The 2017 Japan Team

Students from Keio Shonan Fujisawa Senior High School


Rey, a 17 year-old student at Keio SFC High School, has a strong passion for global issues. Her interests include cross country, softball, and other ball games; cooking; herbs and gardening. She has tremendous compassion for her community, and hopes that her experience in TOMODACHI will help her develop skills to help those in the Tohoku region of Japan (particularly in the continuing recovery from the 2011 earthquake). Beyond wanting to help those in her community, Rey is excited to discuss global politics and how “it is important to deepen understandings between countries as well as between people.” She has grown up in several different countries, including Japan and China, and considers her background as “an inseparable combination of several completely unique cultures.” She attributes her determination, her versatility, and her ability to work as a team player to this unique international upbringing.

Ryotaro Morimoto

Ryotaro is a 17-year old student, with strong interest in economics and business. He enjoys futsal, soccer, cycling, golf, and tennis. After he did a two week homestay in Australia, Ryotaro found the experience to be surprising and fulfilling, and hopes to continue broadening his perspective. He is very passionate about leadership and business skills, and hopes to engage with public agencies to increase his skills for the future. He describes himself as an extrovert, with a strong background in public speaking and working creatively in a group. Finally he considers himself very adaptable and hopes to use this skill to continue working on his English and trying out more competitive sports. Ultimately, he hopes to broaden his perspective and become a leader in the future.

Yuuki Takashima

Yuuki is a 15-year old student at Keio SFC High School, with aspirations to become a primary school teacher. She enjoys soccer and swimming, and participates in Japanese tea ceremonies. Describing her experience after returning from an international school in India, where her father worked, Yuuki says, “the world I had in my mind was really small.” Yuuki can often be found on the soccer field. At her school in India, she actually tried out for a boys-only team at an academy, because that was the only option available to her at the time. Although intimidated at first, she ended up making the team and grew to greatly enjoy the experience. In Japan she now plays on her school’s soccer team and appreciates the many ways that a team sport builds selflessness and character by working for your teammates’ success.

Students from Tohoku
(All these students are alumni of other TOMODACHI programs.)

Ko Sato

Ko is a16-year old resident of Kurihara-shi, Miyagi and a student at Furukawa Gakuen High School. He aspires to be a doctor, and enjoys baseball and music club. A true “townie,” Ko loves where he grew up and encourages people to visit his small slice of Japan, known for its rich culture and natural beauty. Having completed the “TOMODACHI Project,”Ko learned to face challenges head on.” His host family taught him not to be afraid of new adventures. No amateur to tackling challenges, Ko competed in a university science program and won an award for Outstanding Performance, despite claiming science is his weakest subject. Staying true to his roots, Ko researched the process of producing rice in his town.

Natsuho Suzuki

Natsuho is a 19-year old student at Fukushima Prefectural Asaka Kaisei High School in Koriyama-shi, Fukushima. She is interested in international science and aspires to become a flight attendant. She enjoys snowboarding and photography, and participates in English Club and cooking. Natsuho has always wanted to experience American life, as she is excited to work towards becoming a more internationally focused person. She has previously studied abroad in Malaysia living with a host family, and feels learning about different cultures and religions there was very important to her viewpoint. She wants to bring that internationalism back to Fukushima. One of her goals is to help support the increasing international travel to Fukushima by making it a more internationally friendly place. Thinking about her future, Natsuho says, “When I have hard challenges in my life, I don’t give up because i believe there is nothing humans cannot do.”

Hideaki Tanji

Hideaki is an 18-year old student who attends Fukushima Prefectural High School in Fukushima-shi, Fukushima. He wants to work in a multinational company, and has a special interest in science, and reading history and psychology book. He also enjoys fishing. Through his time abroad, Hideaki hopes to widen his “field of vision and mind” by studying English in the US. He values learning from people of different backgrounds and is eager to gain a sense of autonomy while in America. He wants to be a person who becomes active around the world. With two older siblings who have paved the way, Hideaki realizes the opportunities that become available with hard work and studying.