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Update from Team TOMODACHI
March 2019

“How to Create a Tohoku that the World Would be Envious of Ten Years from Now” TOMODACHI Global Leadership Academy 2019 Held in Tokyo

Marking its seventh year, the TOMODACHI Generation Global Leadership Academy (GLA) 2019 was held in Tokyo from March 7 to 10, 2019, attended by 42 high school and college TOMODACHI Alumni (past program participants) from Tohoku.
Inspired by the theme, “How to Create a Tohoku that the World Would be Envious of Ten Years from Now,” the program aimed to create a future for Tohoku based on dialogues and workshops, including participant visits to innovative companies and organizations and interviews on the future of society and the potential of Tohoku according to various sectors.

On the first day, after learning about global trends and the current state of Tohoku, the participants visited NPO Common Beat, the Prudential Life Insurance Company, Ltd, WeWork Japan, NPO CR factory, U.S. Embassy in Japan, and Amazon Japan G.K. Learning about the innovative efforts of each company and organization provided a great opportunity for the participants to think about their own leadership abilities. Read More>>

Japanese and American Students Work Together to Hone Their Leadership Skills to Tackle Social Challenges

The Building the TOMODACHI Generation: Morgan Stanley Ambassadors Program successfully concluded in early March after two weeks of intense leadership training.

Generously funded by Morgan Stanley, the program aims to deepen participants’ knowledge of cross-sector partnership models to address social challenges, promote teamwork between American and Japanese students, and to develop participants’ leadership skills. This year, the program welcomed 19 college students (twelve Japanese and seven Americans), who participated in a series of lectures, panel discussions, site visits, and interactive discussion sessions with experienced professionals from government institutions, distinguished nonprofits, and corporate foundations, while enhancing their critical teamwork skills and cross-cultural understanding. Read More>>

The Latest on TOMODACHI Programs and Activities

VIDEO: TOMODACHI Goldman Sachs Music Outreach Program

In 2013, with generous support from Goldman Sachs Gives, the TOMODACHI Initiative established the TOMODACHI Goldman Sachs Music Outreach Program. The program is offered by the “Young Americans,” an American non-profit organization that provides educational outreach through music and dance. The Young Americans visit schools in the Tohoku region, which was devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake, and create musical performances with the students in just one or two days. The program remains closely linked to Tohoku, providing emotional support for over 12,000 youth in the region and filling them with hope and energy. 

To commemorate the eighth year anniversary of the unprecedented disaster, we created a short film introducing the program, and showing our journey in Tohoku. Read More>>

High School Students from Tohoku Share their Passion for their Communities at the Final Presentation Session Held in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture

On March 17, 2019, alumni from Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima Prefectures gathered for the final presentation session of the TOMODACHI Summer 2018 Softbank Leadership Program, held in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture.
In small groups at the session, each participant reflected on what they have so far achieved for their action plans. Moreover, on behalf of the alumni, Maasa Mishina, first-year alumna of the program, and Koki Yamamoto, from the third-year cohort of the program, presented their action plans, as well as the journeys they have taken and the understanding they have gained. Mr. Yamamoto shared several of his experiences, including speaking at the U.S-Japan Council Annual Conference in 2016, and reflected, “Doing just a little more than what’s been expected of me has led me to where I am today.” Read More>>

Applications are now open for the TOMODACHI Summer 2019 SoftBank Leadership Program, click here for more information. 
Application Deadline: March 31, 2019 

Eri Chichibu, 2016 TOMODACHI Suntory Scholar, Receives 2019 ASCAP Foundation Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award

March 11, 2019, Eri Chichibu, TOMODACHI Suntory Music Scholarship Fund 2016 Scholar, received the 2019 ASCAP Foundation Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award. She is a pianist, from Miyagi Prefecture, and currently is studying in the Berklee College of Music on the TOMODACHI Suntory Music Scholarship Fund with her dream to become a great composer in the world.

The Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awards program, which has been conducted by the ASCAP Foundation, was established in 2002 to encourage young gifted jazz composers up to the age of 30.
Eri Chichibu commented, “I am grateful to TOMODACHI Suntory Music Scholarship Fund and all the people who gave me continuous supports. The day, March 11 [the date of the Great East Japan Earthquake], the day when the recipients of 2019 Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award were officially announced, is a special day for me. I will continue to practice diligence without ever forgetting my feelings of appreciation.” Read More>>

Winning Students Travel to Silicon Valley to Learn Entrepreneurship and Critical Thinking to Solve Social Problems

From February 11 to 15, 2019, the students of the winning team of the 8th U.S. Embassy-Keio SFC-TOMODACHI Entrepreneurship Seminar participated in the Silicon Valley Study Tour and made several breakthroughs, which helped them realize their business ideas and find important new perspectives, through interactions with local entrepreneurs, investors and students.
One of the students commented, “Through the study tour, we realized that it is crucial to understand the people we would like to help, as well as the roots of any social challenge that we try to tackle, and to consider what we can do about such challenges. We also learned not to be afraid of failure and to continue to step forward.” Read More>>

Upcoming Programs and Events

March 20-29

March 23-April 3

April 13-14

May 26

June 7ー8

June 8ー9

June 15ー16

TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program U.S. Trip in Washington, D.C. and New York

TOMODACHI Amway Japan Foundation Tohoku Future Leader Program U.S. Trip (Washington, D.C. and New York, New Jersey)

TOMODACHI KaoLINK Fukushima Rebranding Program (Fukushima City, Fukushima Prefecture)

TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program Annual Conference (Tokyo)

TOMODACHI-Mitsui & Co. Leadership Program U.S. Delegates orientation (New York City)

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

TOMODACHI Honda Global Leadership Program 2019 Orientation (Tokyo)

TOMODACHI Alumni Activities
TOMODACHI Alumni Join "Nakayama Setsugekka" in Shimogou-cho, Fukushima Prefecture

From February 15 to 17, 2019, 13 TOMODACHI alumni joined the "Second TOMODACHI KaoLINK Fukushima Rebranding Program," held in Shimogou-cho, Fukushima Prefecture. This program is a project which brings together high school students, college students and professionals from Fukushima to form teams to examine ways to create a brand image for Fukushima using scent. Following the December orientation, in the second part of the program, participants took part in "Nakayama Setsugekka," an event themed “scent × sound,” held in Shimogou-cho, Fukushima. 
On the first day, the participants dined with Mr. Hidetaka Ogura, assembly member of Shimogou-cho and executive chair of the "Nakayama Setsugekka" committee. The participants deepened their understanding of the event by learning about the history of and motivations behind "Nakayama Setsugekka," which originally began as a community revival project. Read More>>

Alumni Meet with Entrepreneur Dr. Sachiko Kuno at the 16th U.S.-Japan Council Business Advisory Board Meeting

On March 13, 2019, four alumni from various TOMODACHI programs were invited to attend the 16th U.S.-Japan Council Business Advisory Board Meeting in Tokyo, and meet with over 60 prominent business executives and special guest Dr. Sachiko Kuno, an entrepreneur who has founded several successful pharmaceutical and impact-oriented start-ups.
Following Dr. Kuno's keynote address, the alumni were eager to ask questions. Fatoumata Bah, a current participant of the TOMODACHI Internship Program, asked for advice as a young woman interested in social entrepreneurship. Dr. Kuno encouraged her to remain confident in her own abilities, but also not to fear asking for help from others. Read More>>

Recruitment for TOMODACHI Program Participants
Please forward and share these opportunities with people who may be interested.
Applications Open for the TOMODACHI Summer 2019 SoftBank Leadership Program

Applications Open for the TOMODACHI Summer 2019 SoftBank Leadership Program!

Launched in 2012, this program is now entering its eighth year. The program will take place from July 19, 2019 to August 9, 2019 (dates are tentative), sending 100 Japanese high school students from the disaster affected prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima to the University of California, Berkeley, for an intensive three-week workshop focused on community-based projects and leadership development.
Application Deadline: March 31, 2019 
For more information and to apply: click here.

Applications Open for the 2019 TOMODACHI-Mitsui & Co. Leadership Program

Applications Open for the 2019 TOMODACHI-Mitsui & Co. Leadership Program!

Entering its seventh year, this exchange program provides participants with unique access to leaders in the U.S.-Japan arena, and the opportunity to broaden their perspectives to enhance work or initiatives in their professional fields. Ten American and ten Japanese young professionals will travel to one another’s countries for one week to engage as a group and meet with established and up-and-coming leaders from business and government.

Application Deadline:
April 4, 2019 (for American applicants)
April 18, 2019 (for Japanese applicants)

For more information and to apply: click here.

Applications Open for the TOMODACHI-UNIQLO Fellowship

TOMODACHI-UNIQLO Fellowship is a scholarship program managed by the U.S.-Japan Council TOMODACHI Initiative. This scholarship program supports those who aspire to be globally-oriented business executives or fashion designers in the future as they study abroad at graduate design schools in the United States. 

Eligible applicants are those with Japanese nationality who have been accepted to either the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), State University of New York, or Parsons The New School for Design, School of Fashion (Parsons). The scholarship provides up to $90,000 for FIT, and up to $150,000 for Parsons.

Application guidelines are available through each school, and please apply directly to the respective school.
For more details and inquiries, please click here.

TOMODACHI Opportunities

TOMODACHI Alumni Coordinator -Part-time (Tokyo Office)

The U.S.-Japan Council (Japan) is looking for a qualified individual to support the TOMODACHI Alumni Leadership Program. We seek an individual 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. For more information and to apply, click here.

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

The U.S.-Japan Council (Japan) and the TOMODACHI Initiative is 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 - March 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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