The TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework is a platform to connect the over 7,800 TOMODACHI alumni across regions combined with a leadership development program that identifies and trains the rising stars committed to improving their regional communities.
Japan is divided into six regions represented by eight (8) teams: Tohoku-Hokkaido Region (two teams), Kanto Region (two teams), Chubu-Hokuriku Region, Kansai-Chugoku-Shikoku Region, Kyushu Region, and Okinawa Region. Each team consists of one Regional Leader (student alumni) partnered with a Regional Mentor (young professional alumni). Together, these Leaders and Mentors will represent their regions and take part in the TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Impact for Social Empowerment (RISE) Leadership Program to create events for the alumni in their regions.
The TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework is supported by the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo and the U.S. Consulates throughout Japan through the engagement of officers in the selection process and the providing of event space for these alumni events to occur.
The TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework is part of the TOMODACHI Alumni Leadership Program, which is made possible with generous support from Prudential.
Hokkaido, Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Akita, Yamagata, Fukushima
Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Saitama, Chiba, Tokyo, Kanagawa
Niigata, Toyama, Ishikawa, Fukui, Yamanashi, Nagano, Gifu, Shizuoka, Aichi
Mie, Shiga, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo, Nara, Wakayama, Shimane, Tottori, Okayama, Hiroshima, Tokushima, Kagawa, Ehime, Kochi
Yamaguchi, Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Oita, Miyazaki, Kagoshima
The TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Impact for Social Empowerment (RISE) Leadership Program will change the dynamics of alumni engagement by furthering opportunities for alumni to connect, empower and inspire one another in their respective regions.
This year-long leadership training program focuses on social innovation on a local level. Regional Leaders of each region will gain valuable skills in order to identify and tackle social issues, create events, and bolster their regional alumni community. This will be building upon their initial TOMODACHI experiences, giving them the opportunity to continue their leadership journey through hands-on training and mentorship.
Build on your TOMODACHI Experience. Take the next step and pay it forward. Are YOU ready?
This initiative is one of the signature programs under the TOMODACHI Alumni Leadership Program supported by Prudential.
Help us energize and inspire members of the TOMODACHI Generation in your region by developing new events to bring opportunities to your regions and communities. If you are interested in becoming a leader within your region, please apply!
Within the six regions, there is a Regional Leader (student or young professional with under three years of experience) and the Regional Mentor (professional) who will team up together to create the regional team. Both are part of the TOMODACHI Generation.
In October each year, we will open up applications for the next year's Regional Leaders in each of the six regions. Each Regional Leader will connect with their fellow alumni, collaborate with their Regional Mentor and with support from the U.S. Embassy and Consulates across Japan, create opportunities for TOMODACHI Alumni to connect while identifying and addressing the challenges in their respective regions.
We'd like your help to inspire and empower the TOMODACHI Generation in your region to become active participants in our community. Help us organize events to identify and address various challenges within your communities. If you're interested in becoming a Regional Leader for the TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework, please apply.
1. Application Open: September 1st, 2020
2. Application Deadline: November 20th, 2020
3. Announcement of 2021 Regional Leaders and Mentors: February 28th, 2021
By becoming a Regional Leader, you have the opportunity to grow into a strong an confident leader to improve the community.
4. Capacity / Potential
The Welcome Event will be held in May and July and the Theme Event will be held between August and November.
Attend the Orientation in March, the Training Session in June, and the TOMODACHI Summit in September. All events will be held in Tokyo.
We recommend once a month meetings, either face-to-face or utilizing technology such as skype or zoom, but ultimately we leave it to you and your Mentor to find and decide the best way for your team to communicate well.
2020 Regional Leaders: March 2020–January 2021
Each Regional Leader will be asked to serve a one-year term with the possibility to extend for one year upon with a recommendation letter from the Regional Mentor.
TOMODACHI Alumni Relations
There are two types of Regional Events:
A. Training programs for Regional Leaders and Mentors and B. Events planned and organized by the Regional Leaders themselves with support from their Regional Mentor. Additionally, Theme Events are organized by Regional Leaders based on the Four Pillars (core values) of the TOMODACHI Alumni Leadership Program:
Critical & Innovative Thinking (CI), Civic Engagement (CE), Workforce Readiness (WR), and Connectedness & Sustainability (CS).
TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework officially launches with an announcement by U.S.-Japan Council Irene Hirano Inouye at the TOMODACHI Reception in Tokyo.
2017 TOMODACHI Reception:
The Orientation introduces the new Regional Leaders to the Alumni Regional Framework, provides team-building and goal-setting workshops with the Regional Mentors. Through the training, the alumni create stronger connections with each other and enhances their sense of ownership as representatives of their regions.
The Regional Welcome Event aims at connecting and re-connecting TOMODACHI alumni in each region with one another, but also to welcome in new alumni into the community as each region continues to engage their growing alumni population under the four pillars of alumni empowerment.
2017 Regional Welcome Events:
This leadership training session focuses on reflection of the Regional Welcome Events, goal-setting and skills-building for the next Regional Theme Event and TOMODACHI Generation Summit, and strengthening the peer-to-peer support between the alumni community.
2017 Regional Leader Training:
The Regional Mentor Retreat will gather together the Regional Mentors who have been crucial in developing the Regional Framework. The program will focus on evaluating the Regional Framework and individual regional teams, provide team building and mentorship skills building and sharing, and develop a plan to fundraise, and identify new Regional Mentors and Leaders for the following year.
2017 USJC U40 Summit:
At the TOMODACHI Generation Summit, Regional Leaders and Mentors organized booths at the Expo Hall to highlight and share content from their regions and led the lunch breakout session to create stronger bonds and to share their skills with fellow alumni.
TOMODACH Generation Summit 2017:
The Regional Theme Events are planned and organized by the Regional Leaders and Deputy Leaders with support from the Regional Mentors.
They will identify a challenge, issue, or opportunity within the region and create an event to address it by utilizing the skills and knowledge acquired and honed through leadership and project development training workshops. Below are the TOMODACHI Regional Theme Events that took place in 2017.
[Tohoku-Hokkaido, Team 1] TOMODACHI Booth @ Sendai World Festa
To address the need for more awareness and interest in the world outside of Japan (especially for youth), the Regional Leaders Hikaru Sato and Miyu Sugita created an opportunity to share their experiences and lessons from the TOMODACHI programs that enabled them to travel and study abroad. 13 TOMODACHI Alumni put together a TOMODACHI Booth at the Sendai Chikyu Festa that welcomed over 600 attendees from all across Japan.
[Tohoku-Hokkaido, Team 2] FIND YOUR TOHOKU
To address the need for more adult allies and mentors, career-specific skills to prepare them for the workforce, and a stronger connection within the Tohoku Region, the Regional Leaders Momoka Sato and Hiroto Konno put together an event for individuals to brand their individual Tohoku. Adult allies from Dentsu came to support and provide critical lectures that helped the participants create slogans that matched their photos of their Tohoku memories.
[Tohoku-Hokkaido, Team 3] TOMODACHI Xmas Party
To address the issue of there being a lack of opportunity for students in Tohoku to hone public speaking skills and connect with other students from other schools and regions, Regional Leaders Yumeka Watanabe and Ayaka Kibushi put together a multi-faceted program that consisted of a world cafe style speech giving, omusubi workshop, and writing their dreams on balloons for the coming year. Four alumni speakers who participated in various TOMODACHI alumni programs shared their experiences that inspired their peers and deepened connections.
[Kanto, Team 1] Enah English
To address the issue of there not being many opportunities to practice and gain confidence in their English skills, Regional Leaders Naho Yamazaki and Ena Nakata provided a safe and fun space for high school and college students to practice their English through games and presentations about an imaginary city where everyone's hometown highlights are included.
[Kanto, Team 2] PPP (Pizza Party)
With the Alumni Leadership Program still being a new addition to TOMODACHI, there is not enough awareness of the opportunities available to TOMODACHI Alumni. In order to address this, Regional Leaders Shota Eda and Hayato Kimura put together an event to discuss the appealing opportunities available to alumni, in particular, the role of the Regional Leader and how central to the alumni network it is. Of those that attended and who were eligible to apply, 70% applied to become the next regional leader in 2018.
[Kanto, Team 3] TOMODACHI Tohoku×Kanto Nabe Party in Tokyo
In order to address the group of ever-growing Tokyo-based students who call Tohoku home, the Regional Leaders Yuka Iwabuchi and Fumiya Otani put together a nabe (hot pot) event to connect this special group of alumni.
[Kansai] TOMO Café
To address the lack of opportunities to connect with kakkoii otona (cool adults), be exposed to different careers, and understand global mindsets, Regional Leaders Koh Matsuki and Yuichi Fukunaga put together a program where they invited three special speakers from different industries and sectors to discuss the future of careers and how we can better prepare.
[Kyushu] Introducing Special Programs about U.S. Japan Relationships by TOMODACHI Initiative
To address the need for more awareness and interest in US-Japan relations, the Regional Leaders Kaito Manabe and Nazuna Yamazaki created an opportunity with support from the Fukuoka American Center (US Consulate Fukuoka) to share their experiences and lessons from the TOMODACHI programs that enabled them to travel and study abroad. This event helped further interest in study abroad and promoted the importance of gaining an international mindset.
[Okinawa] TOMODACHI Okinawa Beach Day
To create more awareness of the importance of civic engagement in the Okinawa Region, Regional Leaders Mai Kinjo and Hiroko Nakada put together a beach cleanup event with support from the US Marines on base interested in community support. Four guest speakers currently involved in community development in Okinawa shared their experiences. 36 participants (including 12 TOMODACHi alumni) came together despite the rain and learned about the importance of civic engagement for social good and betterment.