TOMODACHI Initiative and Mitsui & Co., Ltd. Renews Support for the Young Professional Leadership Program
March 1, 2016 – The TOMODACHI Initiative (TOMODACHI), a public-private partnership between the U.S.-Japan Council and the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo that invests in the next generation of leaders in the U.S. and Japan, announced the renewal and continued support for the TOMDOACHI-Mitsui & Co. Leadership Program. This program provides bilateral exchange and networking opportunities for professionals from the business and government sectors.
Created in 2013 with generous contributions from Mitsui & Co., Ltd., this program was initially designed as a three-year program for current and emerging young professional from the U.S and Japan aged 35 and younger, who are active leaders in their respective fields and committed to addressing local, regional or global community concerns. To date, there have been approximately 60 participants. The delegations are composed of ten professionals who visit each other’s countries and meet with influential leaders in various fields and provide opportunities for the participants to become next generation leaders. With Mitsui’s renewal for continued support, the program will be implemented for 3 additional years from 2016.
In addition, since inception this program has encouraged young professionals from Iwate, Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures to participate, as part of the effort to support the rebuilding of Tohoku. Going forward, the U.S. delegation will visit the disaster-affected areas in Tohoku to develop new exchange opportunities, as well as adding an information exchange component to help rebuild and promote the tourism and manufacturing industries, domestically and internationally.
Under this year’s program themes, “Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Leadership,” the U.S. delegation will go to Tokyo and will visit the disaster-affected Tohoku region. Furthermore, in September the Japanese delegation will visit cities such as Detroit, Michigan and Washington, D.C. in the United States. In these various locations, they will visit areas affected by the disaster that have not been visited and discuss the recovery from the financial catastrophe as they represent their industry as next generation leaders, build friendships and become a bridge between the two countries by cultivating people-to-people connections.
U.S.-Japan Council President Irene Hirano Inouye commented the following regarding the expansion of this leadership program. “It is critical that the youth who are in the forefront of their industries, build relationships and friendships early in their career in order to strengthen U.S.-Japan relations. I am extremely pleased with the continued partnership between TOMODACHI and Mitsui & Co.”
Ms. Minori Kato who participated in the program last year remarked on the following regarding her experience, “This program made me remember my hope and dreams as a child. I have been underestimating my potential and career, but it made me realize that we all have infinite potential even if we are in the middle of our careers. It gave me the opportunity to advance myself and gave me the courage to see the path I need to take.”
*This program is currently recruiting participants for the 2016 program. For more information, visit:
▼TOMODACHI-Mitsui & Co. Leadership Program Schedule
・U.S. Delegation：June 3 – 4, 2016 (Chicago, IL)
・Japan Delegation: July 7 – 9, 2016 (Tokyo)
<Delegation Program Schedule>
・U.S. Delegation: July 1-9, 2016
・Japan Delegation: September 11-19, 2016
▼For inquiries, please contact: