Virtual Workshops ~Empowering Through Technology~

The 2019-2020 TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program culminated in a virtual panel discussion titled “Own your Life, Design your Future,” on Friday, May 1. This was the last of three virtual workshops organized by TMWLP in lieu of the traditional Annual Conference to conclude the 10 month program.

Leading up to the last workshop, four mentors representing each of the program cities shared their life stories in a series of virtual interviews. The same mentors were invited as panelists for the final virtual workshop.

Through the twists and turns of the life journeys of the panelists, the workshop conveyed the empowering message that the essence of life ownership resides not with being able to control, but with being able to choose how to respond, particularly in light of current circumstances. It is in that response participants embody the five core competencies of TMWLP: Self-Awareness, Collaboration, Paying-It-Forward, Global Perspective, and Resilience. Read More>>

The Latest on TOMODACHI Programs and Activities

Three American University Students Share Their TOMODACHI Internship Program Experiences in Online Presentations

On April 28, 2020, three American university students shared their three-month-long TOMODACHI Internship Program experiences in Japan using online presentations. Officials from the U.S. Embassy Tokyo Public Affairs Section had the chance to hear these stories directly from the students themselves.
This program was created in 2015 to facilitate more Japanese internship opportunities for American students. This program is sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo and is implemented in partnership with Temple University, Japan Campus (TUJ). Read More>>

Suzanne Basalla Selected as New U.S.-Japan Council CEO

Suzanne Basalla Selected as New U.S.-Japan Council CEO
Paul Yonamine, Ernest Higa to Lead USJC Boards

The U.S.-Japan Council (USJC) Board of Directors has named Ms. Suzanne Basalla, Chief of Staff at the Toyota Research Institute (TRI) and former USJC Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, as the new President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Council. She assumed this position on May 18, 2020.

Headquartered in Washington, DC, with staff in California, Hawaii and Japan, USJC’s mission is to develop and connect diverse leaders to strengthen the U.S.-Japan relationship. The organization has almost 700 members in the U.S. and Japan. Read More>>

Upcoming Programs and Events

June 6

June 7

June 13

June 14 

June 26

June 27 – 28


TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Impact for Social Empowerment (RISE) Leadership Program:
Welcome Events (Online)
-Okinawa: "Who Will Be Your Life-Partner?"
-Chubu-Hokuriku: "How Do We Stay Connected Post-COVID-19 Era?"

TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Impact for Social Empowerment (RISE) Leadership Program:
Welcome Events (Online) 
-Tohoku-Hokkaido A: "~Feel Closer to Forests~"

TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Impact for Social Empowerment (RISE) Leadership Program:
Welcome Events (Online)
-Tohoku-Hokkaido B :"Alumni Career Event Find Your Color"
-Kansai-Chugoku-Shikoku: "Gibier: Why Do We Eat Game Meat?"

TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Impact for Social Empowerment (RISE) Leadership Program:
Welcome Events (Online)
-Kanto B: "Stars, Clowns and Hospitals"
-Kanto A: "What Can We Do Now: Food Loss and Food Banks"

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

RISE Leadership Two-Day Training Workshop(Online)

TOMODACHI Alumni Activities

TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework Welcome Event in Kyushu Region:Self-Fulfillment and Solving Problems of Social Shifts

On May 17, 2020, the Kyushu region kicked-off its first online TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework Welcome Event in 2020, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, with about 50 TOMODACHI Alumni and United States Department of State program alumni joining and gathering online. The event was jointly hosted by the U.S. Consulate in Fukuoka, and organized by Haruka Kurosawa, Regional Leader, and Taito Kameishi, Regional Mentor.

It began with opening remarks by Fumie Hayashi, a PR Manager at Prudential Holdings of Japan, Inc., and Yuki Kondo-Shah, Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Consulate in Fukuoka. Read More>>

Launch of New Book Japan in DC Represents TOMODACHI Legacy

Young people who attended high school in Washington, D.C. with a passion for Japanese language and culture have channeled that enthusiasm and creativity into the creation of the Japan in DC guidebook.

It is a guide to the people, places, institutions, and organizations that help explain and sustain the strong connection between Japan and Washington, D.C. The book contains over 45 articles written by a diverse group of DC teens documenting what they learned during their summer program experiences, augmented by photography, poetry, and other creative expressions.

The book contains writings and experiences of alumni of the TOMODACHI program, including stories of the few occasions TOMODACHI participants were able to join Japan in D.C. students for joint programming. Read More>>

For more information about the Japan in DC guidebook, please visit Globalize DC’s website here.

American and Japanese Alumni Gather for a Virtual Meet-Up

On April 29 and May 1, the U.S.-Japan Council led video calls with Japanese and American alumni of two programs: the Toshizo Watanabe Study Abroad Scholarship Program and the TOMODACHI Daiwa House Student Leadership Conference.

These virtual calls offered not only an opportunity for USJC staff to reconnect with alumni, but also for alumni to see their fellow program participants and meet those from other programs. A total of 27 alumni from across the U.S. and Japan gathered virtually to share their experiences so far with the coronavirus pandemic, exchange thoughts on what leadership looks like in difficult times, and discuss challenges they have been facing on in their school, work and personal lives since the outbreak began. Read More>>

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

<Ayaha Kanno>

In this interview, we talk with Ayaha Kanno, alumna of the TOMODACHI Summer 2017 SoftBank Leadership Program and several other TOMODACHI programs. She also served as a 2019 TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Leader, Tohoku-Hokkaido Region

As Singapore has restarted importing previously banned foods from Fukushima, Singapore TV featured Ayaha Kanno in her role as the Regional Leader of the Tohoku-Hokkaido Region, under the TOMODACHI RISE Alumni Leadership Program, focusing on issues related to food in Fukushima.  Read More>>

*You can watch the video here, via Singapore TV 8 World (Chinese only)

<Sho Konishi>

For this interview, we talked with Sho Konishi, an alumnus of the 2017 TOMODACHI-UNIQLO Fellowship.

After participating in his TOMODACHI program, Mr. Konishi launched his own fashion brand in New York City as an artist, and also works as a freelance designer. He runs Sho Konishi Design Lab for students in Japan studying fashion, and hosts online workshops to support the students’ studies abroad. He now lives in NYC, so we asked about his current life and his experience with TOMODACHI. Read More>>

*Please see Mr. Sho Konishi’s art and activities at this link.


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

Apply Now: Tohoku Students for the TOMODACHI Generation Global Leadership Academy 2020

Due to COVID-19, the TOMODACHI Generation Global Leadership Academy 2020 that had originally been scheduled for March, is now going to be held ONLINE.
The new date is August 22-23 and September 6, 2020.  

Applications are open again to TOMODACHI alumni from the Tohoku region and we encourage you to apply for the TOMODACHI Generation Global Leadership Academy 2020.  

Applicants that previously applied and were accepted need not to apply again as we will be contacting you to confirm your attendance for the new date.  

New applicants - those who missed the opportunity to apply earlier this year - are encouraged to apply.  

Applicants: 36 TOMODACHI Alumni (30 high school and 6 university students) from Tohoku who have participated in a TOMODACHI Program.  

Application Deadline: Tuesday, June 30 at 21:00 Japan Standard Time  

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 July, as a combined issue for June and July. 

Update from Team TOMODACHI - May 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.
unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences