3 June 2014
Tokyo, Japan

U.S.-Japan Council has released TOMODACHI U.S.-Japan Youth Exchange Program 2014, along with the post-program highlights in 2013, in their website. Akira Foundation has been the main local partner of this program since its inception.

“In 2014, six DC high school students will be selected for the program; DCPS and charter school students are eligible to apply. The purpose of the exchange is to promote cultural dialogue and understanding between DC and Japanese teens; to provide exposure to social entrepreneurship and organizations promoting social change; and to enhance the students’ leadership skills and global awareness. Japanese language instruction will be included this year. The 2014 program consists of:

  • A five week summer program for DC students, which includes the two-and-a-half week visit of Japanese exchange students from mid-July to early August.
  • Travel to Japan for two-and-a-half weeks in November, which includes the reciprocal student exchange and home stays in Tokyo, as well as a trip to Tohoku, the region impacted by the 2011 tsunami.
  • Regular meetings throughout 2014-15.
  • Student produced final product and presentation.
To learn more about this DC-Japan exchange program, and to keep up with the latest developments, click here.
Source: HP of the U.S.-Japan Council (Japan)

06 May 2014
Tokyo, Japan

The Global Leadership Program (GLP) at The University of Tokyo, where Hirofumi Yokoi, President of AFJ, currently works as an assistant professor, has organized a special symposium in May.

This symposium crystallizes the GLP momentum and shares our experiences and wisdom on Social Innovation celebrating the FIFTH YEAR inception of GLP. The Symposium will be held at Tetsumon Memorial Hall, UT on May 28, 2014. We are hoping that you will share our enthusiasm for your active participation.

In keeping with the theme of the Symposium, you will learn from the keynote speaker, Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, Chairman, UN foundation for the Global Compact, how capitalism has been under siege and created our society that is getting more divided and less inclusive. He will share his view of “Responsible Leadership” – leaders in both public and private sectors should be ethical, responsible and accountable to shareholders, stakeholders, and others as a whole.

Following his keynote speech, you will also have an opportunity to glean facts from two distinguished leaders – Dr. Iyabo Obasajo, Former Health Commissioner in Nigeria, and Tri Mumpuni, Ashoka Fellow, Founder of IBEKA in Indonesia – in terms of what kind of roles each woman plays in making their sea changes happen in ones of most challenging environments and of how to reconceive social and economic interaction–the principle of shared value –that creates social and economic values in a harmonious and sustainable way.

At the panel discussion, you will be invited to the discussion on the dynamics of the interlocked loop from beyond capitalism toward an inclusive society by appreciating societal needs and challenges. Please invite your good friends to the Symposium. More information about the Symposium is available at: http://www.leadership.m.u-tokyo.ac.jp/?p=4236

May 28, 2014
Tetsumon Memorial Hall, Hongo Campus, The University of Tokyo (Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan)
Hirofumi Yokoi, Assistant Professor, GLP, The University of Tokyo

06 May 2014
Tokyo, Japan

SEELS, a high-impact social enterprise that Akira Foundation provides seed capital and advisory services, is seeking interns for Tokyo and Northeast region of Japan operation.

The interns will work closely with the CEO and gain first-hand experience to scale the social enterprise. Based on the performance during the internship, the interns will be eligible to become paid officers.

Available positions:

Position A: Chief Operating Assistant


  • Assist the CEO in directing internal operations to achieve budgeted results and other financial criteria.
  • Support in the development and preparation of short-term and long-range plans and budgets based upon broad organization goals and objectives.
  • Take part in the development and installation of procedures and controls, to promote communication and adequate information flow, and thereby solidify management control and direction of the enterprise.
  • Help in the development of a sustainable sounding plan of organization.
  • Assist in the development and establishment of adequate and equitable personnel policies throughout the organization, including compensation policies and employee benefit plans. Insures that the interests and welfare of employees as individuals are preserved and protected.

- Required language skills: English (business level), Japanese (advanced to native level)
- Preferred experience: Experience in human resource management, project management, and/or knowledge management is preferable.
- Starting date: Anytime
- Internship period: At least four weeks and up
- Benefits: Free board and lodging

Position B: Chief Financial Assistant

  • Assist the CEO in developing funds and resource generation strategy for the both existing and new campaigns events.
  • Organize campaign/event with clear objectives and measurable targets for the team to grow income.
  • Coordinate, support and motivate staff, volunteers and franchisee involved in fundraising initiatives.
  • Develop effective relationships with volunteer groups/ schools and other suitable groups to design and deliver new funds and resource generation such as high-level donor engagement, direct mail campaigns, and identification of suitable trust and foundation support to increase funding.
  • Identify Corporate Partners and cultivate relationships to establish Corporate Social Responsibility partnership and cooperation.
  • Provide regular reports to the CEO on progress on each project.
  • To undertake any other duties as requested by the CEO relating to fundraising garner support for events with measurable outcomes.

- Required language skills: English (business level), Japanese (advanced to native level)
- Preferred experience: Experience in finance, fundraising, and/or external relationship management is preferable.
- Starting date: Anytime
- Internship period: At least four weeks and up
- Benefits: Free Board and Lodging

To apply, please send an email to Cesar Santoyo, CEO of SEELS, at (sa_ryo@hotmail.com)and your resume.
For more information, please contact Cesar Santoyo (sa_ryo@hotmail.com).
SEELS website: http://seels.jp/

9 April 2014
New York, USA

Akira Foundation has been selected among Japanese institutions as a strategic partner for The World Summit on Innovation & Entrepreneurship (theWSIE). This is the third time for three consecutive years.

TheWSIE was launched at United Nations in 2006. Supported by three UN agencies including UNDP along with International Chamber of Commerce, African Union, and multinationals like PepsiCo, Boeing, CNBC, and Microsoft, the first theWSIE took place at the historic city of Muscat, Oman, and has been held every other year with over 70 countries attended.

Held on September 28-30, 2014, in New York City, under the support of Harvard Business Review, Wyss Institute at Harvard, IBM, Cisco, BT, Nasdaq, and many multinationals, theWSIE on “Creative Everywhere,” “Mobility for Digital Life” and “Livability = Sustainability+” will showcase how to balance the conflict between “the three most pressing consumer-led and citizen-oriented forces”: “the drive to co-create; the desire for mobility; and the demand for livability.”

The World Summit on Innovation & Entrepreneurship (theWSIE)

- Stories shaping tomorrow’s Creativity, Mobility and Livability (CML)-


New York City, New York
Sunday, September 28 – Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Facts (Delegates through AFJ: 2012 – 2013)

- African Centre for Cites (ACC, South Africa)
- Annata Foundation (Lebanon)
- Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD, Massachusetts)
- IBEKA (Indonesia)
- i-kifu (Japan)
- IMPACT Foundation Japan (Japan)
- J-Seed Ventures, Inc. (Japan)
- KarmSolar (Egypt)
- SEELS (Japan)
- TEDxTokyo (Japan)
- Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC, Japan)
- Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. (TMS, California)
- Toyota Technical Center (TTC, Michigan)
- University of Cape Town (UCT, South Africa)


Hirofumi Yokoi
Co-Founder and President, Akira Foundation

+81 (0) 3 5456 5179
+81 (0) 3 5456 5511

12 February 2014
Tokyo, Japan

Akira Foundation (AFJ) and American Councils for International Education (American Councils) agreed to continue to work together in the TOMODACHI U.S.-Japan Youth Exchange Program for the period 2014-2015.

The agreement was reached and confirmed between the two parties on February 12, 2014 via a conference call. The memorandum of understanding and the project agreement will follow by AFJ President Hirofumi Yokoi and American Councils Chief Strategy and Development Officer Miriam Parel. It paves the way for a collaborative partnership between the two nonprofit organizations involved in international education, social innovation, and cultural exchange.

The new agreement will run from April 18, 2014 until April 17, 2015.

American Councils for International Education intends to explore the U.S.-Japan Youth Exchange Program, a hands-on, service-based exchange program that will send six selected Keio Shonan Fujisawa high school students and a teacher from Tokyo to Washington, D.C. in summer 2014, and bring six selected high school students and a teacher from Washington, D.C. to Tokyo in fall 2014.

For more details on the program that took place last year, please visit the sites at:

1) http://usjapantomodachi.org/programs-activities/tomodachi-u-s-japan-youth-exchange-program/

2) http://usjapantomodachi.org/2014/03/11269/

* The TOMODACHI Initiative is a public-private partnership forged after the Great East Japan Earthquake and led by the U.S. Government, the Japanese Government and the U.S.-Japan Council, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. (http://usjapantomodachi.org/about-us/)
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