TOMODACHI Celebrates Successful Summer of Exchanges

-- Announces New Strategic Partners --


September 24, 2012

To celebrate a successful summer of youth exchange programs and to recognize the generosity of the Japanese and American companies that made these programs possible, the TOMODACHI Initiative brought together students and supporters at a special event at the U.S. Ambassador's Residence in Tokyo on September 22.

The "TOMODACHI Summer 2012 Celebration" highlighted the experiences of hundreds of Japanese students from the Tohoku region who were able to participate in TOMODACHI programs in the areas of education, cultural exchange, and entrepreneurship and leadership development. A number of students shared stories of their time in the United States, including one student who said: "Seeing Japanese who are active abroad, serving as a bridge between Japan and other countries, I deeply felt the courage and the need to open the door right before my eyes. I would like to convey my experience to people in the disaster areas and help with the recovery."

At the event, TOMODACHI recognized many corporations for their invaluable support of these exchanges, and announced new commitments totaling more than USD $4 million. Specifically, Coca-Cola (Japan) Co., Ltd. committed to doubling its contribution to TOMODACHI for study abroad and exchange programs for Summer 2013 and Summer 2014. TOMODACHI also enthusiastically welcomed two new Strategic Partners: Mitsui & Co., Ltd., which pledged to support next-generation leaders in Tohoku and throughout Japan in cooperation with their counterparts in the United States; and Aflac, which committed to an exchange program focused on training the next generation of pediatric oncologists. In addition, TOMODACHI announced new support from additional companies at the Sponsor level, including Chevron, Goldman Sachs and, inc.

The TOMODACHI Initiative also greatly appreciates the support from our previously- announced Strategic Partners, including: Coca-Cola (Japan) Co., Ltd., GE, Major League Baseball, Major League Baseball Players Association, Mitsubishi Corporation, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc., SOFTBANK CORP., Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, and Toyota Motor Corporation.

The evening ended with a stirring performance of songs in English and Japanese from American musician Alex York. Alex's music is rapidly gaining prominence in Japan, cementing his role as a young American deeply invested in the future of the U.S.-Japan relationship and as a leader of the "TOMODACHI generation," which seeks to work together to build a brighter future for the world while strengthening the deep friendship between Japan and the United States.

For more information on TOMODACHI, please visit:

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.