2016 TOMODACHI Daiwa House Student Leadership Conference

Date Published: 
November 29, 2016
UNC Charlotte Participants

UNC Charlotte Participants

2016 TOMODACHI Daiwa House Student Leadership Conference III held in Washington, D.C. October 20th-23rd.

The U.S.-Japan Council and the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, under the auspices of the TOMODACHI Initiative held the TOMODACHI Daiwa House Student Leadership Conference from October 20 to 23rd, 2016 at Washington D.C. The theme of the conference was "Exploring U.S.-Japan Relations in the Nation’s Capital: Leadership, Legacy, Politics and Policy."

This conference was a unique, regional leadership development opportunity designed to mentor and nurture future leaders in the United States and Japan. It was open to undergraduate and/or graduate, American and Japanese students currently studying at a U.S college/university in the mid-Atlantic region.

The US-Japan Council carefully selected 42 participants from over 400 applicants, whom are young prospects interested in foreign relations. Haochen Tian and Dominique Walker, both Seniors and double majors in Japanese Studies and International Studies Programs at UNC Charlotte were selected and participated in this conference. In trainings and workshops, participants built cross-cultural networking skills and explored leadership values, learned about career opportunities from leaders in a variety of sectors, and met like-minded peers.

There was no cost to students to participate. Daiwa House Industry Inc. sponsor the entire event.  Transportation to and from the conference, as well as food and accommodations were provided to all students free of charge. 

The TOMODACHI Initiative is a public-private partnership administered by the U.S.-Japan Council that invests in the next generation of Japanese and Americans in ways that strengthen cultural and economic ties, and deepens the friendship between the U.S. and Japan.


Testimony from one of the participants (Haochen Tian)

“Before participating in this program, I had a general idea of what I wanted to do after graduating from college. I wanted to work in regards to foreign relations, and applying to be a Foreign Service Officer is what I had in mind, but the way to go about it was unclear, and I wondered if there were any alternative options for me. The program helped me develop and better understanding of US-Japan relations, and now I am very certain this is what I want to do, this field of work interests me.

I wanted to, and already have, shared my experience at the Tomodachi Conference with my peers from my home institution. There are many opportunities like this out there, I want them to explore it and do the best they can to network and develop better understanding of their own ability to make an impact. As well as give themselves a clearer view of their career path down the road.”

Haochen wishes more students from UNC Charlotte participated in this program because he thinks that this could increase visibility of UNC Charlotte not only within North Carolina, but it also in mid-Atlantic regions. He even mentioned to Professor Mori that some of the participants’ schools did not have even Japanese minor.

He will share his experience on 2016 TOMODACHI at the Japanese Year End Presentation, Annual Presentation organized by Japanese Studies Program at UNC Charlotte, on Friday, December 2nd, 2016 from 3:40-5:00 pm in Fretwell 100. It is free and open to public.