Sophia University students participating in the TOMODACHI Inouye Scholars Program welcomed by Consul General Horinouchi of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (March 10, 2015)--Consul General Harry Horinouchi and his wife, Ms. Sabine Horinouchi, opened their residence on March 9 to welcome 23 Sophia University students participating in the U.S.-Japan Council (USJC)’s 2014-2015 TOMODACHI Inouye Scholars Program.

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Program participants from Sophia University and LMU with Professor Curtiss Rooks, Consul General Horinouchi, Mrs. Horinouchi, program organizers and USJC leadership

This enthusiastic group from Sophia University met with local leaders who are members of USJC, as well as a group of Loyola Marymount University (LMU) students who visited Japan on the same program last year. LMU, under the strong leadership of Professor Curtiss Rooks, who is himself an active member of USJC, is hosting the Sophia students for a five-day program in the Los Angeles area. The itinerary includes the Sophia students’ presentations on Japanese culture at LMU, visits to the Japanese American National Museum, Dockweiler Beach, Homeboy Industries, Watts Towers, Union Station / Olvera Street, the African American Museum, the Hannon Library, Disney Concert Hall and the Santa Monica Pier. Prior to arriving in Los Angeles, the Sophia students visited Washington, DC along with other TOMODACHI Inouye Scholars from Ritsumeikan University, Matsuyama University and Showa Women’s University.

The TOMODACHI Inouye Scholars Program was created in honor of the late U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii, who believed that the relationship between the United States and Japan was the most important bilateral relationship in the world. His commitment to public service, justice and U.S.-Japan cooperation inspired this program, which provides 200 American and Japanese university students the opportunity to develop a deeper mutual understanding of each other’s cultures and people. The participants also learn about Senator Inouye and his contributions to his state, country, heritage and the U.S.-Japan relationship. The program aims to broaden the perspectives of global leaders who will carry the future of U.S.-Japan exchange.

USJC, a non-profit, Japanese American-led organization dedicated to strengthening ties between the United States and Japan in a global context, supports the TOMODACHI Inouye Scholars program as a part of the KAKEHASHI Project. Senator Inouye, along with other Japanese American leaders, created the Council in late 2008. The program is also part of the TOMODACHI Initiative, a public-private partnership between USJC and the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, which builds a new generation of American and Japanese young people through cross-cultural educational exchanges and leadership development.

The program is unique in that participants from the United States and Japan will learn about Japanese Americans, their history in the United States, and examples of their leadership in the legacy of Senator Inouye as well as through engagement with Japanese American leaders.

Eight universities were selected to participate in this program. Each American school, led by a Japanese American faculty member who is a USJC member, is paired with a Japanese partner institution:

  • Depaul University, (Chicago, IL) ----- Ritsumeikan University (Kyoto)
  • Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles, CA) ----- Sophia University (Tokyo)
  • University of Massachusetts Boston (Boston, MA) --- Showa Women’s University (Tokyo)
  • University of Hawaii, Manoa (Honolulu, HI) ---- Matsuyama University (Ehime)

The students from the American universities traveled to Japan last summer, visiting Tokyo and one other city, typically that of the partner university. The Japanese students are currently traveling in the United States.

This program is administered by the Japan Foundation. The U.S.-Japan Council supports the implementation of this program, through coordination with the Japan Foundation and the Laurasian Institution.

The educational content about Senator Inouye's legacy that the U.S. faculty developed for these exchanges is made possible by a generous grant from the Daniel K. Inouye Institute Fund of the Hawai'i Community Foundation. USJC would like to thank the Institute for their support that allowed us to honor the legacy of the Senator.

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The U.S.-Japan Council is a 501(c) 3 non-profit educational organization that contributes to strengthening U.S.-Japan relations by bringing together diverse leadership, engaging stakeholders and exploring issues that benefit communities, businesses and government entities on both sides of the Pacific. By promoting people-to-people relationships, the Japanese American-led organization cultivates an international network, and collaborates with other organizations and institutions to develop programs that allow leaders to engage with their counterparts in the United States and Japan. The Council also develops the next generation of leaders committed to a vibrant and dynamic U.S.-Japan relationship.

For more information about the program and the individual schools, please visit: http://www.usjapancouncil.org/tomodachi_inouye_scholars_program.

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