March 2024 Issue

The Power of Sport: TOMODACHI - U.S. Embassy Go for Gold Sports Leadership Program Year II Concludes in Tokyo, Japan

Hosted by the U.S.-Japan Council in partnership with the U.S. Embassy Tokyo and in collaboration with leading sports industry partners LA84 Foundation in Los Angeles and LeadOff Sports in New York, this year’s TOMODACHI – U.S. Embassy Go for Gold Sports Leadership Program wrapped up its journey of a lifetime with an afternoon reception on Friday, March 15th, 2024 in the Roppongi Hills Club in the Tokyo metropolis.

Marking another milestone in only this second year, delegates delivered their findings in three groups, this year’s presentations titled: ‘Japanese Sporting Leagues Forward to the World,’ ‘Increasing the Value of Women’s Sports,’ and 'Visualizing Social Impact in Sport.’

The 50+ special guests included Philip Roskamp, Minister-Counselor for Public Affairs – U.S. Embassy Tokyo, Andy Hata, Founder & CEO – Andy Corporation, Takehiko Nakamura, President & CEO – Blue United Corporation, Masashi Miyata, Subsection Chief, Sports Facilities Management Department – Tokyo Dome Corporation, and Tom Byer, Founder – Soccer Starts at Home. Read More>>

TOMODACHI Boeing Entrepreneurship Seminar : In-person Event Held in Yokohama and Online Final Presentation

The participants of the TOMODACHI Boeing Entrepreneurship Seminar had their long-awaited in-person meeting in Yokohama on February 19th, 2024. During the fieldwork, conducted in four groups, they utilized the analogy method, based on their own insights, to reevaluate their program plans from various perspectives. Additionally, in a World Cafe format, they organized a workshop where they freely discussed to incorporate feedback into each project by engaging in dialogue to exchange and expand ideas.

On February 25th, as the culmination of the 8-month program, the final presentation meeting was organized online. In the first half of the program, team members presented their projects that they had worked and developed for several months, while the second half offered a space where the participants had a chance to reflect on overall experiences about the program and the announcement of individual evaluations. Read More>>

Building Bridges: TOMODACHI KAKEHASHI Inouye Scholars Program Share Experiences in Japan

On March 1st and 9th, 2024, participants from Loyola Marymount University (LMU) and Howard University recounted their journeys in the TOMODACHI KAKEHASHI Inouye Scholars Program, respectively. This ten-day youth exchange program fosters cultural understanding between American and Japanese university students. Launched in 2014, it also honors the legacy of Senator Daniel K. Inouye by offering participants insights into his contributions to his nation, heritage, and the U.S.-Japan relationship.

Participants shared their action plans to disseminate what they have learned through the program in their own communities. Representatives from the Japan International Cooperation Center (JICE) and the U.S.-Japan Council (USJC) commented, emphasizing the program’s role in building human connections that strengthen U.S.-Japan relations.

The event also featured TOMODACHI alumni with engaging panel discussions. Read More>>

Apply Now! TOMODACHI Summer SoftBank Leadership Program 2.0

Please see the Japanese page for detailed recruitment information.

The TOMODACHI Summer SoftBank Leadership Program 2.0 -Building Resilient Communities for Future- is a program designed for 15 (tentative) high school and university students who were living in Iwate, Miyagi, or Fukushima prefectures when the Great East Japan Earthquake struck and are currently living in these prefectures. Students will learn about community contribution and leadership at the University of California, Berkeley in the U.S. and other institutions for approximately 3 weeks starting July 30. In addition, students will devise ideas to solve societal issues, learn how to implement them from planning to execution and create action plans for solving each issue. In December, a debriefing session will be held to announce the process and results hitherto. Mentors who are well-versed in fostering entrepreneurs and revitalizing local communities in Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima prefectures will provide support throughout the program, from planning to the execution of action plans after returning to Japan.

The “TOMODACHI Summer SoftBank Leadership Program 2.0 – Building Resilient Communities for the Future-” is an expansion of the “TOMODACHI Summer SoftBank Leadership Program,” which has been held since 2012 with funding from SoftBank Group Corp. The program has provided more than 1,000 high school and university students from Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima prefectures with opportunities to learn about community service and leadership. It has also nurtured young leaders in the Tohoku region.

Now Accepting Applications for the Building the TOMODACHI Generation: Morgan Stanley Ambassadors Program

Building the TOMODACHI Generation: Morgan Stanley Ambassadors Program is currently recruiting candidates for its 2024 program, which will take place from August 4 – August 20, 2024 (tentative).
The Building the TOMODACHI Generation: Morgan Stanley Ambassadors Program is an intensive, two-week program designed for Japanese students with an interest in leadership training, cross-cultural exchange, and entrepreneurial approaches to addressing social challenges. The program is held in Washington, D.C. This program is generously funded by Morgan Stanley. Read More>>

Application Deadline : Sunday, March 31, 2024

We are delighted to present the 2024 TOMODACHI Regional Framework Regional Representatives!

These exceptional leaders are committed to fostering connections, amplifying voices, and cultivating a more inclusive and interconnected community through the TOMODACHI Regional Framework. 

Please visit the TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework page on our website to view their profile.


As a valued member of the TOMODACHI Generation, we invite you to participate in a brief survey to share your experiences and insights. Your feedback is crucial in shaping the future of our programs and continuing the legacy of our vibrant community.

The survey will take approximately 5-7 minutes to complete. Your responses will remain confidential and be used solely for enhancing our initiatives.

By filling out the form, you will have the opportunity to be entered into a raffle. If you choose to enter, please be sure to share your email address at the end to receive your gift. We will announce the winners in April.

Thank you for adding your voice in order for TOMODACHI to continue to create programming that is best suited for YOUR needs and the needs of the TOMODACHI Generation.


TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework: Kyushu Regional Event

Alumni gathering was held on February 24th, 2024.
Several new alumni showed up for the Brazilian BBQ dinner. One even came from a neighboring city, which was very exciting to see an alumni willing to travel a bit farther to participate. People were sharing contact information and business cards after with lots of laughter and smiles. Having a gathering in February seemed to be a good time for networking. Many of our Alumni will either be starting new positions, or next school year in April and gives some time before the transition to share exciting news and experiences in a fun setting. Christine Ishii said “It was lovely meeting everyone in Fukuoka. Thank you SO much for setting the event up! I hope to have a chance to meet up with you again.”

TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework: New England Regional Event

15 New England region TOMODACHI alumni and friends gathered on January 25th, 2024 at a bustling izakaya in Cambridge MA for an entertaining dinner, rekindling friendships and engaging in spirited conversations. The vibrant atmosphere was accompanied by delicious Japanese cuisine, marking a memorable night for welcoming in the New Year. A big thanks to everyone who joined and made this event so delightful!

TOMODACHI Alumni Highlight: Yuuki Sato, from TOMODACHI Next Generation Summit 2023

For this highlight, we are featuring the speech given by Yuuki Sato at the TOMODACHI Next Generation Summit 2023 Reception. Yuuki is an alumni of the TOMODACHI Summer 2016 SoftBank Leadership Program.

He became interested in a farmers’ market that he visited during the program in the United States and was involved in activities to implement a farmers’ market while growing his own vegetables back in Japan. In the process, he became interested in community development from the residents’ side, but he thought he needed to know what kind of organization and role the government plays in order to do so, so he entered Fukushima University’s School of Public Administration and Policy Studies.

While still in school, he began to tell stories about the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami that struck his hometown Fukushima, so he focused his studies on reconstruction administration. After graduating from the university, he started working for an educational non-profit in Fukushima and is involved in teaching product development at high schools. 
Read More>>

TOMODACHI Opportunities 

Interns, U.S.-Japan Council (Japan) & TOMODACHI Initiative (remote)
The U.S.-Japan Council (Japan) & 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 and operations. Interns generally work remotely, but may be asked to assist with in-person events as needed.
Please note that this internship is unpaid.
For more information and to apply, click here.

Social Media Intern, TOMODACHI Initiative Alumni (remote)
The Social Media Intern will assist the Director of Programs and Partnerships for the U.S.-Japan Council and the TOMODACHI Alumni Coordinator in the area of social media and other marketing and communications for the TOMODACHI Initiative Alumni Leadership Program as needed.  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
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 - March 2024

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.