Tohoku Students Prepare to Travel to the University of California, Berkeley for the "TOMODACHI Summer 2012 SOFTBANK Leadership Program"

Parent/Student Orientations in Fukushima, Iwate, and Miyagi Prefectures


July 9, 2012

In February 2012, TOMODACHI teamed up with SOFTBANK CORP. to announce the "TOMODACHI Summer 2012 SOFTBANK Leadership Program," which will send 300 Japanese high school students from Tohoku to study leadership and how to contribute to Japan’s recovery at the University of California, Berkeley. The program will be held from July 23-August 12.

In preparation for this important program, orientation sessions for participating students and their parents were held in Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture and Morioka, Iwate Prefecture on July 8. An additional session will be held in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture on July 15. During the sessions, the students and parents had the opportunity to speak to representatives of the U.S.-Japan Council, the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, the U.S. Consulate General in Sapporo, and the SOFTBANK CORP., as well as hear information about studying in the United States and recommendations for achieving the best possible cross-cultural experience.

This program is made possible by the generous contributions of SOFTBANK CORP., and the TOMODACHI Initiative is working with the non-profit study abroad organization Ayusa International to implement this program in the United States.

U.S. Ambassador to Japan John V. Roos commented, "It is exactly these types of people-to-people exchanges that will build a stronger U.S.-Japan relationship in the future. Thanks to TOMODACHI, SOFTBANK CORP., and Ayusa International, these students from Tohoku will have a once-in-a-lifetime experience in my home state of California. I wish them all the best as they learn about leadership, community service, and the United States, as part of the TOMODACHI Generation."

Additional information about the TOMODACHI Summer 2012 SOFTBANK Leadership Program, as well as many other TOMODACHI educational, cultural, and entrepreneurial programs, can be found at the 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.