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Six Major Companies Join as Key Partners in TOMODACHI Initiative

Tokyo, Dec 13, 2013 (JCN) - Six leading global companies today become the newest partners in the TOMODACHI Initiative, a ground-breaking public-private partnership. The TOMODACHI Initiative was launched following the Great East Japan Earthquake by the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo and the U.S.-Japan Council, an educational non-profit organization, with the support of the Government of Japan.

Honda Motor Co., Ltd., Metlife Alico Life Insurance K.K., Prudential Financial, Inc., Sumitomo Corporation, Suntory Holdings Limited and Toshiba Corporation are the latest companies to contribute to TOMODACHI, which invests in the next generation of leaders on both sides of the Pacific to strengthen cultural and economic ties between the United States and Japan.

The contributions from these six top firms - amounting to over $6 million - will create new TOMODACHI Programs. These programs will allow many young Japanese and Americans to participate in high-quality educational, cultural exchange and leadership programs. These important corporate commitments will provide the skills and opportunities the students need to pursue their dreams, and contribute to strengthening the U.S.-Japan partnership in the future.

Today, following a roundtable discussion where U.S. Ambassador Caroline B. Kennedy will speak with TOMODACHI alumni from the Tohoku region, representatives of the six companies will join Ambassador Kennedy and U.S.-Japan Council President Irene Hirano Inouye at the Ambassador's Residence in Tokyo for a special event to announce the new commitments. Japanese Foreign Minister Fumihiko Kishida and many corporate donors will also join the event.

"Through these corporate contributions to TOMODACHI, we are launching scholarship programs at top music schools in the United States, we are supporting education and collaboration in science and technology, we are supporting and mentoring young female leaders, we are supporting academic year-abroad scholarships, we are creating unique new exchange programs, and we are offering further support to our program alumni to allow them to continue their connections with the United States and with each other," said Ambassador Kennedy.

By Jun Ota Staff Writer

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