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Update from Team TOMODACHI
September 2018

Japanese High School Students Learn about Leadership and Dreams at the TOMODACHI Honda Global Leadership Program 2018

Twenty high school students, selected from across Japan, participated in the TOMODACHI Honda Global Leadership Program from August 15 to 29, 2018. 
Two months after the Pre-departure Orientation, which took place at Honda Motor Co., Ltd. headquarters in June, the high school students embarked on the program. The students took part in a day-and-a-half long pre-departure program held at a hotel near Narita Airport, where they learned self-introductions in English, practiced public-speaking, and shared their own goals for the program.

After the day-and-a-half long program, the twenty high school students departed for Los Angeles and Torrance in California, and Marysville and Dublin in Ohio. Inspired by the theme “The Power of Dreams,” Honda’s corporate slogan, the students took part in various programs designed to enhance their global leadership skills and prepare participants to navigate their own lives, challenge themselves, and make their dreams come true. Read More>>

Participants Learn about Leadership and Social Innovation through the TOMODACHI Microsoft iLEAP Social Innovation and Leadership Program 2018 in Seattle

From August 1 to 25, 2018, 24 university students and young professionals traveled to Seattle, Washington, for a 4-week intensive leadership training as part of Phase Two of the TOMODACHI-Microsoft iLEAP Social Innovation and Leadership Program 2018. This program consists of three (3) phases. Phase 1 took place in Japan with preparatory activities including an online meeting. Phase 2 was a 4-week intensive leadership training in Seattle. Now, the scholars are back in Japan for Phase 3 of the program, in which individual project implementation occurs in Japan with the support of Microsoft Advisors and a new partner organization, ETIC.. 

Throughout the 4-week training in Seattle, scholars were exposed to integrated learning experiences consisting of 5 learning modes; Seminar Training, Group Projects, Site Visits, Mentoring from Microsoft Advisors and Reflection. Read More>>

The Next Generation of U.S. and Japan Leaders Gather for the TOMODACHI Generation Summit 2018

On September 9, 2018, nearly 300 TOMODACHI alumni (past program participants), guests, and supporters gathered at Showa Women’s University for the 2018 TOMODACHI Generation Summit, under the theme Meet, Move, Merge. The day-long event was comprised of multiple formats including plenaries, TED style talks, breakout sessions, and workshops. This event created by alumni, for alumni, is a core feature of the TOMODACHI Alumni Leadership Program

U.S.-Japan Council President Irene Hirano Inouye led the opening of the summit with remarks, followed by Masaharu Kohno, TOMODACHI Initiative Senior Advisor and Special Representative of the Government of Japan for the Middle East and Europe and Special Envoy of the Government of Japan for the Middle East Peace, who encouraged the alumni to think about how they can be TOMODACHI to the world. Read More>>

The Latest on TOMODACHI Programs and Activities

TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program Year Six Launches in Sapporo, Tokyo, Osaka, and Naha

August 31 through September 21, 2018, the 2018-2019 TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program (TMWLP) kicked-off with opening sessions in Sapporo, Tokyo, Osaka, and Naha. The first session focused on building a strong mentor-mentee relationship, the signature feature of this 10-month program that pairs 50 female Japanese undergraduate students with 50 Japanese mid-level career professional women.

The opening sessions in each city began with welcome remarks from representatives of the U.S. Embassy and Consulates, and MetLife. Read More>>

University Students from Across Japan Come Together to Present Business Plans at the 8th U.S. Embassy-Keio SFC-TOMODACHI Entrepreneurship Seminar

The 8th U.S. Embassy-Keio SFC-TOMODACHI Entrepreneurship Seminar took place from September 4 to 7, 2018. Funded by The Boeing Company, this educational entrepreneurship program was founded to foster next generation leaders who aspire to reconstruct, revitalize, and develop the future of Japan in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Following the pre-seminars, which began in May 2018, fourteen teams consisting of 40 university students from all over Japan were selected to participate in the four-day seminar. The students came from various prefectures such as Miyagi, Fukushima, Niigata, Tokyo, Osaka, and Miyazaki. During the seminar, the students positively influenced one another and built connections with peers they would not otherwise have met in their home communities. In addition, with support from over twenty professional mentors, the students shared their own passions, experiences, and knowledge with one another, all of which led to further personal growth. Read More>>

TOMODACHI Youth Ambassadors Program: American Students from New York City Experience Educational Exchange in Fukushima

The TOMODACHI Youth Ambassadors Program connected high school students  from New York City and Fukushima for ten days of service-learning and positive youth development exchange programming. After participating in a three-week pre-trip seminar on topics ranging from Japanese history and culture and digital media production, to U.S.-Japan relations and environmental resilience, nine students from New York City traveled to Tokyo and Fukushima Prefecture from July 25 to August 4, 2018. Over the course of the trip, participants were immersed in homestays with Japanese families, culinary exploration, educational exchange with youth from Futaba Future High School in Fukushima, and tours of the Tohoku region provided by the Japanese youth development organization, Katariba.

The American youth spent the weekend in Tokyo with Japanese families who welcomed the participants with warmth and kindness, providing a first-hand introduction to Japanese culture filled with generosity, respect, and home-cooked meals. Read More>>

HLAB 2018:University Students Learn Leadership Skills through HLAB Summer Schools

From August 14 to 21, 2018, 33 university students from both Japan and the U.S. gathered to participate in the HLAB Leadership Program. The HLAB Leadership Program is an immersive leadership development program for young and talented college students. The program aims to equip the next generation of Japanese and American leaders with cross-border leadership skills and a global mindset through organizing the HLAB Summer Schools in Tokyo; Obuse in Nagano Prefecture; Tokushima Prefecture; and Onagawa and Minami Sanriku in Miyagi Prefecture. 

The summer school is this program’s core event, and is offered to high school students. In August, the summer schools were held in the towns of Onagawa and Minami Sanriku in Miyagi Prefecture. Through the preparation and operation of the program, students are able to learn and practice various leadership skills. Read More>>

Japanese Students from Miyagi Prefecture Participate in 2018-2019 TOMODACHI Randolph Macon Research Exchange Program and Share their Research on Disaster and Recovery

The 2018-2019 TOMODACHI Randolph Macon Research Exchange Program is a two-week research and cultural exchange program between Ishinomaki Senshu University (ISU) and Randolph-Macon College (R-MC) . 
This marks the second Taylor Anderson Memorial Fund Research Exchange Program, created in memory of Taylor Anderson, a 2008 alumna of Randolph-Macon College who lost her life in the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11,2011.
The focus of the exchange program is to deepen each institution’s connection with the other, while giving special attention to the themes of disaster and recovery, in recognition not only of the Great East Japan Earthquake, but also of the ongoing challenges posed more recently by natural disasters in the U.S. and elsewhere.

From September 1 to 12, 2018, five ISU students and two ISU faculty traveled to Washington, D.C. and central Virginia for this exchange program. Read More>>

Register for the 2018 U.S.-Japan Council Annual Conference in Tokyo!

The 2018 U.S.-Japan Council Annual Conference will be held in Tokyo from November 8 - 9 with the theme of “Partnering for Impact Today, Investing in a Sustainable Tomorrow.” This year, since 2015, USJC returns to Tokyo to discuss how the United States and Japan can build a sustainable future together. The Conference will explore ways to collaborate towards mutual goals like supporting women leaders, and face common challenges like aging populations and security issues in Asia. For more information and to register, click here.

Upcoming Programs and Events

October 5                

October 19                       

October 26                          

October 27-28   

November 9   

November 20     

November 30

December 1-2 

December 7

December 14

December 15―16


TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program Session2 (Naha,Okinawa)

TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program Session2 (Tokyo and Osaka)

TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program Session2 (Sapporo, Hokkaido)

TOMODACHI High School Women Career Mentoring Program in Fukushima STEP 2 (Inawashiro, Fukushima)

TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program Session3 (Osaka and Naha,Okinawa)

TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program Session3 (Sapporo, Hokkaido)

TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program Session3 (Tokyo)

TOMODACHI J&J Disaster Nursing Training Program Post Trip Symposium (Sendai, Miyagi)

TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program Session4 (Sapporo, Hokkaido and Naha, Okinawa)

TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program Session4 (Tokyo and Osaka)

TOMODACHI High School Women Career Mentoring Program in Fukushima STEP 3 (Tokyo)

TOMODACHI Alumni Activities
Students from Fukushima Prefecture Present New Sightseeing Branding Ideas at the Final Presentation of the Sixth TOMODACHI Fukushima “KaoLINK” Program

On August 24, 2018, the sixth TOMODACHI Fukushima “KaoLINK” Program Final Presentation was held at the Australian Embassy in Japan, with students from Fukushima Prefecture presenting “Fukushima’s New Sightseeing Branding Ideas.” 
During the program, the students from Fukushima and professionals formed teams, and considered how they could create brand images for Fukushima using scent.
Over five sessions, approximately 30 high school and university students learned about the local communities’ brand revitalization methods. The students contemplated Fukushima’s sightseeing branding, inspired by hopes to “deliver the charms of Fukushima,” or “sweep away the concerns about the quality of produce grown in the area following the nuclear disaster, without forgetting what occurred.” During the sixth and final session, five team representatives presented “Fukushima’s New Sightseeing Branding Ideas.” Read More>>

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 - September 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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