By Dr. Craig D. Reid
Famous Disney Channel twins Dylan and Cole Sprouse, two of Hollywood’s hottest teen stars, were recently officially appointed by Nia Lyte, co-founder and president of the Shin Koyamada Foundation (SKF) as SKF’sInternational Ambassadors. Their task is to promote the understanding of peace, friendship, education and cultural diversity within international youth communities. The Sprouses’ first major undertaking as SKF Ambassadors will be to present a Japanese youth motivational and educational program with SKF co-founder Shin Koyamada this summer in Japan.
Known as the US-Japan Discovery Tour, which will include presentations in Tokyo, Miyagi, Kyoto, Osaka, Okayama, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi, Fukuoka, Kagoshima and Okinawa Prefecture, the Sprouse brothers and Koyamada are aiming to empower the youth of Japan to better themselves and rebuild Japan as a society as well as to deepen the friendly relations and brotherhood between the youth of Japan and America.
Through a series of novel cross-cultural exchange events, from August 7 through 17, American youths Dylan and Cole will be provided with unique opportunities to interact with a large sector of Japanese youth, where all parties involved can be inspired by each other’s history, education and traditions. This will also build a stronger platform as a means to enhance US-Japan connections, relations and exchanges for years to come.
Intimately involved with Japanese and American cultures, plus being a celebrity in both countries, makes Koyamada the perfect bridge between both bands of brothers. For the Sprouses, who attend New York University and hold Japanese culture in high regard, it will be their first visit to Japan.
Besides impacting regional Japanese youth, the Discovery Tour is geared toward spreading US-Japanese brotherhood, goodwill and understanding amid the backdrop ofhistorical Japanese landmarks and areas. Points of significance include: visiting young US troops at Iwakuni and Okinawa US Military bases; hosting international cultural exchange programs in various regions; pay respects to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima and to the Tohoku disaster areas in Sendai; absorb traditional temples and tourism attractions in Kyoto, and the national Japanese garden in Okayama (Shin’s hometown); and partake in traditional countryside cultural activities in Kagoshima.
Partners of the Discovery Tour include: the US Consulate-General of Osaka-Kobe and Okinawa, Kagoshima City, the American Consulate of Fukuoka, Japan-American Society of Okayama, SKF Japan and its satellite offices in Kyoto, Osaka, Okayama, Kagoshima, Fukuoka, and Okinawa. Supporters of the Tour are Okayama Prefecture, Shinca Design, ANA, Kyoto City, Asia Logistics Partners, United Airlines Okinawa, American Chamber of Commerce Okinawa, English Teachers in Okinawa, C-Link 4T, and Vivalachi.
The Discovery Tour’s official sponsors are: Shinca; The Nia Lyte Show, Campana Vessel Hotel; American Village Okinawa Mihama; S&L Management, Inc; Claudia Hallowell; Marissa and Edward Solis; Florina Kendrick Roberts; Mark and Liliana Manrique White; and AAG Health.