TOMODACHI Launches Educational Exchange Programs

-- With Support from SoftBank, General Electric, and Coca-Cola --

February 3, 2012

The U.S. Embassy in Tokyo and the U.S-Japan Council announced today the launch of TOMODACHI's Educational Exchange programs. U.S. Ambassador John V. Roos and U.S.-Japan Council President Irene Hirano Inouye noted that "educational programs serve to enrich and inspire young Japanese and Americans through exposure to each other's countries, cultures, and ideas, and TOMODACHI aims to enhance existing educational exchange programs and foster new ones that incorporate the Tohoku region and help to strengthen overall U.S.-Japan relations."

TOMODACHI Educational Exchange programs are made possible by generous contributions from corporations including SoftBank, General Electric, and Coca-Cola (Japan) Company. The featured programs include:

  • TOMODACHI Summer 2012 SoftBank Leadership Program - A three-week program at the University of California, Berkeley, for up to 300 Japanese high school students from the disaster-affected regions. Participants will focus on global leadership development and community service.
  • TOMODACHI-GE 2012 Healthcare Academic Program - A series of courses at Tohoku University and Fukushima Medical University designed to develop medical professionals in the fields of next-generation genome information and regional health & welfare information collaboration.
  • TOMODACHI Summer 2012 Coca-Cola Educational Homestay Program - A three-week homestay program held at various U.S. cities for 180 Japanese high school students from the disaster-affected regions (60 students each year over three years). Participants will engage in English language study, university campus visits, and cultural exchange activities while staying with U.S. families.
  • American Field Service (AFS) TOMODACHI Summer 2012 English Language Study Program - A four-week English program held at Maryland's Sandy Spring Friends School for 20 Japanese high school students from the disaster-affected regions. Participants will also learn about U.S. history, government, and culture.
  • Knowledge Investment Programs (KIP) "Japanese Students' Voice on 3.11" Program - A program for 28 university students from the Tohoku region and other parts of Japan that includes a three-week visit to the United States. Participants will focus on crisis communications, risk management, and post-disaster reconstruction strategies during interactions with U.S. academics, politicians, and business executives.
  • Japan America Society of Hawaii "Rainbow for Japan Kids" Program - A 10-day program held in various locations within Hawaii for approximately 60-70 middle school and high school students from the Tohoku region. Participants will focus on team-building activities and cultural diversity.

Additional educational opportunities will be announced as they become available. Application procedures and other information can be found at the new TOMODACHI website:

TOMODACHI is a public-private partnership, led by the United States Government and the U.S.-Japan Council and supported by the Japanese Government, that supports Japan's recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake and invests in the next generation of Japanese and Americans in ways that strengthen cultural and economic ties and deepen the friendship between the United States and Japan over the long-term.