August 2023 Issue

TOMODACHI Toshizo Watanabe Leadership Program; Pre-Departure Training and Departure

On August 8 and 9, 2023, the Pre-Departure Training for the TOMODACHI Toshizo Watanabe Leadership Program was held, and fourteen selected high school students participated. During the leadership training, each participant discussed: the leader they respected and why, their current leadership traits and the ones they would like to improve in the future. Based on the discussions, each group decided on goals during the U.S. trip, such as "communicating proactively" and "speaking out without hesitation."
In the United States, the participants aim to promote mutual understanding between Japan and the United States through homestays, high school and site visits. The activities during the U.S. training will be included in the next issue. Read More>>

TOMODACHI Boeing Keio SFC Entrepreneurship Seminar U.S. Training Program

From July 30 to August 4, 2023, the TOMODACHI Boeing Keio SFC Entrepreneurship Seminar training program in the United States was held on the island of Oahu in Hawaii.
The program began in November 2022 and ran for eight months until June 2023. 30 high school and university students from all over Japan participated in the program. Students who volunteered to be project initiators presented their ideas to the participants, and those who agreed with their ideas joined as project members to work on projects to solve social issues through the program. In the seminar, the students acquired the necessary ideas and skills to realize their projects. Read More>>

Orientation for Building the TOMODACHI Generation: Morgan Stanley Ambassadors Program

On July 28, 2023, the orientation of Building the TOMODACHI Generation: Morgan Stanley Ambassadors Program was held online with approximately 20 participants and stakeholders.

Ms. Miyuki Tani, Executive Director of Morgan Stanley, was the keynote speaker at the pre-departure session. In addition to sharing her own overseas experience with the participants, she gave words of encouragement to the participants, saying, “This program will give you a lot of opportunities.”

Participants traveled to the U.S. to participate in a two-week training program in Washington, D.C. They will learn leadership and social problem-solving techniques, and are expected to be active international leaders when they return to Japan. The activities during the U.S. training will be included in the next issue. Read More>>

TOMODACHI Goldman Sachs Music Outreach Program 2023

On July 21, the TOMODACHI Goldman Sachs Music Outreach Program was held at Yoyogi Yamano Hall.
Twenty-nine cast members from HEART Global, a U.S. non-profit organization, and 70 children ranging in grades from 1st grade of elementary school to senior year in high school gathered from foster care facilities in Tokyo, Chiba, and Kanagawa to participate in a song and dance workshop with 35 employees from the facilities and 15 Goldman Sachs volunteers. The children performed a show they created in a song-and-dance workshop. Read More>>

Application Open for TOMODACHI-U.S. Embassy Go for Gold Leadership Program 2023-2024 

The program is designed to play a crucial role in building a “TOMODACHI Generation” of creative and innovative leaders whose interests lie in the sports industry, and who possess the globally-oriented skills and mindsets needed to thrive and make contributions to the industry. It will bring up to ten Japanese college students to the United States for a two-week study program in New York City and Los Angeles.

Application Deadline: Thursday, August 31, 2023 Read More>>

Next Generation Summit Video is Now Available!

On July 1st 2023, the TOMODACHI Next Generation Summit welcomed over 160 participants in Tokyo where alumni speakers and industry experts discussed crucial issues as the TOMODACHI Generation shapes the future of U.S.-Japan relations. This Summit aimed to inspire attendees with a vision of what is possible when young people take the reins in international relations and community empowerment. 
The video of the TOMODACHI Next Generation Summit is now available for viewing through this link.

We thank those who joined us in-person and virtually and hope that you will share the impact and lessons learned from the day to create a ripple effect of hope, innovation and change. 
This event is part of the TOMODACHI Alumni Leadership Program, made possible by the generous support of Prudential since 2013. 

TOMODACHI Alumni Enjoy Mini Golf in Washington D.C.

On June 4th 2023, Kekoa Erber (Regional Representative of the Washington D.C. and Vicinity Region) organized a mini golf event at Swingers in Washington D.C. The place mixes mini golf with food, drinks, and live DJs. Everyone had a great time catching up with each other and meeting new alumni.

TOMODACHI Alumni Co-Organized Event with JICA in Okinawa

On July 12th, Haruna Aka, the Regional Representative of the Okinawa Region, organized an event in collaboration with JICA Okinawa. This event aims to learn about how JICA supports its business development from Okinawa to Africa. Riki Yamauchi, a U.S.-Japan Council member, took this opportunity to visit Okinawa from Kenya and Nigeria and talked with Naonobu Fuwa of JICA about domestic and international market conditions, stocks, specialized topics on investment, and various tips and tricks using examples that were easy for beginners to understand. Participants were also able to exchange information on living conditions and difficulties in Kenya and Nigeria during lunchtime. It was a fruitful event for participants to be able to hear many stories from the guest speakers in person.

TOMODACHI Alumni Host Picnic in Philadelphia

On July 15th, Fatoumata Bah (Regional Representative of the Philadelphia Region) and Emily Wilson (Core Committee Member) hosted a picnic at the Azalea Garden right behind the Art Museum in Fairmount in Philadelphia.

Q&A with TOMODACHI Program Participant and TOMODACHI Alumni: Sarah Okuno

Sarah Okuno is an alumnus of the 2022 TOMODACHI MUFG International Exchange Program. She is currently a high school senior in the United States. She spent most of her school life online due to the pandemic. Therefore, her participation in this program provided her with an opportunity for cross-cultural exchange. Through her participation in the program, she developed a strong interest in the Japanese language and culture, and she already has taken and completed the highest level of Japanese offered at her high school. She is also a member of the Koto (Japanese Harp) Ensemble. Her future goal is to work in the medical field. Read More>>

TOMODACHI Opportunities 

Interns, U.S.-Japan Council (Japan) & TOMODACHI Initiative (remote)
The U.S.-Japan Council (Japan) and the TOMODACHI Initiative are currently seeking interns. The internship offers an exciting environment where interns will be exposed to the non-profit, corporate, and government fields simultaneously. Responsibilities 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.
Program Intern, TOMODACHI Initiative Alumni (remote)
The Program Intern will assist the Director of Programs and Partnerships for the U.S.-Japan Council and the TOMODACHI Alumni Coordinator in the area of programming for the TOMODACHI Initiative Alumni Leadership Program. Reports to the Director of Programs and Partnerships for the U.S.-Japan Council. This position requires conveying and dispersing information from TOMODACHI Alumni Affairs to the TOMODACHI alumni community, as well as the broader U.S.-Japan Council community. 
For more information, click here.
Please send applications to


Update from Team TOMODACHI - August 2023

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

Led by the U.S.-Japan Council and the U.S. Embassy in 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 and leadership programs.