The latest news from Team TOMODACHI. Also available in Japanese.
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Update from Team TOMODACHI
July 2019

The 2018 TOMODACHI Sumitomo Corporation Scholarship Program Scholars Share their Year’s Worth of Learning from their Study Abroad Experiences in the United States, as the Program Welcomes New 2019 Scholars to Embark on a Once-in-a-Lifetime Journey

On June 28, 2019, the 2018 and 2019 scholars and partners for the TOMODACHI Sumitomo Corporation Scholarship Program were brought together for a Post-Program Report and Awards Ceremony at the Sumitomo Corporation in Tokyo. 

Having finished an orientation and training session for the 2019 scholars in the morning, 2018 returnee scholars and the newly selected 2019 scholars participated in a joint session about leadership. They divided into groups and discussed communication, flexibility, diversity, empathy, and many aspects of leadership skills, under the theme of “Required Leadership Skills in the World and Japan in 2030.”

At the award ceremony, after the group sessions, Mr. Masayuki Hyodo, Representative Director, President and Chief, Executive Officer of Sumitomo Corporation, and Ms. Royanne Doi, Representative Director of the U.S.-Japan Council, offered congratulatory remarks and words of encouragement. The 2019 scholars were awarded their certificates of scholarship and souvenirs, and spoke about each of their goals for this study abroad experience. Read More>>

Twenty Southern California Students Visit Japan on the 8th TOMODACHI MUFG International Exchange Program

From June 22 to July 7, 2019, twenty high school students from Southern California visited Japan as part of the 8th TOMODACHI MUFG International Exchange Program.
In this eighth year of the program, the participating high school students visited Tokyo, Fukushima, and Hiroshima for two weeks. Through the program, the students experienced various cultural exchange activities and deepened their understanding of U.S.-Japan relations, disaster prevention, and sustainable social initiatives from many different perspectives.
The exchange program kicked off with the students’ visit to the headquarters of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. (MUFG) in Tokyo, where they attended a welcome reception.
At the welcome reception, Mr. Kanetsugu Mike, President & Group CEO of MUFG, and Ms. Royanne Doi, Representative Director of the U.S.-Japan Council, encouraged the twenty high school students with words of advice. Read More>>

After Visits to Fukushima Prefecture and Tokyo, the TOMODACHI-Mitsui & Co. Leadership Program for American Delegates Concludes

Ten young American professionals of diverse gender and career backgrounds from across the United States journeyed to Fukushima Prefecture and Tokyo in from July 6 to July 13 as participants of this year’s TOMODACHI-Mitsui & Co. Leadership Program, now in its seventh year.
The delegation spent two-and-a-half days in Fukushima gaining valuable insight and perspectives from the program designed to cover three pillars, economic revitalization, innovation, and culture, and meeting with community leaders in the prefecture. Governor Masao Uchibori, a strong supporter of the TOMODACHI Initiative since its inception, took time from his busy schedule to meet with the visiting young Americans. Read More>>

The Latest on TOMODACHI Programs and Activities

Students from Randolph-Macon College Visit Japan and Learn about the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Disaster and Recovery Efforts 

The TOMODACHI Randolph Macon Research Exchange Program concluded as participants spent two weeks in Japan, learning about the country, its history of natural disasters, and the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami. 
The two institutions became exchange partners as a result of the first TOMODACHI Taylor Anderson Memorial Fund Education and Cultural Exchange Program in 2015. This year, the exchange program was spread across the academic year, with students and faculty from Ishinomaki Senshu University (ISU) visiting Randolph-Macon College (R-MC) in September 2018, and R-MC students and faculty visiting ISU in June 2019. Read More>>

2019 TOMODACHI CIE Grassroots Summit: Middle and High School Students from Washington State Attend 29th Japan-American Grassroots Summit in Hyogo and Himeji

From June 25 to July 1, 2019, 10 students from Mount Vernon High School and 10 students from Tyee Middle School, both in Washington State, joined the 29th Japan-America Grassroots Summit in Hyogo and Himeji, as part of the 2019 TOMODACHI CIE Grassroots Summit.
On June 25, participants arrived in Himeji via Kansai International Airport, experiencing enforced tightened security measures for the G20 Osaka Summit 2019. The next day, they visited Himeji Castle, a World Heritage Site, and learned about Japan’s history and cultural assets. In the afternoon, they participated in the Opening Reception of the 29th Japan-America Grassroots Summit in Hyogo and Himeji. They reconfirmed the importance of grassroots action and the mutual understanding between the two countries, evident in the friendship and bond between John Manjiro and Captain Whitfield that provided a historical background for Japan-U.S. encounters. 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

August 4 – 17

August 8 – 11

August 17 – 31

August 18 – 21

September 8

September 15 – 22


TOMODACHI Disability Leadership Program in America (Boston, Massachusetts)

TOMODACHI J&J Disaster Nursing Training Program U.S. Study Tour (Washington, D.C., New York and New Jersey)

TOMODACHI High School Women Career Mentoring Program in Fukushima Step1 (Tokyo)

TOMODACHI Honda Global Leadership Program  (California and Ohio)

US Embassy-Keio SFC-TOMODACHI Entrepreneurship Seminar (Kawasaki, Kanagawa)

TOMODACHI Generation Summit 2019 (Tokyo)

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

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

TOMODACHI Alumni Activities
TOMODACHI Participants and Alumni Meet with Dr. James Kuffner at the 17th U.S.-Japan Council Business Advisory Board Meeting

On June 24, 2019, three alumni from various TOMODACHI programs were invited to attend the 17th U.S.-Japan Council Business Advisory Board Meeting in Tokyo, attended by over 70 prominent business executives and featuring special guest Dr. James Kuffner, CEO of Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development (TRI-AD). 
Dr. Kuffner opened his keynote address by highlighting how modern human activity has been transformed by technology, nowhere more evident than self-driving car technology. As this industry expands enormously, Toyota, too, is undergoing a revolution as it pivots to a “mobility company.” Read More>>

TOMODACHI Alumni Leaders Gather in Tokyo for Two-day Training Session on Regional Impact and Leadership

From June 29 to 30, the TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Leaders and the TOMODACHI Generation Summit Core Committee came together for a two-day leadership training workshop in Tokyo focused on visioning, marketing, promotion, crowdfunding, presentation preparation, and event planning.

Members form the TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Impact for Social Empowerment (RISE) Leadership Program, a multi-part leadership program that serves Regional Leaders (student alumni) and Mentors (young professional alumni) from eight different teams across six regions in Japan, all of whom are TOMODACHI Alumni, participated in the training session. Read More>>

Apply to be a TOMO Voices Speakers! Deadline soon- August 2

Become a speaker at the 2019 TOMODACHI Generation Summit in Tokyo! 
All TOMODACHI Alumni are welcome to apply! We want to hear your story! 
Please share with us your experiences and the kind of impact you have made.For more information, click here.

Eligibility: Attended at least one of the TOMODACHI Initiative programs or a TOMODACHI Alumni.
Language: English or Japanese.
Style: TED Talk-style
Dates: You will be required to join us on both September 7th & 8th in Tokyo
Deadline for Applications: Friday, August 2,2019   

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

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

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 - July  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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