What is the TOMODACHI Initiative?

tomodachi-logo-squareThe TOMODACHI Initiative is a public-private partnership between the U.S.-Japan Council and the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, with support from the Government of Japan. 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.

To advance our vision, TOMODACHI supports activities in the following areas:

Meet the TOMODACHI Generation

Eri Fumoto
Eri Fumoto Eri Fumoto is an intern at the TOMODACHI Initiative Tokyo office. She is from Tokyo, was born in Germany and grew up in England. She has been interning for TOMODACHI for seven months, and has quietly but firmly taken the reins of supporting the new interns joining in the fall, winter and spring. Read her story »
Arimoto Atsuko
Arimoto Atsuko is from Okuma City, Fukushima prefecture.  She is currently studying abroad through a scholarship provided by TOMODACHI Initiative and BEYOND Tomorrow.  Read her story »
Yuki Amano
Yuki Amano is from Sendai, Miyagi and visited Seattle, Washington on the TOMODACHI Social Innovation in Seattle Scholars Program at iLEAP in March 2014. Read her story »
Juan Hernandez
Juan Hernandez participated in the TOMODACHI MUFG 2013 Educational Homestay Program and visited various cities in Japan including Tokyo, Sendai, Miyagi prefecture, Hiroshima, and Kyoto.Read his story »
Kei Imai
Kei Imai participated as a TOMODACHI Fellows Participate in the ELS University Preparation Summer Program 2013 and had an opportunity to study English in Malibu, California. He will be attend Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Oklahoma from Fall 2014. Read his story »
Yuuri Tabata
Yuuri Tabata lived in Minamisanriku in Miyagi Prefecture and was a senior in high school when she participated in the TOMODACHI Summer 2013 Coca-Cola Educational Homestay Program. Read her story »
Keita Abe
Keita Abe is a third-year Business Management student at Ishinomaki Senshu University and a native of Osaki City in Miyagi Prefecture. He participated in the 1st TOMODACHI TAC-Keio SFC Entrepreneurship Seminar and Business Plan Competition in February 2012. Read his story »
Ayaka Ogawa
Ayaka Ogawa lost her entire family on March 11, 2011 when the tsunami struck her hometown of Kamaishi in Iwate Prefecture. She moved to the United States in the Fall of 2012 for a one-year study program in Michigan, and shared her initial impressions with us. Read her story »
Haruna Shiraiwa
Haruna participated in the TOMODACHI Summer 2012 Softbank Leadership Program at the University of California, Berkeley.  After returning to Japan, she established TOMOTRA, which offers tours of Iwaki City. Read her story »
Koto Endo
Koto participated in in the TOMODACHI Summer 2013 Coca-Cola Educational Homestay Program and had an opportunity to live in Burlington, Vermont. She was invited to the US Ambassador’s residence to participate in a roundtable with other TOMODACHI alumni where she shared her experience. Read her story »

Be a Part of the TOMODACHI Generation!

TOMODACHI Alumni Opportunities


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Meet the TOMODACHI Donors

Why do top Japanese and U.S. business leaders support TOMODACHI?

  •  Masayoshi Son SOFTBANK Corp.
  • Akio Toyoda Toyota Motor Corporation
  • Tadashi Yanai Fast Retailing Co., Ltd.
Masayoshi Son (Chairman and CEO, Softbank)
"The students from the disaster-affected areas will have difficult times ahead.  But, if through this program I can change one, even two lives which will in turn affect their families, our children and our friends, and they are provided the opportunity to challenge themselves, to realize that the world is a big place and that the skies are high and blue out there in the world, I will have done my part." Read more »
Akio Toyoda (President and CEO, Toyota Motor Corporation)
"[ I] was invited to the US Embassy to listen to a woman [Ayaka Ogawa] speak.  I remember to this day about what she said — how we 'gave her a dream.'  Something terrible had happened in her life but she was trying to move forward, pursuing a dream, and I was able to be a part of providing that dream to her." Read more »
Tadashi Yanai (Founder and President, Fast Retailing-UNIQLO)
“I believe that there needs to be a trend for young people in general to look beyond Japan when thinking of development and growth opportunities.  We have decided to join the TOMODACHI Initiative because of these beliefs.” Read more »

TOMODACHI Strategic Partners


US-Japan Council
Embassy of the United States Tokyo, Japan