Established in 1917, the Asociacion Peruano-Japonesa (APJ) or Peruvian-Japanese Association promotes cultural and educational exchanges between Peru and Japan, which have a shared history that goes back to the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants in the late 1890s.

Headed by President Abel Fukumoto, APJ continues to strengthen this relationship through activities, such as festivals, exhibitions, workshops, publications, concerts and other cultural events, held in the capital Lima.

This year, APJ celebrated the 120th anniversary of the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to Peru, whose highlight was a visit to the country by Japan’s Princess Mako in July.

“Beyond being a celebration, we want the event to convey the contribution of the Peruvian-Japanese community to the country,” Fukumoto said.

Among the main thrusts of the APJ is to promote Nikkei identity, value Peruvian citizenship, and support individuals in the community, which includes not only Nikkei in Peru, but also Nikkei in Japan and other countries.

With more than 1,000 employees overseeing day-to-day operations, APJ regularly recognizes Peruvians of Japanese descent who have made valuable contributions to the country’s development.

“Our first priority is highlighting the image of the Nikkei community through its service in the fields of culture, education, welfare and social support services and health. The work of each individual Nikkei in our community is part of this effort. Wherever they may be, they must help preserve this image,” he said.

APJ has also established cultural, scientific and technological exchange programs between Peru and Japan.

“Our message is that we are grateful for our ancestry and our country. History has shown us that with the right attitude and offering, you will succeed,” he said.