Educational and exchange programs serve to enrich and inspire young Japanese and Americans through exposure to each other’s countries, including through short-term study abroad experiences. The TOMODACHI Initiative aims to enhance existing programs and foster new ones in the United States and Japan that strengthen overall U.S.-Japan relations. Through these programs, participants:
- Develop a better understanding of similarities and differences between Japanese and American cultures, as well as gain exposure to new ideas through student exchanges and homestays;
- Enhance English language skills through study abroad programs and workshops; and
- Build educational partnerships, information exchanges and research collaborations between universities and institutions in the U.S. and throughout Japan.
TOMODACHI Summer English Language Study Program
This program provides Japanese high school students from the areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami with an intensive four week English language learning program. The 2012 program took place at Sandy Spring Friends School in Sandy Springs, Maryland, located just north of Washington, D.C.
TOMODACHI Coca-Cola Educational Homestay Program
This program sends high school students from areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011 to the United States. Participants stay with host families in various parts of the country to experience American culture.
This program offers a world-class educational experience to Japan’s next generation of business and fashion leaders. Eligible Japanese students can apply for financial support to pursue graduate studies at three top-notch U.S. educational institutions: the Stanford Graduate School of Business; Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT); and Parsons The New School for Design.
TOMODACHI MUFG Summer International Exchange Program
This program provides an opportunity for American junior and high school students to come to Japan to experience Japanese language and culture. During the summer of 2012, Japanese students participated in the program in the United States with homestays and cultural activities in Los Angeles and Carlsbad, California. The program cultivates a mutual understanding of each others cultures.
TOMODACHI Summer SoftBank Leadership Program
This program provides Japanese high school students from the disaster-affected Tohoku region with an intensive three week program at the University of California, Berkeley that focuses on leadership development and community service. Students work in teams to develop community service projects and gain experience that they can use to contribute to recovery and reconstruction efforts back home in Japan.
TOMODACHI Aflac Program 2013
This program provides Japan-based pediatric cancer specialists with an opportunity to visit the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare in Atlanta, Georgia and to observe and share best practices related to the care and treatment of children with cancer.
TOMODACHI-GE 2012 Healthcare Academic Program
The GE Foundation sponsors a healthcare education program for universities in the Tohoku region, which were impacted by the disasters of March 11, 2011. This includes university courses to develop the next generation of health information specialists, as well as a series of seminars targeted towards existing practitioners, care providers and local governments in order to promote regional health collaboration.
TOMODACHI Spring Homestay Program
This program provides Japanese junior high and high school students from the areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami with a two week homestay opportunity in the United States during spring break. The 2013 program will take place in Virginia.
TOMODACHI in San Diego 2013
Students from Kesennuma in Miyagi prefecture participated in an exciting educational and cultural exchange in San Diego, California in March 2013. In addition, the students met with marines and sailors that had participated in Operation Tomodachi in 2011 at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot for a Thank You Ceremony. This program was supported by Japan Airlines and KYOCERA Corporation.
Japan America Society of Hawaii Rainbow for Japan Kids
This program brings primarily middle school students from areas affected by the March 11th disasters to Hawaii for educational activities, including forming friendships with local students.
Yokosuka Homestay Program
This program brings middle school children to Yokosuka Naval Base for a homestay and sports exchange program with the families of U.S. Navy service members, including some who had participated in Operation Tomodachi. Children tour the base and the aircraft carrier USS George Washington.
Knowledge Investment Programs – Japanese Student Voices Remembering 3.11
This project brought 28 students from Tokyo and the Tohoku region to the United States for a three week trip to examine ideas for restoration and reconstruction that can be applied in Japan and to motivate university students in Japan to study abroad. They traveled to New York, New Haven, Boston, Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Los Angeles where they met with government officials, executives at risk management companies, and students and faculty at several U.S. universities.
TOMODACHI Fund for Exchanges
The TOMODACHI Fund for Exchanges was established in April 2012 with generous support from Mitsubishi Corporation, Toyota Motor Company and Hitachi, Ltd. This Fund provides hundreds of young Japanese students with opportunities to participate in high-quality educational and cultural exchange programs with their American counterparts in the United States, helping to achieve TOMODACHI’s vision of giving hope to the young people of the Tohoku region and Japan as a whole by providing the skills and opportunities they need to pursue their dreams. The Fund has an initial endowment of $2.4 million USD to be evenly distributed over three years beginning in the 2012-2013 Japanese fiscal year.
We would like to give special thanks to Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Ltd. for contributions devoted specifically to strengthen TOMODACHI’s operational and administrative capabilities. To be effective, an organization must have good people and the resources to accomplish its mission effectively. The generous donation by Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Ltd. gives us the ability to realize strong programs that cultivate the youth of the TOMODACHI Generation and build a strong, enduring U.S.-Japan relationship.