The deadline is May 17 for New Orleans-area leaders ages 21 to 35 to apply to participate in a cultural exchange with Matsue, Japan, a sister city to New Orleans.

The 10-day exchange will take place in October and will involve eight American participants. It is being organized by the Japan Society of New Orleans and funded by the Tomodachi Initiative and the National Association of Japan America Societies.

The exchange is an opportunity for young New Orleans leaders with an interest in Japan to make new tomodachi (“friends”) while learning about Matsue and sharing about New Orleans. This two-part exchange aims to foster a “tomodachi generation” of young American and Japanese leaders working to promote positive U.S.-Japan relations.

Participants must be committed to developing mutual understanding between the United States and Japan and other goals of the Tomodachi Initiative. International airfare, housing, and most meals and activities will be paid for by the grant. Participants will need to pay $260 for domestic airfare and take at least $400 to Japan for activity expenses not covered by the grant. Additional information and the application are online at