TOMODACHI Initiative to Launch New Exchange Program for High School Students in Japan
June 30, 2022
U.S.-Japan Council (Japan)
TOMODACHI Initiative to Launch New Exchange Program
for High School Students in Japan
The U.S.-Japan Council (Japan) (Representative Director, Suzanne Basalla), TOMODACHI Initiative and The Toshizo Watanabe Foundation (Chairman, Toshizo Watanabe) established “the TOMODACHI Toshizo Watanabe Leadership Program,” which offers a training program in the United States to high school students in Japan. Fourteen students have been selected for its first year. The program is made possible by donations from The Toshizo Watanabe Foundation.
Established in 2022, this program aims to promote a greater understanding between the United States and Japan, and to foster the next generation leaders in both countries with an international mindset. With a rigorous selection process, participants from all over Japan have been chosen to take part in the 12-day training sessions in the United States in August 2022. During their stay in California, they will engage with people in the local community, be exposed to the history and diverse cultures of the country, and acquire different perspectives and leadership skills through homestays and site visits.
In response to the announcement of the new program, Toshizo Watanabe, Chairman of The Toshizo Watanabe Foundation, stated, “Being exposed to other countries and broadening horizons in their youth is such a valuable experience. I expect this program to provide promising Japanese high school students with ‘discovery’ and ‘opportunities’”
Suzanne Basalla, Representative Director of the U.S.-Japan Council (Japan), commented, “I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Mr. Toshizo Watanabe for his support to the U.S.-Japan Council and the TOMODACHI Initiative over the years. Since its inception, the TOMODACHI Initiative has aimed to develop next-generation leaders who will lead the future of Japan and the United States. I expect that the high school students who will participate in the newly established program will lead the U.S.-Japan relations in the future.”
About the TOMODACHI Initiative
The 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. The initiative seeks to foster a “TOMODACHI Generation” of young American and Japanese leaders who are committed to and engaged in strengthening U.S.-Japan relations, appreciate each other’s countries and cultures, and possess the global skills and mindsets needed to contribute to and thrive in a more cooperative, prosperous, and secure world. Visit us at www.tomodachi.org
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