Meeting on Semiconductors with Professors from the Technological University of Panama


During a trip to Panama in May of this year, Dr. Ritter Diaz, Director of JAPOLAC, held a meeting with professors from the Technological University of Panama who specialize in semiconductor education. The purpose of the meeting was to exchange opinions on Japan’s strategy to revitalize the semiconductor manufacturing industry. Dr. Diaz also shared details about his recent participation in the launch of the Costa Rica Semiconductor Roadmap.

Dr. Diaz reported that Japan’s strategy aims to revitalize the semiconductor manufacturing industry in order to play a central role in the global semiconductor supply chain. To this end, Japan has allocated financial subsidies amounting to approximately 25 billion dollars (3.9 trillion yen) between 2021 and 2023. This government support has attracted renowned foreign companies in the global semiconductor industry, such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), Powerchip Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. (PSMC, Taiwan), Samsung (South Korea), Micron Technology (USA), Intel (USA), IBM (USA), Applied Materials (USA), and ASML (Netherlands), among other industry leaders.

Additionally, Dr. Diaz shared details about the launch of the Costa Rica Semiconductor Industry Roadmap. This effort, driven by the presence of Intel and the partnership between Costa Rica and the United States, seeks to diversify and strengthen 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 2022 US CHIPS Act. Costa Rica is not only engaged in semiconductor testing, assembly, and packaging, but is also venturing into chip design.

Dr. Diaz noted that Panama, under the educational leadership of the Technological University of Panama and the National Secretariat of Science and Tecnology, has a great opportunity to develop the semiconductor industry. Like Costa Rica, Panama has been included in the partnership with the United States to be part of a stable supply chain in the Latin American and Caribbean region. Additionally, Panama boasts an important international logistics center to support this supply chain, complementing semiconductor production in Costa Rica.

In this regard, he emphasized that Panama must transform the education curriculum to service global semiconductor companies, in the same way as Costa Rica did to attract high-tech companies like Intel. In addition, the educational model should also prepare citizens for communication with machines, including learning the language of artificial intelligence, in addition to their native language, Spanish, and English as an international communication language.

Dr. Diaz reiterated the support of JAPOLAC to the Technological University of Panama to establish links with Japanese institutions and companies related to research and development in semiconductors and other areas of technological development. In this regard, he has already approached the Faculty of Engineering at Chiba University, aiming at the training of professors and students from the Technological University of Panama in the field of semiconductors.

First Edition of the Foreign Direct Investment Costa Rica Summit 2024


The Embassy of Costa Rica in Japan has announced the upcoming First Edition of the Foreign Direct Investment Costa Rica Summit 2024 (FDI Summit), organized by the Trade Promotion Agency (PROCOMER) of Costa Rica, and scheduled to take place on June 11 and 12 at the Costa Rica Convention Center.

The objective of the First Edition of the FDI Summit is to offer a comprehensive perspective on the investment opportunities in Costa Rica, as well as to present the country’s value proposition, tax incentive regime, and the favorable conditions that can benefit investors.

For more details and registration, please visit the following website: https://investincr.com/en/event/#fdi-summit

Courtesy Visit to the Ambassador of Guatemala


Dr. Ritter Diaz, the Representative Director of the Japan Association for the Promotion of Latin America and the Caribbean (JAPOLAC), recently paid a courtesy visit to His Excellency Manuel Roldan, the new Ambassador of the Republic of Guatemala.

During the meeting, Dr. Diaz provided Ambassador Roldan with an overview of JAPOLAC’s objectives and ongoing activities, underscoring the significance of fostering practical exchanges between Japan and the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Ambassador Roldan warmly welcomed the visit and expressed his gratitude for the introduction to the Association. He further elaborated on the objectives of his diplomatic mission, emphasizing the important goal of strengthening relations between Guatemala and Japan. Notably, he seeks to foster cooperation from Japan in key sectors such as public transportation and anti-seismic technologies.

Among JAPOLAC’s core objectives is the support for the endeavours of Latin American and Caribbean embassies (LAC) in Japan, aimed at enhancing the awareness of LAC culture throughout Japan.

Accompanying Dr. Diaz were senior directors of JAPOLAC, Mr. Ajoy Sinha Roy and Mr. Neil Butler.

Courtesy Visit to the Ambassador of Honduras


Dr. Ritter Diaz, Representative Director of the Japan Association for Promotion of Latin America and the Caribbean (JAPOLAC), paid a courtesy visit to His Excellency Harold Burgos, Ambassador of the Republic of Honduras.

During the meeting, Dr. Diaz provided Ambassador Burgos with an overview of JAPOLAC’s objectives and activities, emphasizing the importance of practical exchanges between Japan and the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. Specifically, they discussed collaborations in education, cultural promotion, and facilitating business opportunities for small and medium-sized companies.

Dr. Diaz extended an invitation to the Embassy of Honduras to become an honorary member of JAPOLAC, aiming to enhance awareness of the Republic of Honduras in Japan.

Ambassador Burgos expressed his appreciation for the visit and the introduction to the Association, demonstrating keen interest in JAPOLAC’s activities. He mentioned his intention to consult with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Honduras to explore potential avenues of collaboration with the Association.

Accompanying Dr. Diaz were senior directors of JAPOLAC, Mr. Ajoy Sinha Roy and Mr. Neil Butler.

Working Meeting with the Ambassador of Chile


Dr. Ritter Diaz, the Representative Director of JAPOLAC, recently held a working meeting with His Excellency Ricardo Rojas, the Ambassador of Chile. The purpose of the meeting was to inform Ambassador Rojas of the upcoming Short Online Program (SOP) organized by the Institute of Advanced Studies at the University of Santiago, Chile, specifically designed for students from Chiba University.

Ambassador Rojas expressed his gratitude for the information regarding this innovative program and recognized its potential to raise awareness of Chile in Japan. The Head of the Chilean diplomatic mission also pointed out that initiatives of this nature play an important role in promoting cross-cultural understanding and knowledge exchange between the two nations.

Scheduled to commence in March of this year, the 3-week SOP is poised to provide a practical learning experience for 24 Chiba University students. The program curriculum encompasses various courses, such as an overview of Chile, the processes involved in copper, lithium, and iodine production, an exploration of the thriving winery sector, an introduction to the salmon industry, and an examination of Chile’s forestry practices.

JAPOLAC’s short online programs serve as a valuable conduit for imparting practical knowledge about Latin American and Caribbean countries (LAC) to Japanese university students. The overarching goal is to inspire and motivate these students to visit and study in the countries of the LAC region.

One of the core objectives at JAPOLAC is to actively promote academic and research exchanges between Japanese universities and their counterparts in Latin America and the Caribbean.