2020-2021 Campaign Starts

Dear Supporter of Friends of UTokyo (FUTI),

I hope this message finds you well in spite of the new coronavirus pandemic, which drastically changed all aspects of our lives worldwide. This year marks the 13th year since the inception of FUTI in 2007, and I am deeply grateful to the many generous donors who have been helping to sustain the Scholarship Programs, which is the core activity of FUTI.

As described in the 2019 Annual Report, the 2019 FUTI Scholarship program was able to award 26 scholarships. Of those awards, 17 (for eight University of Tokyo students and nine students at U.S. universities) are for the summer programs and nine (for University of Tokyo students) are for the Ito Foundation U.S.A.-FUTI Scholarship. However, the situation is very different this year. Many scholarship winners selected in March were forced to temporarily halt or give up the study plans, due to the cancellation of short-term programs for foreign students, the online shift of graduate school programs, and difficulty in getting appropriate student’s visas, which were caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. I sincerely hope that truly effective vaccines are developed and approved by the FDA as soon as possible, which can bring this worldwide crisis to an end.

In this pandemic, one thing that has become very clear is the critical importance of leaderships in politics, business, science, technology, arts, etc., to properly deal with this unprecedented huge crisis on a world scale. Also, it is evident that rapid and coordinated information sharing and international collaborations, especially in medical and social sciences, are the only way to solve such a crisis. In this regard, the cultivation of well-informed and innovative next-generation leaders is extremely important and absolutely necessary for us, which happens to be exactly the mission of FUTI.

For personnel affairs, Directors Koichi Hamada and Sumiko Ito stepped down and Dr. Geeta Mehta (Adjunct Professor, Columbia University; President, Asia Initiatives) was appointed as a Director. Prof. Hamada will continue to serve as an Advisory Committee member. The FUTI Advisory Committee welcomed seven new members, Mr. Tetsunosuke Fujisaki (for financial affairs), Mr. Yoshinari Ikiri (for legal affairs), Erika D. White, Esq, Dr. Sadaoki Furui (Board Chair, Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago), Mr. Koichi Sato (President, San Francisco Akamon-kai), Mr. Katsuyuki Yamaguchi (President, New York Ichokai) and Prof. Shohei Koide (New York University School of Medicine). Also, ex-President of FUTI, Prof. Masaaki Yamada assumed the Chair of the Advisory Committee from this fall, succeeding Prof. Hisashi Kobayashi (former President of FUTI). Since all FUTI Board and Advisory Committee members will do their best to fulfill FUTI’s mission, I would like to request your continued support on behalf of FUTI.

The FUTI Alumni Association, launched last year, is the organization spontaneously founded by FUTI Scholarship recipients, which reflects the fact that the importance of FUTI Scholarships has been recognized widely, and FUTI Scholarship recipients have achieved great successes on the international stage, including various competitions in the arts and sciences. Thus, people who are engaged in FUTI’s operation are all looking forward to its growth and success. Furthermore, FUTI continued its support for the joint research/educational programs between UTokyo and Columbia University (physics), as well as Yale University (political science) this year. These FUTI activities are made possible by the generous donations from our supporters and I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to them.

Alumni organizations such as the Akamonkai and Ichokai provide various opportunities in New York and around the world for UTokyo alumni. FUTI strives to work with these organizations to reach out and nurture our younger-generation UTokyo students and alumni in order to cultivate future global leaders.

As Treasurer and Vice-President Kuwama mentions below, small individual donations are becoming increasingly important. I would like to call upon each and every friend and patron who endorse FUTI’s mission for continued support in order for us to sustain and enrich FUTI’s Programs through 2021 and beyond.

Sincerely yours,
Iwao Ojima
President, Friends of UTokyo, Inc.

A Message from the Treasurer

Thanks to your generous support, last year, donation from individuals reached virtually the same level as the previous year, which was a successful year. To accept large gifts, we must stay qualified as a public charity. Maintaining this status requires that the total amount of individual gifts be at least a third of all donations. Donations from our individual supporters are the foundation for large donations, making every individual gift three times more valuable. It is essential to have as many of our supporters as possible to contribute.

I believe the easiest methods for donating are either online by making a secure credit card payment or sending a check by mail. For those who prefer sending a wire transfer to FUTI, please email donation [at] friendsofutokyo.org for instructions. We will send you the necessary FUTI account information to complete the transfer.
Yuichiro Kuwama
Vice-President and Treasurer, Friends of UTokyo, Inc.

Dear International Alumni:

We are reaching out personally to UTokyo International Alumni to come together via the Friends of UTokyo platform to stay in touch and support our alma mater. As we have all benefited from our time/studies at UTokyo, working together, we hope to find ways to extend similar valuable opportunities to incoming foreign students and to further the cause of international exchange in higher education.

Geeta Mehta, PhD. Member of the Board
Erika White, Esq. Member of the Advisory Committee

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