Cristina Azevedo (Fiocruz News Agency)
Taking office three months ago, the consul general of Japan in Rio de Janeiro, Ken Hashiba, visited Fiocruz last Wednesday (July 7th) for the first time. According to him, the objective was “to maintain a close relationship between the Foundation and the consulate”. Along with the vice-consul, Takashi Goto, Hashiba was welcomed by the president of Fiocruz, Nísia Trindade Lima, who commented on the cooperation with Japan — which includes the agreement between the Institute of Technology in Drugs (Farmanguinhos/Fiocruz) and Fujifilm Toyama Chemical to develop drugs, and the partnership for the increase in the capacity of the COVID-19 genomic surveillance, involving the Oswaldo Cruz Institute (IOC/Fiocruz) and the Institute of Technology in Immunobiological Drugs (Bio-Manguinhos/Fiocruz).
Consulate Japanese delegation visits Bio-Manguinhos (Photo: Peter Ilicciev)
In addition to Nísia, Bio-Manguinhos’ senior scientific advisor, Akira Homma, the deputy coordinator of the Center for International Relations in Health, Pedro Burger; and the advisor to the presidency, Inês Fernandes greeted the diplomats. During the visit to Bio-Manguinhos, the consul was accompanied by the production vice-director, Luiz Lima, and the head of office of Bio-Manguinhos, Daniel Godoy, who showed the production process of the Fiocruz-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
Homma, who is a descendant of immigrants, recalled the historic cooperation between Japan and Fiocruz to produce vaccines. Then, they showed an animation film in which the researcher, turned into a character, presents information about COVID-19 to the public. Pedro Burger, in turn, furthered the topic about cooperation and recalled the trilateral partnership between Brazil, Japan, and Angola to strengthen the Angolan health system. Nísia, in addition, recalled the importance of Japanese immigration to Brazil, which according to the consulate, is the country that has the largest population of Japanese descendants in the world.