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Update from Team TOMODACHI
February & March 2021

U.S.-Japan Council and Partner Organizations Gather to Commemorate March 11, 2011

On March 10 (March 11 in Japan), the U.S.-Japan Council, together with other U.S.-Japan-related organizations, held a virtual event to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011 and honor the lives lost in the triple disaster. Attendees tuned in for this event in which several prominent figures in the U.S.-Japan relationship recalled their memories of 3/11 and considered the future of the U.S.-Japan alliance.

The speakers included former United States ambassadors to Japan, former and current Japanese ambassadors to the United States, mayors of cities impacted by the triple disaster, leaders in the U.S.-Japan community and TOMODACHI program alumni. 

The highlight of the event was hearing from two TOMODACHI alumni Ryota Konno and Miyu Sugita, who are both from the Tohoku region. Mr. Konno, an alumnus of the TOMODACHI Summer 2012 Coca-Cola Educational Homestay Program who is originally from Namie Town in Fukushima Prefecture, deemed part of the Exclusion Zone, shared how the various programs he took part in “gave [him] the strength to give back to [his] hometown and to society.” Since then, he has returned to his hometown and has begun working at Namie Town Hall. 

Another TOMODACHI Alumna, Miyu Sugita, participated in the TOMODACHI Dallas-Sendai Young Ambassador’s Program 2015. Originally from Miyagi Prefecture, she joined the virtual event from Washington D.C., where she is taking classes and teaching Japanese culture to younger students. She commented that so many people she met through TOMODACHI inspired, encouraged, and supported her. She also shared her willingness to give back to improve interactions between various cultures at the grassroots level. Read More>>


The Latest on TOMODACHI Programs and Activities

TOMODACHI High School Women Career Mentoring Online Program in Tohoku STEP4: Presenting Experiences from Past Four Months to Peers

On January 30 and 31, 2021, STEP4 of the TOMODACHI High School Women Career Mentoring Online Program in Tohoku supported by the TOMODACHI Combini Fund, titled “Planning and Implementing a Career Event Using Lessons Learned” was held online. About 90 high school students from Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima Prefectures attended, continuing on from the previous sessions. Read More>>

Six American University Students Participate in the TOMODACHI Internship Program Orientation

On February 19, 2021, the orientation for the TOMODACHI Internship Program was held online. Twelve people joined the event, including program staff.
This program provides American university students with the opportunity to pursue an internship in Japan. As part of the program, participants receive university credit while simultaneously engaging in a wide variety of sectors through their internship. Read More>>

Upcoming Programs and Events
March - May

March - May

June 13

TOMODACHI - Keio SFC Entrepreneurship Seminar
Online Camp (online)

Building the TOMODACHI Generation: Morgan Stanley Ambassadors Program 2021 Alumni Boot Camp (online)

TOMODACHI RISE Leadership Program Welcome Event (online)
TOMODACHI Alumni Activities

TOMODACHI Alumni Join the 22nd Business Advisory Board Meeting Featuring Dr. Robert Alan Feldman and Dr. Mieko Nakabayashi 

On February 9, 2021, four TOMODACHI Alumni from different programs were invited to attend the online 22nd U.S.-Japan Council Business Advisory Board (BAB) Meeting, at which Dr. Robert Alan Feldman (Professor of Tokyo University of Science and Senior Advisor to Morgan Stanley MUFG Securities Co., Ltd.) and Dr. Mieko Nakabayashi (Professor at the School of Social Sciences of Waseda University and Distinguished Fellow of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation) exchanged their insights on the new Biden administration. Read More>>

Q&A with TOMODACHI Program Participants and TOMODACHI Alumni

<Maho Suzuki>

For this interview, we spoke with Maho Suzuki, an alumna of the TOMODACHI Summer 2017 SoftBank Leadership Program. She is a freshman at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies majoring in Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies and has been working as one of the TOMODACHI Alumni Interns under the TOMODACHI Alumni Internship Program since January 2021. Read More>>


<Natsumi Mishio>

Natsumi Mishio is an alumna of TOMODACHI Social Innovation in Seattle Scholars (SIIS) Program 2014 and currently serves as the 2021-2022 TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Mentor of the Chubu-Hokuriku Region. She is one of the youngest city councilwomen representing Okazaki City, Aichi as an Independent. As director for the educational nonprofit organization Collaboration Campus Mikawa, she manages programs for a wide range of age groups, including students and young professionals. In addition, she leads the team “Room01” with American and Japanese creators. Read More>>


Recruitment for TOMODACHI Program Participants
TOMODACHI Opportunities

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

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.


Internship 2021 - the TOMODACHI Alumni Leadership Program (remote)

The U.S.-Japan Council (Japan) is looking for a qualified intern to support the TOMODACHI Alumni Leadership Program. The Program produces impactful and innovative programming for program participants who have experienced a TOMODACHI program to take the next step in their journey. We seek an intern who can assist the Alumni Manager and participate in various stages of engagement to support the next generation of leaders dedicated to the U.S.-Japan relationship. The intern hired for this position will need strong critical thinking skills and excellent attention to detail in order to integrate into our vibrant and passionate team. Be prepared to work in our fast-paced bilingual and bicultural working environment. You will finish this internship having gained a broad experience in various aspects of project management, marketing, social media, nonprofit, public-private partnerships and civic engagement. 
For more information, click here.
Please send applications to
The next edition will be out at the end of May 2021, as a combined issue for April and May.

Update from Team TOMODACHI - February & March 2021

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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