JAPOLAC Special Lecture on International Cooperation

Dr. Ritter Diaz, Representative Director of JAPOLAC, delivered a compelling lecture on International Cooperation from a diplomatic perspective to students at Chiba University.

During the lecture, students learned about the remarkable evolution of international cooperation and were provided with concrete examples of collaboration between Japan and Panama, drawing upon Dr. Diaz’s extensive diplomatic experience.

Following the lecture, Dr. Diaz held a productive working meeting with Dr. Hiroaki Ozawa, the Vice President for Education of Chiba University. The purpose of the meeting was to explore prospective academic exchanges with universities in Latin America and the Caribbean, further fostering educational partnerships and enhancing cross-cultural understanding.

Los Van Van: Cuba’s musical bullet train brings non-stop dance energy to Japan

Los Van Van, giants of Cuban popular music for more than 50 years, bring their intoxicating Latin rhythms to Japan for the first time in 13 years this summer.

Loosely translated as The Go Gos, the Grammy-winning band continues to set the standard for infusing dance music from Havana with a fresh relevance and identity that stretches far beyond the labels of Cuban salsa or timba.

The 16-member group, known as El Tren (The Train) in Cuba, is a locomotive of irresistible dance grooves for the body and a source of social commentary for the mind that makes the music an essential part of everyday life on the Caribbean island, rather than a distraction from it.

The Los Van Van sound remains as distinctive as ever, even after generational changes in styles and personnel, offering an example for salsa bands across the globe of how to evolve a contemporary style while maintaining an identity that avoids cliches.

Since the last appearance in Japan, hard-hitting drummer Samuel Formell has become the full driving force of the band following the passing away of his father, founder Juan Formell. He’ s reinvigorated the Formell formula by bringing on board sister Vanessa as the feisty female voice in the band and brother Juan-Carlos, a Grammy-nominated guitarist in his own right, to fill the key role as bassist. The latest lineup brings in new blood to power the trombone and violin sections, and put a new twist on the band’ s mesmerizing keyboard riffs. Julio Noroña on guiro flies the flag for the original members that formed the group in 1969.

Recent releases forge a path of fresh compositions, new collaborations and reworkings of classic hits as Formell looks to stretch the possibilities of Los Van Van’ s sound while never forgetting the rich heritage of its back catalogue. While experimenting on one-off tracks with timba and urban pop outfits, the band’ s most impactful full-length releases in recent years are its heavy-hitting “Leyenda” tribute to the deceased Formell and its 50th year anniversary collection “Mi Songo,” featuring re-energized cuts of “Sandunguera,” “Anda, Ven Y Muevete” and “El Baile del Buey Cansao.”

After three years of pandemic-tinged self-restraint, the time has come to leave some sweat and stress on the dancefloor this summer.



■ EVENT: Juan Formelly LOS VAN VAN – ¡Vívela! Salsa Tour 2023
■ ARTIST: Juan Formell y LOS VAN VAN (From Cuba – Genre: Cuban Salsa, Songo Timba)
■ General Organizer: NPO Tiempo Iberoamericano

Tour Dates
Aug. 31 (Thu.) Zepp Shinjuku (TOKYO)
▶ Fukuoka: Aug. 27 (Sat.) ISLA DE SALSA 2023 / Nagoya: Sep. 1 (Fri.) / Osaka: Sep. 2 (Sat.)

Ticket outlets: Ticket Sales will start on May, 2023. (Play guide information will be announced soon.)


General Information

NPO TIEMPO Iberoamericano – Fukuoka

Press contact: Jun KONDO
Tel: 092-762-4100 / Fax: 092-762-4104
E-mail: vivela@tiempo.jp / https://vivela.jp/en
Dayton Bldg. 3F, 2-4-5 Chuo-ku, Tenjin, Fukuoka

Rhythms of Caribbean: The Magic of Dominican Republic

Let’s enjoy Dominican Republic music, dance, food and drink to cheer the human spirit!





Event Name: “Rhythms of the Caribbean: The Magic of Dominican Republic”
Date and Time: Sunday, July 23, 11:30-16:00. Doors Open at 11:00 a.m.
Location: Hamamatsuchokan, 3F, Tokyo Port City Takeshiba Office Tower, 1-7-1 Kaigan, Minato-Ku, Tokyo, 105-7590.
2 min. Walk from Takeshiba Station/ 4 min. walk from Hamamatsucho Station/ 5 min. from Daimon Station.

Event Details:

  • Music Band JACUPE.
  • Basic dance lessons of merengue and bachata by Dominican Dancer Ryu Kameda and free dance to exercise for fun.
  • Special dance performance of Japanese traditional dance with Bachata by artist Michiko Namie.
  • Authentic Dominican cuisine by Judy’s Kitchen.
  • Video showing tourist attractions.
  • Display and sale of Dominican Republic products.

Admission Fee: Advance payment of 3,500 yen per person by bank transfer. Please pay the transfer fee. Payment at the Reception on the day of event: 4,500 yen per person in Cash or PayPay. Children from 7 years old to 15 years old pay half price (6 years old and under are free of charge). Cost Includes food and 1 drink.

Dress Code: Smart casual, CoolBiz, Guayabera.

Organizer: Japan Association for Promotion of Latin America and the Caribbean (JAPOLAC),
4-12-2-806, Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0045
TEL :(Japanese) 03-6264-3858 (English, Spanish) 03-6264-3859
Email: info@japolac.com; HP: https://japolac.com/

With the Cooperation of the Embassy of Dominican Republic

Kiyomura Co., Ltd. (Sushi Zanmai)
Japan Partnership Holdings Inc. (METROPOLIS)
Japan Export Import Ltd.
Noi Enterprise Ltd.
Unidos, Co. Ltd (KYODAI)
Saza Coffee Co., Ltd. Sukoruni Wine Co., Ltd.

Charity Support: A portion of the funds raised at this event will be donated to a Dominican Republic welfare organization focused on the education of economically vulnerable people.

Registration: Prior registration is required. Please enter your name, number of people and email address in the following link and choose the payment method.

Cancellation: The event will be cancelled if there is a major disaster or force majeure. In case of cancellation, JAPOLAC will reimburse half of the admission fee in order to cover anticipated expenses in preparation for the event as well as bank fees.

Questions or Queries: Please write to us at: info@japolac.com

We hope you can join us, enjoying food, drink, music and dance, and especially the friendly and relaxed Caribbean atmosphere in order to cheer the human spirit during these complex times.

Rhythm of the Caribbean: The Charm of Cuba



JAPOLAC Participates in FOODEX JAPAN 2023

Dr. Ritter Diaz, Representative Director of JAPOLAC participated in FOODEX JAPAN 2023 by invitation of Ms. Blanca Kato, Japan Business Development Executive of the Costa Rica trade promotion agency, PROCOMER.

At the booth of PROCOMER, Ms. Kato explained Dr. Diaz the export offer of Costa Rica, which included gourmet coffee, frozen pineapple, juices, among others.

Dr. Diaz also held meetings with the presidents of the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association and the Bolivian National Exporters Association to explain the trade facilitating activities of JAPOLAC to support small and medium size companies of Latin America and the Caribbean interested in the Japanese market.

In addition, Dr. Diaz met with company representatives from Costa Rica, Jamaica, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru and Uruguay to explain the role of JAPOLAC to identify, analyze, select and recommend Latin American and Caribbean products with good potential for the Japanese market.

One of the objectives of JAPOLAC is trade facilitation between Japan and the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean focusing on the promotion of small and medium size companies.

FOODEX is the largest food fair held in Japan and took place from March 7 to 10, 2023.