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.

Opening Ceremony of the Sixth Short Online Program (SOP) Delivered by the Technological University of Panama to Chiba University Students

On February 6, the sixth short online program, organized collaboratively by the Technological University of Panama and Chiba University, commenced as part of the University Internationalization Program under the coordination of the Japan Association for Promotion of Latin America and the Caribbean (JAPOLAC).

During the opening ceremony, Dr. Ritter Díaz, Representative Director of JAPOLAC, thanked both universities for their effort in organizing the virtual academic program, which is an example of sustainable international academic cooperation.

This three-week synchronous online program is designed for 29 Japanese students and is conducted entirely in English. It offers an overview of Panama, including the Panama Canal, the logistics hub, and forest engineering in Central America. Additionally, the program features a dedicated segment to foster cultural exchange and interaction between Japanese and Panamanian university students.

This short online program also exposes Japanese and Panamanian students to international communication in the English language, helping them develop confidence when interacting with the world in this digital age.

JAPOLAC’s short online programs are designed to provide practical knowledge about Latin American and Caribbean countries (LAC) to Japanese university students. These programs also aim to encourage students to travel to and study in the LAC region.

JAPOLAC’s Participation in the “BID for the Americas” Seminar

Dr. Ritter Diaz, the Representative Director of JAPOLAC, recently took part in the “BID for the Americas” seminar, which was organized by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) during the visit to Japan of IDB President, Ilan Goldfajn.

The primary objective of the seminar was to introduce Japanese companies to the bidding and investment opportunities offered by the Inter-American Development Bank in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).

During the event, Dr. Diaz had a brief encounter with Mr. Hideharu Tanaka, the Representative of the IDB Office in Asia. Dr. Diaz conveyed JAPOLAC’s interest in collaborating with the IDB Office in Asia to enhance the presence of Japanese companies in the LAC region.

It is noteworthy that Dr. Diaz and Mr. Tanaka had previously collaborated in 2015 when Dr. Diaz served as the Ambassador of Panama to Japan, and Mr. Tanaka was the Director of Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Together, they were involved in the negotiation process for the Memorandum of Cooperation, which secured financing and construction of Line 3 of the Metro of Panama. The Line 3 consists of a 24.5-kilometers Japanese monorail to connect downtown Panama City to the western region of the country. Currently under construction, it is expected to become operational at the end of 2026.

The Line 3 represents a groundbreaking model of cooperation between Japan and Panama and is designed to serve as a blueprint for future transportation infrastructure projects throughout the Latin America and Caribbean region.


JAPOLAC Participates in Cuba’s National Day Reception

Dr. Ritter Díaz, Director Representative of JAPOLAC, attended the reception held on the occasion of Cuba’s National Day at the Cuban diplomatic mission. This event commemorated the 65th Anniversary of the triumph of the Cuban Revolution.

During the event, Dr. Díaz conveyed his heartfelt congratulations to the new Cuban Ambassador, H.E. Gisela García, reaffirming JAPOLAC’s support for the promotion of Cuban culture in Japan.

The ceremony counted on the participation of Japan’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Yoshifumi Tsuge, the President of the Japan-Cuba Parliamentary Friendship League, Mr. Keiji Furuya, the President of the Komeito Party, Mr. Natsuo Yamaguchi, as well as the presence of members from the Diplomatic Corps, distinguished figures from Japanese society, and the community of Cuban residents in Japan.

One of JAPOLAC’s objectives is to provide support to the embassies of Latin America and the Caribbean in order to strengthen cultural and educational ties between Japan and the countries in the region. It’s worth mentioning that the Embassy of Cuba is one of the honorary members of JAPOLAC.

JAPOLAC participates in the celebration of the 120th anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between Panama and Japan.

Dr. Ritter Díaz, Director Representative, and Mr. Kiyoshi Kimura, Honorary Director of JAPOLAC and owner of the prestigious Sushi Zanmai restaurant chain, took part in the commemoration of the 120 years of diplomatic relations between Panama and Japan.

During a commemorative event held at a local hotel, Dr. Díaz, who also served as Panama’s Ambassador to Japan (2014-2019), expressed his sincere congratulations to H.E. Carlos Pere, Ambassador of Panama. The event brought together government officials, members of the diplomatic corps, representatives from the private sector, and distinguished figures from Japan’s social and cultural sphere.

One of the highlights of the ceremony was the announcement made by Japan’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Yoshifumi Tsuge, regarding the signing of a visa waiver agreement for holders of Panamanian passports traveling to Japan starting from April 1st of this year. This significant agreement will not only facilitate the flow of Panamanian tourists to Japan but also pave the way for increased people-to-people exchanges in various areas.

The event received support from our Honorary Director, Mr. Kimura, who provided attendees with exquisite sushi dishes from the renowned Sushi Zanmai restaurant chain.