TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework: Hokkaido Regional Event
On December 5th, 2023, the Hokkaido TOMODACHI alumni convened in Sapporo for a holiday gala that boasted an eclectic mix of attendees, spanning the gamut from precocious high schoolers to seasoned professionals.
Amongst this esteemed gathering were luminaries such as Yasuko Terashita, Public Engagement Coordinator from the US Consulate in Sapporo – all gracing the occasion as respected special guest.
During this convivial gathering, the alumni espoused their discerning perspectives on Hokkaido’s challenges, the evolving workplace mindset, and the propensities and circumstances surrounding the younger generation’s pursuit of international education.
Reflecting on her professional working environment, Chieri Hayakawa, an alumna of the TOMODACHI Mitsui & Co. Leadership Program, remarked with poignant insight, “My workplace lacks contemporaries; thus, I’ve seamlessly collaborated with senior team members or mentored the budding juniors. The TOMODACHI program offered a pivotal juncture to engage in profound dialogues with peers of my generation – an invaluable experience indeed.”
In a similar vein, Momoko Tsukada, an alumna of the Toshizo Watanabe Leadership Program and a budding high school student,stated, “The realization that each individual contributes uniquely to our societal fabric has galvanized my spirit. I’m eager to make my mark in this sphere soon.
Kaoru Utada introduced the history of the TOMODACHI Initiative and said, “Operation TOMODACHI, which the US military deployed immediately after Great East Japan Earthquake, was a three-month mission. However, reconstruction does not end in three months. We have been creating the future after that.”
Mark Ikeno, exuding wisdom and fervor, rallied the alumni, affirming, “The TOMODACHI Initiative stands as an exemplar within the pantheon of USJC’s endeavors. Contemplate earnestly on how you can contribute to society, hailing from the world’s city Sapporo.” His words resonated deeply, filling the Hokkaido alumni with an indelible inspiration, beholding firsthand the future vision of the TOMODACHI Initiative articulated by a toop-leader of the U.S.-Japan Council.
Indeed, the gathering was not merely an event but an amalgamation of insightful discourse and impassioned exhortations, fostering a collective philosohpy of empowerment and societal dedication amongst the Hokkaido TOMODACHI alumni.