Mitsui & Co. is participating in the TOMODACHI Initiative, which aims to foster young generations of people who will contribute to the strengthening of the Japan-U.S. relationship in the future. This initiative is spearheaded by a public-private partnership involving the U.S. government and the U.S.-Japan Council, while drawing its inspiration from the spirit of cooperation and friendship between Japan and the U.S. in Operation TOMODACHI, launched after the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011 to provide assistance in devastated areas through the joint efforts of the U.S. military and the Japan Self-Defense Forces.

Under the TOMODACHI - Mitsui & Co. Leadership Program, launched in 2013, ten young professionals selected from both Japan and the U.S. spend approximately one week visiting the other country. Members of the American and Japanese delegations interact with one another, engage in dialogue with top government officials and industry executives and young professionals in leadership roles, and tour local sites of interest. Through the program, they develop extensive professional networks while forming the broader knowledge and perspectives necessary for the next generation of global leaders who will take an active part in strengthening U.S.-Japan relations.

Mitsui & Co. has decided to implement this leadership program for another three years beginning in 2016. Under this program, we plan to select some of the members of the Japanese delegation from the three prefectures (Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima) that were devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake, while arranging a visit by the American delegation to the areas affected by the disaster. Through the creation of new opportunities for exchange and communication of information regarding the region within Japan and abroad, we will strengthen the program as a disaster reconstruction support initiative that also contributes to promoting tourism and industry in the region.