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Eight Japanese Citizens Visit Peru as Members of “Juntos!!“-Japan Friendship Ties Program for Latin America and Caribbean Regions

Latin America International Exchange

On the occasion of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s official visit to Peru, a summit meeting with Peru’s President Mr. Pedro Pablo Kuczynski was held on 18th November 2016. After the meeting both leaders made a joint statement covering a broad range of issues concerning both countries. What was encouraging to JICE was that they reaffirmed the importance of people-to-people exchange. Mr. Abe has announced that Japan will send a citizen’s exchange team to Peru early 2017 as part of “Juntos!!”- Japan Friendship Ties Program for Latin America Caribbean Regions which has been entrusted to JICE for two consecutive years since its inception in 2015.

The exchange team composed of eight Japanese citizens chosen from among the public by the open call deepened their understanding of Japan-Peru relations by attending the pre-departure orientation program which included a lecture by Mr. Hajime Kimura, Senior Regional Coordinator, South America Division, Latin American and Caribbean Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  The members visiting Peru were Mr. Takanori Oka (Team Leader), Ms. Yoshie Asaka (Deputy Team Leader), Ms. Yuka Sakata, Ms. Haruka Murakawa, Mr.Yoshihiro Nagamatsu, Ms.Aya Watanabe, Mr. Koji Tamagawa and Mr. Yuta kuniya. They were accompanied by Ms. Sachiko Yamano, President of JICE and Mr. Jun Yoshimura, Director, Settlement and Multiculturism Division, Training Affairs Department, JICE.

During the stay in Peru from 6th January to 15th January, 2017, the team members paid visits to Japanese Embassy, Peru-Japan Chamber of Commerce, Japanese Peruvian Association, the National Institute for Rehabilitation, Emmanuel Association Nursing Home, Peru Shimpo, Japan-Peru Immigration Centennial Memorial Hospital.

Through these visits they were able to know more about the history of Japan-Peru relations and success of the Japanese Peruvians. They were also engaged in various exchange activities with a broad spectrum of the members of the Japanese Peruvian society.

On 10th January, the team members made a presentation about Japan to more than 100 young Japanese Latin Americans who had gathered for “Lidercambio”, an exchange meeting for youth leaders held by La Union Stadium Association (AELU), which was the main purpose of their visit to Peru.

On 12th January, the participants also met with a senior official of JICA Peru Office and JICA volunteers and heard about Japan’s ODA program to Peru.

On the final day in Peru, the participants had a reporting session where they shared their observations and impressions and presented action plans to further relationships between Japan and Peru and Japanese Peruvians after retuning home. The session was attended and commented by Mr. Shingo Noguchi, Public Information Secretary of the Japanese Embassy.

With the mission to bring Japan closer to the world, JICE will be committed to promote people-to-people exchange between Japan and the people with Japanese background (Nikkei) in Latin America through “Juntos!!” as well as to support those Nikkei people who are currently living in Japan through our job-readiness training program conducted as part of settlement and multiculturism service for foreign residents.

Pictured with Mr. Noguchi(holding the banner) at the compound of the Japanese Embassy, Ms. Yamano, President of JICE (left in the front row), Mr. Yoshimura, division director of JICE(right in the rear row)
Meeting with Mr. Norihide Tsutsumi, Chairman of the Japan-Peru Chamber of Commerce, (4th from left in 2nd row) and Mr. Masayuki Fujimoto, Vice-Chairman(2nd from right in 2nd row)
Ms. Yamano, JICE President (far left), Mr. Jorge Kunigami, Chairman of Japanese Peruvians Association (APJ) (2nd from left) , Ms.Takako Goya de Akamine, Director of International & Domestic Relations, APJ(on the right)
Team members making a presentation about Japan at Lidercambio.
Team members making a presentation about Japan at Lidercambio.
JICA senior officer greeting to the team members
Meeting with JICA volunteers at the National Institute for Rehabilitation
Team members meeting with senior members of the youth division of Japanese Peruvians Association
Exchange with senior Japanese Peruvians at Emmanuel Association Nursing Home guided by Sister Christiana Kawakami (right in 2nd row of the photo)
Pictured at Emmanuel Association Nursing Home
News article about the visit of the team appearing in Peru Shimpo
Visit to Japan-Peru Immigration Centennial Memorial Hospital
Mr. Noguchi commenting at the reporting session
Team members and the accompanying JICE staff photographed with the Japanese Latin American youth and Mr. Felipe Agena, Secretary-General of AELU (man wearing white-shirts in the center of rear row)

Written by:
Jun Yoshimura, Director, Settlement and Multiculturism Division, Training Affairs Department
Kazuko Yoshine, Director, Youth Exchange Division, International Exchange department