On Monday July 9, 2018, the Embassy of Panama in Japan assumed the Vice-Presidency of the Group of Head of Missions of the Latin American and Caribbean region (GRULAC) for the second half of the year 2018.
The first meeting took place at the Latin American Salon and was coordinated by H.E. Ritter Diaz, Vice-president of GRULAC and Ambassador of Panama
At the first part of the meeting, Mr. Yosuke Watanabe, Secretary General of the Matsumae International Foundation, delivered a presentation about the scholarships for doctoral and master courses granted to scientists all over the world, mentioning that the Foundation expects to increase the number of scholarships to Latin American the Caribbean states.
During the half of the meeting, Dr. Toshitsugu Fujii, Japanese Volcanologist and Professor of Tokyo University, gave a seminar on the current situation of volcanos in Japan.
Dr. Fujii explained that there are 111 active volcanos in Japan, and 50 of them are monitored 24 hours a day, due to their intense volcanic activities. He also pointed out that the last volcanic activity of Mount Fuji was record in the year 1707, and even though it remains dormant for 300 years, there is a possibility to restart its active status in the future, not being able to specify when the eruption could take place.
It should be noted that GRULAC is giving priority to academic exchange between the Latin America and the Caribbean Universities, and Japanese Universities in order to promote innovation in different fields.
Additionally, GRULAC has requested the Ministry of Education of Japan to include Spanish language as one of the language options for university entrance exams, as well as to include it as a study language at high school level.
In relation to natural disasters, GRULAC is currently working on an Emergency Manual for embassies of our region in case of a great magnitude earthquake, tsunami or volcanic eruption that hits Tokyo area. The Embassy of Panama in Japan is in charge of the Natural Disaster Committee, which is preparing the Emergency Manual.