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Update from Team TOMODACHI
August 2019

Next-Generation Leaders, Shaping the Future of Tohoku, Develop Action Plans to Bring Positive Change to Communities through Three-Week Program in U.S.

From July 19 to August 9, 2019, high school students from Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima Prefectures participated in the TOMODACHI Summer 2019 SoftBank Leadership Program in Berkeley, California, and its suburbs.
In the first part of this three-week program, participants learned about Y-PLAN (Youth- Plan, Learn, Act, Now), a project-based civic learning experience that taught them ways to tackle real-world problems in their own communities at the University of California, Berkeley. Then, the students received a request from the City of Richmond and North Richmond in California, and developed and presented action plans to rejuvenate these areas of which they would actually carry out some of the plans. Lastly, each of the high school students developed and shared their own action plans to be implemented in the Tohoku region. In addition, they took part in various workshops, socialized with local Japanese and youth, visited a wide variety of social activity organizations in the Berkeley area, and watched a baseball game. They were greatly impacted by these activities and other cultural interactions.

First, the participants explored the meaning of leadership as they learned about Y-PLAN.
They not only learned and explored methods of local community activities, but also shared and considered their own stories, making their group discussions and activities more lively. Read More>>

Completing the U.S. Study Tour Filled with a Sense of Accomplishment, Eight Nursing Students Return to Japan with Renewed Passion

From August 4 to 16, 2019, eight nursing students from throughout Japan visited New York, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C. through the TOMODACHI J&J Disaster Nursing Training Program 2019 U.S. Study Tour. During visits to three different cities, the participants learned about medical procedures and nursing in the U.S. and the role of healthcare in times of disaster and emergency, as well as the role of nurses.

At the beginning of the Study Tour, the participants visited the affected areas of 9/11, which happened in 2001, and Hurricane Sandy, which occurred in 2012. They met with people who were on the ground to hear their meaningful experiences.

In the latter half of the Study Tour, the participants experienced several hands-on training sessions. The training sessions, designed to reflect real-life field situations, included: a triage training; a discussion on how to prioritize operations in a hospital when a disaster happens; an evacuation training and decontamination effort using a Med Sled (medical sled); and a lecture on the Go Bag (evacuation bag) and tourniquet. In the first test of the program, the participants challenged themselves by shadowing nurses on duty, and experienced actual nursing in a U.S. hospital. Read More>>

The Latest on TOMODACHI Programs and Activities

TOMODACHI High School Women Career Mentoring Program in Fukushima 2019 STEP 1: Over 120 High School Students Challenge Themselves through Dance Workshop with the Young Americans

From August 8 to 11, 2019, STEP 1 of the TOMODACHI High School Women Career Mentoring Program in Fukushima 2019 supported by the TOMODACHI Combini Fund, titled “Dance Workshop with the Young Americans,” took place in Tokyo, attended by 123 high school women.
High school sophomore women from throughout Fukushima Prefecture were selected to participate in this career mentoring program, which consists of four sessions or “STEPS.” Over the course of the program, the students interact with and learn from female mentors with various backgrounds, nationalities, and careers. The goal of the program is to support the students so they can broaden their perspectives and gain the confidence to open doors and discover new opportunities for their futures. Read More>>

Trainees Selected for TOMODACHI Disability Leadership Program in America 2019 Begin Training in Boston, Massachusetts

The TOMODACHI Disability Leadership Program in America was established to help young Japanese people with disabilities become stronger and more confident leaders of the next generation. The program is made possible by generous support from Northrop Grumman Corporation. This year, after a rigorous selection process, the following three trainees were chosen to participate in this intensive four-month leadership and advocacy training that takes place in Boston, Massachusetts from August 2 to December 2, 2019.

Comments from 3 participants:

Kaito Toyoda
"The support needs of individuals like me can be difficult to recognize because our disabilities are invisible. As a 2019 TOMODACHI trainee, I’d like to explore how people with disabilities in the U.S. learn and practice advocacy. I’d also like to improve my communication skills so that I can better share my experiences with others who suffer from the same illness."

Kasumi Kamizuka
“I had wanted to change the stereotypes of persons with disability. But then I realized that I was expecting others to automatically do something for me because of my disability.  I needed to start changing my own stereotypes. [Through the TOMODACHI program] I’d like to learn about various disability perspectives and experiences in the U.S.”

Tomoya Nakanishi
 “Through this program, I hope to be able to gain more confidence in myself. I’d also like to gain experience of living and working as an individual with a disability in the United States and engaging with the local community. I believe that this will help me gain a different perspective on my own country, Japan.”

For more their history and stories, click here.

Students Reflect on Diversity at 2019 Global Classmates Summit

From July 25 to August 3, 2019, the 2019 Global Classmates Summit brought students from the United States and Japan together in Washington, D.C. for many new discoveries and dialogues. Twelve participants (six from the U.S. and six from Japan) were selected from over 1,700 applicants based on their outstanding performance in the virtual exchange program Global Classmates.

An informative presentation, “Youth Voices: Building a Positive Future for U.S.-Japan Relations,” was held at the Japan Information & Culture Center on August 1, 2019. Read More>>

TOMODACHI-NAJAS Grassroots Exchange Program 2019 Kumamoto-San Antonio: Japanese Students Experience Cultural Exchanges in San Antonio

From August 5 to 14, 2019, five Kumamoto high school students visited San Antonio, Texas. Their ten-day trip was implemented by the National Association of Japan-America Societies as part of the TOMODACHI NAJAS Grassroots Exchange Program.

The participants were all from Kumamoto Kita High School, majoring in English. This was the third program focused on the friendship between the sister cities of Kumamoto and San Antonio, cultural exchange with the San Antonio community, and language exchange. It was also a great experience for the students to see the beautiful nature of Texas and enjoy delicious regional food. Read More>>

TOMODACHI Initiative Honors Friends at Networking Reception in Tokyo

On July 24, staff and leaders at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo and the Government of Japan were welcomed to a networking reception in Tokyo hosted by U.S.-Japan Council Executive Vice President Laura Winthrop Abbot.

In her opening remarks, she thanked the Embassy and Government of Japan representatives for their continued and strong partnership with the TOMODACHI Initiative. Read More>>

Register for the 2019 U.S.-Japan Council Annual Conference in Los Angeles

The 2019 U.S.-Japan Council Annual Conference will be held in Los Angeles from November 4 - 5 with the theme of “Bold Ideas, Bolder Leadership: The Next Stage of U.S.-Japan Relations.”

As the 10th anniversary conference since the founding of USJC, this event will also celebrate USJC's accomplishments over the past decade in developing and connecting diverse leaders to create a stronger U.S.-Japan relationship. For more information and to register, click here.

Upcoming Programs and Events

August – December

September 6

September 8

September 12

September 15 – 22

September 20

September 20

September 21 – 22

September 27

TOMODACHI Disability Leadership Program in America (Boston, Massachusetts)

TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program Session 1 (Naha)

TOMODACHI Generation Summit 2019 (Tokyo)

TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program Session 1 (Tokyo)

TOMODACHI-Mitsui & Co. Leadership Program Japanese Delegates visits U.S. (Silicon Valley in California and Washington, D.C.)

TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program Session 1 (Osaka)

TOMODACHI Amway Japan Foundation Tohoku Future Leader Program Final Presentation(Minami Sanriku, Miyagi)

TOMODACHI J&J Disaster Nursing Training Program Post-Trip Seminar (Sendai, Miyagi)

TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program Session 1 (Fukuoka)

TOMODACHI Alumni Activities
TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework: TOMODACHI Alumni Attend 2019 Iwate・Morioka Sansa Odori Festival Parade

On August 3, 2019, as a sub-event of their Theme Event, five TOMODACHI Alumni from Tohoku-Hokkaido Region, Team A attended the 2019 Iwate・Morioka Sansa Odori Festival Parade. The opportunity to attend the parade and practice the sansa odori was made possible with generous cooperation by Akasaka Sansa, an Akasaka-based Morioka sansa odori group.
The aim of the Theme Event, which consists of two parts "sub" and "main", is to increase opportunities for participants to attend alumni events and to consider and improve their understanding of the entire Tohoku-Hokkaido region using a wide lens. This sub-event served as a chance for discovery and appreciation of the local culture of the Tohoku-Hokkaido region, as alumni attended the 2019 Iwate・Morioka Sansa Odori Festival Parade. Read More>>

Register Now for the TOMODACHI Generation Summit 2019 

TOMODACHI Alumni are invited to attend the 2019 TOMODACHI Generation Summit in Tokyo on September 8, 2019.  

This yearly event brings together all TOMODACHI Alumni from across different regions, both domestic and international, and from different industries and sectors – government, business, academia and nonprofit – to discuss the current status and future of U.S.-Japan relations and ways the next generation can prepare for and contribute to this future together. For more information or to apply, click here.

Date: Sunday, September 8, 2019
  Doors open at 9:30 a.m
  Opening at 10:00 a.m

Venue: Showa Women’s University in conjunction with Temple University (Tokyo, Japan) map

Registration Deadline: Wednesday, September 4, 2019 at 23:59

Recruitment for TOMODACHI Program Participants
Please forward and share these opportunities with people who may be interested.
Come Meet TOMODACHI at the America EXPO 2019 Hosted by the U.S. Embassy Tokyo! 

The America Expo 2019 is an annual event hosted by the U.S. Embassy Tokyo. At the EXPO, participants will be able to talk to representatives and alumni from American universities, and attend seminars on such themes as studying in the U.S. for undergraduate and graduate studies, various scholarship opportunities, and studying abroad for language or career benefits. Participants will also be able to learn more about the TOMODACHI Initiative at TOMODACHI’s booth.

Date: Saturday, September 7
Time: 12:00 – 6:00pm
Place: Ochanomizu Sola City Conference Center
Fee: Free

Click here to go to the EXPO website (Japanese only)

TOMODACHI Opportunities

Intern, U.S.-Japan Council (Japan) & TOMODACHI Initiative (Tokyo Office)

The U.S.-Japan Council (Japan) and the TOMODACHI Initiative are seeking unpaid interns. U.S.-Japan Council (Japan) and TOMODACHI offer an exciting environment for interns to be exposed to non-profit, corporate, and government fields. Responsibilities for interns include creating and drafting documents, translation, website management, social media management, newsletter development support, public speaking, communication with program participants, designing presentations and posters, and event planning. For more information and to apply, click here.

Update from Team TOMODACHI - August  2019

For donors, supporters, and friends of the TOMODACHI Initiative and
the TOMODACHI Generation.



Led by the U.S.-Japan Council, and the United States Embassy Tokyo, the TOMODACHI Initiative is a public-private partnership 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.
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