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Update from Team TOMODACHI

September 2016

Participants Learn About Social Innovation and an Entrepreneurial Mindset through the TOMODACHI Microsoft iLEAP Social Innovation and Leadership Program

“I was seeking something that changes me but through this program I realized changes happen within me. I feel very empowered and now I have courage to take next steps towards my vision.”
From August 20 to September 17, twenty five Japanese university students and young professionals traveled to Seattle, Washington to participate in an experiential leadership training program. Once they arrived in Seattle, Washington, the participants were divided into project teams, and mentors which included employees of Microsoft, were assigned to each group. Throughout the program, they worked in their respective teams, as they met with prominent business professionals in the area and received business mentoring from recognized Japanese American leaders in the Seattle community. Read More>>

This program is made possible by the generous sponsorship by Microsoft Japan Co., Ltd..
The Latest on TOMODACHI Programs and Activities

TOMDACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program Year Four Launches in Osaka, Tokyo, Okinawa, and Sapporo

The fourth year of the TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program kicked off in Osaka on September 7 with its first mentoring session, where motivated female university students were introduced to female mid-career professionals, who will be their mentors for the next ten months. In addition, U.S.-Japan Council Leader and the Executive Director of Diversity & Inclusion Services at Ernst & Young Advisory Co., Ltd. Japan, Janelle Sasaki, led a session for the mentors providing guidance on how to be an effective mentor.
Following Osaka, the first sessions were also launched in Tokyo on September 9, Naha on September 16, and will launch for the first time in Sapporo, Hokkaido on September 30.
During subsequent sessions, in addition to having a mentor, students will undergo personal leadership development and financial literacy training in order to foster leadership skills, promote financial empowerment, encourage networking, and increase self-confidence. The program will culminate in a trip to the United States in March 2017, where the mentees will meet women leaders, interact with American students, and participate in skill-building workshops. More>>

University Students Cultivate their Entrepreneurial Spirit at the TOMODACHI U.S. Embassy-Keio SFC-TOMODACHI Entrepreneurship Seminar

Funded by The Boeing Company, the 6th U.S. Embassy-Keio SFC-TOMODACHI Entrepreneurship Seminar took place in Tokyo from September 6-9. This program was developed to support young Japanese entrepreneurs who are interested in reconstructing and revitalizing the Tohoku community in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake.
This year, 14 teams consisting of 37 university students from Niigata, Miyagi, Kumamoto and several other prefectures were selected to participate in this four-day seminar, and they were able to improve their business plans by obtaining advice and support from approximately 50 professional mentors and entrepreneurs. On the last day, six teams with the best business plans were selected. They will reunite on November 19 for the final presentation. More>>

American and Japanese Young Leaders from Foster Care Systems Share their Stories

On September 7, six American and four Japanese youth involved in the foster care system in the United States and Japan gathered in Tokyo to attend a symposium to discuss ways to encourage and increase participation of foster care youth in the foster care system.

The symposium was part of the 2016 TOMODACHI Foster Youth Leadership Program, which provides an opportunity for both American and Japanese youth in the foster care system to learn about foster care and the child welfare system in both countries, share their stories, and deepen their friendships with each other. More>>

Japanese High School Students Experience American Culture for the First Time on the TOMODACHI NAJAS Grassroots Exchange Program-Colorado Springs and Fujiyoshida

On August 18, eight high school students and two chaperones from Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi prefecture traveled to Colorado Springs, Colorado to meet their eagerly awaiting host families and to start their six-night homestay and cultural exchange program. This was the first time the Japanese students stepped foot into the United States and the first time that all but one of the host families had encountered the Japanese language, culture, and customs. 
This program was based on the 54 year sister-city relationship Fujiyoshida and Colorado Springs, and during their stay, the Japanese students visited many places and met many of the people that have contributed to this important relationship. Cultural activities enjoyed by the participants included visiting a local school and ‘shadowing’ their partner student, discovering the iconic sites of Colorado Springs, and exploring outdoor sports with their host families. More>>

Seventy Delegates from the 68th Japan-America Student Conference Attend a Diversity Symposium Featuring U.S.-Japan Council Panelists

The 68th Japan-America Student Conference took place in four cities in the United States between August 3-24. The 70 member delegation, which was comprised of university students from Japan and the United States, traveled to Boston, Washington, D.C., Missoula, and San Francisco to explore various facets of the U.S.-Japan relationship. Throughout the three-week conference, students engaged in roundtable discussions, interacted directly with leaders in government, business and academia through panels and site visits, and built life-long friendships with their fellow delegates from the other side of the Pacific. This conference was partially funded by TOMODACHI. More>>

TOMODACHI Supports Tohoku High School Students to Participate in HLAB TOHOKU 2016

One of the participants, Yuriko Ojima, commented that this program "...opened [my mind] to different kinds of values through a memorable and life changing experience.” 
From August 14-21, sixty high school students experienced an American style liberal arts based educational program through HLAB TOHOKU 2016. TOMODACHI Initiative funded participants from Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima prefectures for this summer school program which took place in the towns of Onagawa and MinamiSanriku in Miyagi prefecture in the Tohoku region. Through this program, students were able to learn and experience various approaches to achieving their goals by engaging in a community outside of their school and out of their comfort zone. More>>

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

Two TOMODACHI-UNIQLO Fellows Embark on their Studies in the United States

This fall, two fellows were selected to receive the TOMODACHI-UNIQLO Fellowship, which provides a world-class educational experience to Japan’s next generation of business and fashion leaders.  The selected fellows are:
JUNKO ARAI was a co-producer at Universal Studios Japan, a theme park based in Osaka. With her strong aptitude for fashion, she oversaw and coordinated the production of various costumes for performers in many different live entertainment shows over the course of ten years. She obtained her undergraduate degree from New York University in 2000 and will return to New York City to pursue a master’s degree in Global Fashion Management at the Fashion Institute of Technology from this fall. Read More>>
KOTA OKUDA has a wealth of experience working in the jewelry industry and collaborating with fashion designers. Originally from Niigata Prefecture, he received his with first class honors at Central Saint Martins University of the Arts London. Mr. Okuda focuses on fundamental creations that combine handcraft processes and hi-tech digital technologies (3D modeling and printing). He will study at Parsons School of Design and pursue a Master in Fine Arts (MFA) starting this fall. Read More>>

Young Japanese Musicians Begin Studying at Prestigious Music Schools in the U.S. on the TOMODACHI Suntory Music Scholarship Fund

 This TOMODACHI Suntory Music Scholarship Fund creates opportunities for young Japanese musicians to study at prestigious music schools in the United States.  Four students were selected to receive the 2016 TOMODACHI Suntory Music Scholarship Fund and have begun their Fall semester at Berklee College of Music, the Juilliard School of Music, and San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
MITSURU YONEZAKI is a violinist who attended The New England Conservatory Preparatory School. She has the experience of performing with the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, in hopes to become a globally renowned musician. At The Julliard School, she would like to improve her art form so that she can communicate the power and amusement of music to the world.
ANJU GOTO was born and raised in San Francisco, and both of her parents are Japanese. She is grateful that as a violinist at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, she can study and fulfill her goal of strengthening her ties with Japan. As a bilingual and bicultural musician, she is looking forward to becoming a bridge between the United States and Japan. 
GEN YOSHIMURA plays the drums and is attending the Berklee College of Music to polish his performance skills. He looks forward to learning about various types of music around the world, and creating sounds that will move people’s emotions. He particularly enjoys the space and atmosphere that music creates in a room, so he hopes to develop his own “groove” for audiences.
ERI CHICHIBU is from Miyagi Prefecture, and is a pianist headed for the Berklee College of Music. She has been passionate about music since she was very young, and is particularly inspired by jazz, funk, fusion, pop, and rock music. Her dream is to become a great composer, and wishes to spread happiness to people of all ages and backgrounds through the power and magic of music.

Upcoming Programs and Events
Sep 30             Ten-month mentorship program for Japanese female university students and Japanese female mid-career professionals launched in TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program: Sapporo
Oct 4-11           High school students from Oita prefecture will travel to Atlanta, Georgia to participate in the 26th Japan-America Grassroots Summit as part of the TOMODACHI CIE Grassroots Summit  

Oct 20-23        Themed, “U.S.-Japan Relations in the Nation’s Capital: Leadership, Legacy and Public Service,” the TOMODACHI Daiwa House Student Leadership Conference will take place in Washington, D.C.         
Nov 14-15       The 2016 U.S.-Japan Council Annual Conference in Silicon Valley will highlight innovation and entrepreneurship in Japan and the United States, while inspiring the next generation 
TOMODACHI Alumni Activities
Alumni Gather in Tokyo, Osaka and Naha to Meet and Share Their Experiences Participating on a TOMODACHI Program
Since July, there have been three TOMODACHI alumni gatherings that have been organized monthly in the Kanto, Kansai and Okinawa regions. The purpose of these gatherings were for the alumni from various TOMODACHI programs to meet in each region to share their TOMODACHI program experience, as well as to discuss ways of collaboration and cooperation for furthering their community development ideas and projects.
One of the strengths of the TOMODACHI Generation is its diversity: in age, location, careers, sectors, interests, passions, and more. In order to develop peer-to-peer leadership opportunities and create a sustainable network, Kaoru Utada, Alumni Manager of the TOMODACHI Initiative, initiated each of these events, which were then led by key alumni who volunteered to become TOMODACHI alumni regional leaders. These activities will fall under the Regional Framework that will be rolled out in January. 
Kanto Gathering in Tokyo
The first gathering was held in Tokyo on July 17 and was organized by Kazuki Kokubun who faced challenges as a Fukushima-native attending university his freshman year in the organized chaos of Tokyo. Read More>>
Kansai Gathering in Osaka
The Kansai gathering took place in Osaka on August 28, and was organized by Sachiho Tani and Yuichi Fukunaga. Sixteen alumni gathered to discuss what they can do as alumni, going forward. Read More>>
Okinawa Gathering in Naha
The gathering in Naha was held on September 15 was led by Mai Taira, Regional Mentor in Okinawa.  
The alumni gatherings are a part of the TOMODACHI Alumni Leadership Program, which is made possible through the generous support from The Prudential Foundation.
Recruiting TOMODACHI Alumni: University & High School Students in Japan
Become a TOMODACHI Regional Leader!
A TOMODACHI Generation regional framework is being created to further alumni engagement, thanks to the TOMODACHI Alumni Leadership Program supported by The Prudential Foundation.
Regional Groups are being established to support the over 4,600 alumni who are a part of the TOMODACHI Generation. These groups are divided into seven regions within Japan:  Hokkaido-Tohoku, Kanto, Chubu-Hokuriku, Kansai, Chugoku-Shikoku, Kyushu, Okinawa. 
If you are interested in creating and developing new events and opportunities and leading further alumni engagement within your region, click here and apply. 

Ambassador Kennedy Visits the Alumni-Run TOMODACHI Booth at Tour de Tohoku

On September 18, Ambassador Kennedy stopped by the "TOMODACHI Salon" at the Tour de Tohoku 2016 in Ishinomaki, which was organized and managed by TOMODACHI alumni from the Tohoku region. At the booth, the alumni spoke about their experiences participating in a TOMODACHI program and how it has impacted their lives in the past five years since the Great East Japan Earthquake. 

Apply Now: Japanese and American Alumni that are University Students and Young Professionals

Travel to Silicon Valley and Represent TOMODACHI at the U.S.-Japan Council Annual Conference
Join us and participate in the TOMODACHI Workshop at the U.S.-Japan Council Annual Conference from November 12-15, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara in Silicon Valley, California. As a TOMODACHI Alumni Representative, you will share your story of overcoming adversity, what challenges within their community and society they would like to address, and what further action they’ve taken towards this change.  Eight alumni (four Japanese and four American) will be selected.

(Application Deadline: October 3 at 23:59 JST)

For more information and to apply, click here

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

Japanese University Students and Young Professionals:  Recruiting for the TOMODACHI Microsoft iLEAP Social Innovation & Leadership Program

The TOMODACHI Microsoft iLEAP Social Innovation and Leadership Program is a five week experiential leadership training program that will takes place in Seattle, Washington.  Twenty five Japanese university students and professionals will be selected to visit Seattle from February 20 to March 24.

For more information and to apply, click here
TOMODACHI Opportunities

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

The U.S.-Japan Council (Japan) and the TOMODACHI Initiative is seeking unpaid interns to begin this Fall. U.S.-Japan Council (Japan) and TOMODACHI offers 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, 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 - September 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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