Mineta Ambassadors Program for Educational Exchanges Announced

At a historic state visit, U.S. President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida heralded a new era of collaboration on April 10 with the unveiling of the Mineta Ambassadors Program (MAP) to support bilateral students to study abroad. This educational endowment is a strategic investment in a shared future, laying a robust groundwork for nurturing a new generation of leaders poised to deepen the bonds between the United States and Japan. 

MAP has successfully secured $11 million, exceeding its initial goal of $10 million. The endowment, to be managed by the U.S.–Japan Council (USJC), will solicit program proposals from experienced organizations and institutions who will serve as implementing partners for high school and university exchanges. 

The Bridging Foundation announced that Chairman Thierry Porté has made a personal donation of $50,000 to support the establishment of the endowment. This act of generosity reflects Porté’s steadfast commitment to the cultivation of tomorrow’s leaders and underscores a shared belief that study abroad programs are life-changing and serve as a cornerstone of the U.S.–Japan relationship.

The motivation behind establishing MAP is simple, explained Tom Mason, PhD, executive director of the U.S.–Japan Bridging Foundation. “The robust U.S.–Japan relationship of today owes its success to the multitude of Japanese and American individuals who have broadened their horizons through educational exchanges. The common thread linking various leaders, from influential political figures to business magnates, and from acclaimed artists to Nobel laureates, has been the invaluable experience of studying abroad.”

MAP expressed their sincere congratulations to U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel, Ambassador of Japan to the U.S. Shigeo Yamada, the teams at both embassies, as well as colleagues at the U.S.–Japan Council, for their exceptional dedication and effort in conceptualizing this initiative and successfully securing the necessary funding to bring it to life.

For more details:

United States–Japan Joint Leaders’ Statement

U.S. Embassy in Tokyo Statement

U.S.–Japan Council Mineta Ambassadors Program Homepage

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