Honda's Tomodachi Program Invests in U.S. - Japanese Relations

In December and early January, 20 Japanese students visited Southern California as part of Honda's Tomodachi Cultural Exchange Program. During their time in the United States, the students visited local schools, hospitals, and cultural institutions, and even participated in the 2016 Rose Parade.

Established in 2011 by the governments of the United States and Japan following the Tohoku earthquake, the program aims to create lasting bonds between the youths of both countries. Tomodachi is Japanese for "friend."

"The hope for the TOMODACHI generation is that they have a good understanding of why relationships between the United State and Japan are so important," said Henry Ota, director, U.S.-Japan Council.

During the parade, students rode on Honda's float called "Nature's Hope," which featured various elements of Japanese and American national parks.

"The TOMODACHI Honda Cultural Exchange Initiative is an extension of our belief in The Power of Dreams," said Steve Morikawa, vice president, Corporate Relations & Social Responsibility for American Honda. "Not only will these students experience cultural exchange while they're here in the United States, but they will carry forward what they've learned back to Japan and throughout the rest of their lives."

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