Closing Ceremony of the First Short Online Program Delivered by the University of Santiago, Chile to Chiba University Students

On April 4th, the University of Santiago, Chile, carried out the closing ceremony for its first short online program, delivered to students of Chiba University, Japan, and supported by the Japan Association for the Promotion of Latin America and the Caribbean (JAPOLAC).

During the ceremony, Dr. Ritter Diaz, Representative Director of JAPOLAC, offered congratulations to the students and faculty of both institutions for the successful culmination of the program. He commended Japanese students for their dedication to learning about Chile, including its key industrial sectors such as mining, winemaking, salmon farming, and forestry. Dr. Diaz underscored the significance of this educational initiative in promoting cross-cultural understanding and appreciation, as well as fostering meaningful interactions between Japanese and Chilean students.

Moreover, Dr. Diaz highlighted the integration of digital tools and processes into education, emphasizing its cost-effectiveness and its positive impact to expand international academic collaboration. He mentioned that this short online program will pave the way for deeper academic cooperation between Chiba University and the University of Santiago.

These short online programs are carefully coordinated by JAPOLAC to provide practical knowledge to Japanese students, encouraging them to pursue further educational opportunities in Latin American and Caribbean countries. They also offer a valuable opportunity for students to engage in international communication in English language. Ultimately, these programs serve as a good example of international academic collaboration, enriching the educational experiences of students.

The closing ceremony counted on the presence of His Excellency Ricardo Rojas, Ambassador of Chile to Japan, Dr. Hiroaki Ozawa, Vice-President for Education and International Affairs at Chiba University, and Dr. Cesar Ross, Director of the Asian Study Nucleus (ASN) and Senior Researcher at the Institute of Advanced Studies at the University of Santiago, Chile.

Luncheon in honor of Dr. Michiko Takagaki, Professor of Chiba University

Dr. Ritter Diaz, Representative Director of JAPOLAC, hosted a luncheon to celebrate the frutiful career and retirement of Dr. Michiko Takagaki, professor at the Faculty of Horticulture of Chiba University.

During this occasion, Dr. Diaz expressed profound gratitude to Dr. Takagaki for her unwavering support and dedication in fostering academic collaborations between Chiba University and various academic institutions across Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) through the JAPOLAC program for university internationalization.

The university internationalization program endeavors to provide Japanese students with practical insights into the diverse cultures and landscapes of LAC. Under Dr. Takagaki’s guidance, Chiba University has successfully conducted short online programs in partnership with the Panama Technological University, the University of Technology, Jamaica, and the University of Santiago, Chile.

Dr. Diaz also commended Dr. Takagaki’s instrumental role in advancing Controlled Environment Agriculture in Panama, which led to the establishment of the Research Center for Agriculture Production in Controlled Environment (CIPAC, in Spanish). It is expected that CIPAC will significantly contribute to the widespread adoption of this innovative agricultural technology throughout the LAC region.

The luncheon counted on the presence of distinguished guests, including Mrs. Zaradeeth Del Real, Second Secretary of the Embassy of Panama, Mr. Yoshio Suzuki, President of Saza Coffee, Mr. Koichiro Akechi, President of the Association for the Conservation of Wild Orchids of Panama (COSPA), and Dr. Lu Na, professor of Chiba University, alongside other attendees.

Costa Rica Launches Semiconductor Industry Roadmap

Dr. Ritter Díaz, Director Representative of JAPOLAC, participated in the launch of Costa Rica’s Semiconductor Industry Roadmap by invitation from the Minister of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica, H.E. Manuel Tovar. The event took place at the Intercontinental Hotel on March 21 and 22, with the presence of the President of Costa Rica, His Excellency Mr. Rodrigo Chávez, the US Secretary of Commerce, H.E. Gina Raimondo, and the President of the Semiconductor Industry Association, Mr. John Neuffer, among other special guests.

Since the late 1990s, Costa Rica has embarked on an industrial transformation process driven by the arrival of INTEL, one of the leading global semiconductor production companies, and the establishment of a partnership between Costa Rica and the United States to explore opportunities for diversifying and growing a more resilient, secure, and sustainable global semiconductor value chain. This partnership is facilitated by the International Technology Security and Innovation Fund (“ITSI Fund”), created by the CHIPS Act of 2022 in the USA.

Today, Costa Rica is not only engaged in testing, assembly, and packaging of semiconductors but is also venturing into chip design, as well as developing other light industries such as the manufacturing of medical devices, production of precision industrial tools, among other industrial activities.

Prior to the launch of the Roadmap, Dr. Díaz participated in several working sessions led by the ministers of foreign trade, labor, education, and the main universities in Costa Rica involved in training human resources in semiconductor-related fields.

Dr. Díaz had the opportunity to greet and thank the Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade, H.E. Indiana Trejos, and the CEO of the Costa Rican Foreign Trade Promotion Agency (PROCOMER), Mrs. Laura López, for the invitation to such a special event, which marks an important milestone in the country’s industrial transformation process.

Additionally, Dr. Díaz participated in a tour of the Coyol Free Trade Zone where he firsthand learned about companies linked to the semiconductor industry and the manufacturing of high-precision tools for high-tech companies, which employ over 400 highly skilled professionals trained by the Costa Rican Technological University (TEC). Currently, there are around 500 renowned companies established in the country.

It is worth noting that during the working session with the universities, the Vice President of TEC explained that INTEL’s arrival in Costa Rica prompted a change in the educational model, generating an engineering adapted to the company’s needs, which was replicated in companies from other industrial sectors. In summary, Costa Rica’s educational model reflects an educational paradigm that prepares citizens for life, integrating them into the productive forces of the country with high-quality and well-paid employment. As a professor at the University of Costa Rica commented to me, the country went from “banana chips to microchips.”


Costa Rica Buyers Trade Mission, Edition 2024 (BTM 2024) and Central American and Caribbean Audiovisual Market, Edition 2024 (MAUCC 2024)

The Embassy of the Republic of Costa Rica in Japan announces the upcoming Buyers Trade Mission, Edition 2024 (BTM 2024), scheduled to take place on September 10-12 in San José, Costa Rica.

BTM 2024 represents the premier business roundtable in the region, offering participants a unique opportunity to engage with Costa Rica’s leading exporters across four strategic and highly competitive sectors: Agriculture, Food Industry, Light Manufacturing, and Service Sector.

Additionally, Costa Rica is pleased to invite to all interested parties to join the Central American and Caribbean Audiovisual Market, Edition 2024 (MAUCC 2024). This event provides a platform to explore international production services, on-demand outsourcing, and captivating content such as feature films and fiction series, among others, showcasing the diverse offerings of Costa Rica’s important audiovisual industry.

Both BTM 2024 and MAUCC 2024 are organized by the Costa Rican Foreign Trade Promoter (PROCOMER), with the support of all Costa Rican Embassies and the Government of Costa Rica.

For further information, please visit the following link: or reach out to us via email at

Opening Ceremony of the first Short Online Program (SOP) Delivered by the University of Santiago, Chile, to Chiba University Students

On March 12, the University of Santiago, Chile, in collaboration with Chiba University, carried out the first short online program under the University Internationalization Program coordinated by the Japan Association for Promotion of Latin America and the Caribbean (JAPOLAC).

This three-week synchronous online program is designed to provide Chiba University students with an overview of Chile, covering topics such as the country’s rich copper, lithium, and iodine production, as well as insights into its thriving winery industry and an introduction of Chile’s salmon and forestry sectors. Additionally, the program includes a cultural exchange component aimed at fostering interaction between Japanese and Chilean university students.

The opening ceremony counted on the presence of distinguished guests, including Mr. Tsubasa Yagi, Chief of the Political Section of the Embassy of Japan in Chile; Honorable Ms. Angela Tobar, Second Secretary of the Asia Pacific Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile; Dr. Hiroaki Ozawa, Vice-President for Education at Chiba University; and Dr. Patricia Pallavicini, Vice-Rector for Community Engagement at the University of Santiago, Chile.

In his welcoming remarks, Dr. Ritter Díaz, Representative Director of JAPOLAC, expressed heartfelt appreciation to both universities for their collaborative efforts in organizing this short online program. He emphasized its significance in enriching Japanese students’ understanding of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Dr. Diaz underscored that this initiative marks the beginning of closer academic cooperation between Chiba University and the University of Santiago, Chile.

JAPOLAC’s short online programs aim to provide Japanese university students with practical knowledge about Latin American and Caribbean countries, encouraging them to explore opportunities for further study and travel to the LAC region. Furthermore, these programs facilitate international communication in English, thereby equipping students from both Japan and Chile with the skills and confidence needed to navigate the global landscape in this digital era.