50 Japanese Students to Visit U.S. for Study Tour Focused on Women’s Empowerment

TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program to bring emerging female leaders to New York and Washington, D.C. for weeklong tour from March 21-29

WASHINGTON – Faced with a rapidly aging population, the future of Japan’s economy is increasingly dependent on more women playing an active role in it. Since 2013, the TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program (TMWLP) has actively created pathways for young female Japanese students to do just that – realizing their leadership potential and helping to make the nation’s vision for greater workplace diversity a reality in the process.

Cultural Vistas is pleased to announce it will, in conjunction with the U.S.-Japan Council, administer the U.S. portion of the TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program for the fourth-consecutive spring.

Beginning March 21, this initiative will bring 50 female Japanese university students from Tokyo, Osaka, Naha, and Sapporo to Washington, D.C. and New York City for a weeklong tour focused on leadership development and management skill-building, specifically as it pertains to women in the workplace.

The visit will provide opportunities for substantive conversations and networking with leaders across U.S. government, businesses, and the nonprofit sector, including Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Congressman Joaquin Castro (D-TX), Dr. Vanessa Kerry, co-founder and CEO of Seed Global Health, and Shanti Shoji, Vice President and Co-founder, Kizuna Across Cultures, among others.

The students will take part in skill-building workshops, attend various networking events, and visit with area universities, including Columbia University Medical Center, The Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College, and Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University.

Launched in 2013 by the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo and the TOMODACHI Initiative, TMWLP is a 10-month program that pairs highly-motivated female university students with mid-career professionals to foster leadership skills and build a network of Japanese women who show promise as the country’s next generation of leaders.

Cultural Vistas maintains a longstanding relationship with Japan and, since 1990, has worked together with global partners to exchange and connect more than 3,500 Japanese and American students and young professionals with opportunities to enhance their careers and promote a global perspective.

About the TOMODACHI Initiative
The TOMODACHI Initiative is a public-private partnership, born out of support for Japan’s recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake that invests in the next generation of Japanese and American leaders through educational and cultural exchanges as well as leadership programs. The initiative seeks to foster a generation of young American and Japanese leaders who are committed to and engaged in strengthening U.S.-Japan relations, appreciating each other’s countries and cultures, and possessing the global skills and mindsets needed to contribute to and thrive in a more cooperative, prosperous, and secure world. – Learn more at

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About Cultural Vistas
Founded in 1963, Cultural Vistas is a nonprofit exchange organization promoting global understanding and collaboration among individuals and institutions. We develop international professional experiences that create more informed, skilled, and engaged citizens. Our programs empower people to drive positive change in themselves, their organizations, and society. Cultural Vistas is headquartered in New York with regional offices in Washington, D.C. and Berlin. – Learn more at

Follow @CulturalVistas on Twitter.