Go into ePals.com and see who is in your target countries. The people who are doing online projects through ePals are most likely to also have some interesting technology implementations going on.
You have to "join" ePals (free) to be able to send email to anyone in the global community.
You might want to talk to People-to-People about setting up a trip. They did a terrific trip in November 2008 to China that several of my friends went on. I think the government permissions needed to do such a trip in China are much greater than doing a trip to Japan.
There are also scholarships to visit Japan from some group. When I was a college professor, I wrote letters of recommendation for two of my grad students to participate in a summer exchange, all expenses paid. It was a group from Japan paying for it, I believe.
Also, see whether Sister Cities has any cities in these countries that are paired with North Carolina cities. They often have exchanges between the two cities. www.sister-cities.org
Finally, check with your local Rotary Clubs. They have an exchange program for young professionals (not necessarily Rotary members, as I understand it) to go on Study Exchanges. Why not teachers too? www.rotary.org The Rotary Foundation’s Group Study Exchange (GSE) program is a unique cultural and vocational exchange opportunity for businesspeople and professionals between the ages of 25 and 40 who are in the early stages of their careers. The program provides travel grants for teams to exchange visits in paired areas of different countries. For four to six weeks, team members experience the host country's culture and institutions, observe how their vocations are practiced abroad, develop personal and professional relationships, and exchange ideas.