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Update from Team TOMODACHI
October & November 2020

TOMODACHI-UNIQLO Fellowship Selects Two Students for 2020 Program

On September, 2020, two participants of the TOMODACHI-UNIQLO Fellowship in 2020 joined the online program orientation.
Under this fellowship, students who aspire to be globally-oriented business managers or fashion designers receive a top U.S. graduate education in business and fashion. After a prestigious selection process, Kazuya Kojima and Natsumi Aoki were chosen as program participants.

Kazuya Kojima studies at Parsons The New School for Design (Parsons). He looks forward to enriching his creative activities through communication with locals in New York from various backgrounds and the understanding and discoveries he will find by putting himself in a new environment. While deepening his understanding of Japanese history and traditional culture, he aims to make clothes that are useful for daily life. 

Natsumi Aoki is the first female TOMODACHI-UNIQLO fellow to study at Parsons. She aims to share her studies in the United States with people in Japan using her own perspectives. She would like to learn ways of expression that make the best use of her two different backgrounds, materials and culture, which she has developed through her previous experiences. Read More>>

TOMODACHI High School Women Career Mentoring Online Program in Tohoku STEP1: Almost 90 Students Challenge Themselves Through Dance and Music Workshop

On October 24, 25, and November 8, 2020, STEP 1 of the TOMODACHI High School Women Career Mentoring Online Program in Tohoku supported by the TOMODACHI Combini Fund, titled “Global E-Workshop” was held online, attended by almost 90 high school students from Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima Prefectures.
During the program, participants are divided into groups of six to seven students. Fifteen TOMODACHI Alumni, who are university/technical school students and also from the Tohoku region, closely support each of the groups as mentors. In addition, three university students from Tohoku plan and organize the program as Project Assistants (PA).

Before STEP 1, the Opening Session and Team Session were held online on October 4. The participants became acquainted with one another, and after listening to presentations by the PAs and mentors on “My Challenges in High School,” the participants expressed the ways they hope to change and grow through the four-month program. Read More>>

The Latest on TOMODACHI Programs and Activities

Junior High and High School Students in Japan and Abroad Present Projects to Realize Their Ideal Futures Online MyproRoom supported by the TOMODACHI Initiative, a one-month online program for junior high and high school students, was held in September 2020, and joined by about 30 students who live all over Japan and abroad. Having the program online made it possible for participants with different backgrounds to join and inspire one another. Read More>>

Campus Venture Grand Prix Competition 2019 TOMODACHI Award Recipients Participate in Online Training

On September 11 and 18, and October 2, 2020, the two winning students of the TOMODACHI Social Entrepreneurship Award at the Campus Venture Grand Prix Competition joined three training sessions online. The TOMODACHI Entrepreneurship Award Program aims to improve the plans of these top student entrepreneurs in Japan through pitch meetings with business founders and investors in Silicon Valley. Read More>>

Alumni Look Back on Their TOMODACHI-Mitsui & Co. Leadership Program Experiences and Share the Impact on Their Careers with the Donor in Online Meetings

On September 23 and 25, 2020, the alumni meeting of the TOMODACHI-Mitsui & Co. Leadership Program was held online and joined by 15 people, including the program alumni. During the meeting, the alumni shared the impact of the program, as well as what they gained from their participation. Read More>>

Upcoming Programs and Events

October - December

December 6

December 12 - 13

December 16

December 19 - 20

January 30 - 31

TOMODACHI - Keio SFC Entrepreneurship Seminar Pre-Seminar (online)

TOMODACHI RISE Leadership Program Theme Event Tohoku-Hokkaido Team B (online)

U.S.-Japan Council Signature Series – Next Generation Summit (online)

TOMODACHI RISE Leadership Program Theme Event Kyushu Region (online)

TOMODACHI High School Women Career Mentoring Online Program in Tohoku supported by the TOMODACHI Combini Fund Session with Female Professionals (online)

TOMODACHI High School Women Career Mentoring Online Program in Tohoku supported by the TOMODACHI Combini Fund Final Presentations (online)

TOMODACHI Alumni Activities

TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework Theme Event in Kanto Region, Team B: Learning About Sign Language to Realize an Equal Society

On September 12, 2020, Kanto Region, Team B held its online TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework Theme Event. It was organized by Hiroko Ogasawara, Regional Leader, and Hiroko Hiraki, Regional Mentor, who gathered 15 participants including TOMODACHI Alumni from Kanto and other regions. Read More>>


TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework Theme Event in Chubu-Hokuriku Region: Learning About Social Isolation Through Support for the Homeless

On September 19, 2020, the Chubu-Hokuriku Region held its TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework Theme Event. Supported by Prudential and the U.S. Consulate in Nagoya, TOMODACHI Alumni in the Chubu-Hokuriku region hosted the event for 15 participants. It was organized by Taiki Ito, Regional Leader, and Shinichi Fukunaga, Regional Mentor. Read More>>

TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework Theme Event in Kanto Region, Team A: Virtual Food Bank Tour and Recipes to Reduce Food Loss

On October 18, 2020, the Kanto Region, Team A held its 2020 online TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework Theme Event, supported by Prudential and the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. It was organized by Shunsuke Watando, Regional Leader, and Kenji Negi, Regional Mentor, and joined by 17 participants. Read More>>

TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework Theme Event in Kansai-Chugoku-Shikoku Region: Learning About Wild Game from a Hunter to Rethink Food Sustainability 

On October 31, 2020, the Kansai-Chugoku-Shikoku region held its online TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework Theme Event, organized by Maho Kitano, Regional Leader, and Miki Sakata, Regional Mentor. The event was supported by Prudential and the U.S. Consulate-General in Osaka-Kobe, gathering 10 participants across Japan. Read More>>


TOMODACHI Alumni Joined Twenty-First Business Advisory Board Meeting Featuring Mr. Masaaki Tanaka, Chairman, President and CEO of Nippon Paint Holdings Co., Ltd. 

On October 28, 2020, four TOMODACHI Alumni from different programs were invited to attend the online 21st U.S.-Japan Council Business Advisory Board (BAB) Meeting, at which Masaaki Tanaka, BAB Chairman and Vice-Chair of the USJC Board of Councilors, delivered remarks as the featured speaker. Two additional alumni joined the meeting as part of the TOMODACHI Alumni Internship Program and helped manage the event by providing technical support. Read More>>

Q&A with TOMODACHI Program Participants and TOMODACHI Alumni

<Colin Timmerman>

For this interview, we spoke with Colin Timmerman, an alumnus of the TOMODACHI Daiwa House Student Conference V in Chicago in 2017 and the 2018 USJC Annual Conference in Tokyo as a TOMODACHI Youth Leader Participant. He currently serves as the Legislative Assistant handling foreign affairs and national security issues for Congressman Ted Yoho (Florida, District 3), the Ranking Member for the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia. Read More>>


<Kokomi Watanabe>

Kokomi Watanabe is an alumna of the 9th U.S. Embassy-Keio SFC-TOMODACHI Entrepreneurship Seminar and participated in the study tour to Silicon Valley as the member of the winning team in February 2020. She is originally from Kanagawa Prefecture and lives close to the sea and its fish. She once saw a news story on fish eating plastics in the ocean and decided to work with companies to develop plastic bags made up of materials that repel fish. In 2019, she participated in the 7th High School Business Plan Grand Prix and received second prize. Read More>>

TOMODACHI Opportunities

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

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 January 2021, as a combined issue for December and January. 

Update from Team TOMODACHI - October & November 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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