The Tomodachi Initiative: Developing The Next Generation

“The TOMODACHI Initiative: Developing the Next Generation” was one of ten panel discussions that was held on October 4, 2013, during the 4th USJC Annual Conference.


Moderator: Ms. Kaoru Utada, Program Coordinator, TOMODACHI Initiative, U.S.-Japan Council (Japan)
Speakers: Ms. Atsuko Arimoto, Student Scholar, BEYOND Tomorrow
Ms. Mayo Hotta, Recovery Initiatives Group, CEO Office, SoftBank Corp.
Ms. Akiko Kato, TOMODACHI NGO Leadership Program
Mr. Delmar Tarrago, TOMODACHI U.S.-Japan Youth Exchange Program
Ms. Kendee Yamaguchi, TOMODACHI Mitsui & Co. Leadership Program & USJC Emerging Leaders Program


Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton introduced the importance of the TOMODACHI Initiative at the U.S.-Japan Council Annual Conference in 2011 with these famous words: “Together, we want to create a TOMODACHI Generation that is deeply committed to the future of our relationship.” Born out of support for Japan’s recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake, the TOMODACHI Initiative invests in the next generation of Japanese and American leaders through educational and cultural exchanges as well as entrepreneurship and leadership programs. This panel featured five individuals who have participated in various TOMODACHI programs and represent the student, corporate social responsibility, nonprofit sector and young professional perspectives as they relate to leadership and the future of U.S.-Japan relations. They discussed what being a part of the TOMODACHI Generation means to them.