TOMODACHI Initiative Launches New Partnerships to Foster Exchanges Between the United States and Japan

The TOMODACHI Initiative, in coordination with U.S. Embassy Japan, today announced new partnerships that will further U.S.-Japan student exchanges. Ambassador Caroline B. Kennedy welcomed students, businesses and government leaders from the United States and Japan to her residence in Tokyo to celebrate the announcement.

The TOMODACHI Initiative is a groundbreaking public-private partnership launched following the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. The United States Embassy in Tokyo and the U.S.-Japan Council, an educational non-profit organization, provide leadership for the initiative.

Tonight’s event at Ambassador Kennedy’s residence recognized the newest Strategic Partners of the TOMODACHI Initiative, Daiwa House Industry Co., Ltd., Goldman Sachs Japan Ltd., The Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies in Japan and McKinsey & Company, Inc. The event also acknowledged current Strategic Partners, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc., Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, Ltd., and SoftBank Corp., who have all announced their continued multi-year commitment to the TOMODACHI Initiative, with the latter two committing through 2021.

Additionally, speakers at the event announced that Temple University, Japan Campus (TUJ) has announced plans to partner with TOMODACHI to sponsor a new internship program for American students in Japan. This program was created as a direct response to President Obama’s and Prime Minister Abe’s commitment to facilitate internship opportunities and increase student exchanges between the two nations.

“I am grateful for the support of so many partners, both corporate and institutional, who have helped to make the TOMODACHI Initiative such a success. With these newest partnerships, we are ensuring that many more young people from the U.S. and Japan will be brought together through exchanges, further strengthening the foundation of the relationship between our two countries,” Ambassador Kennedy said.

U.S.-Japan Council President, Irene Hirano Inouye, remarked that “this unique partnership with the private sector has enabled us to transform the lives of hundreds of young people in the United States and Japan each year. But the impact does not stop there. The inspiration goes much further – to the host families, to the employees of sponsor companies, to the partner institutions, and to the home communities when a young person comes back and shares what they have learned. We are proud of the many bridges that are being built every day between the United States and Japan through the TOMODACHI Initiative.”

For more information about the TOMODACHI Initiative, please visit www.tomodachi.org.