The Republic of Costa Rica covers 51.100 km2 of the region of Central America, it is estimated that 25% of its territory is protected by national parks, terrestrial and marine biological reserves. It is a small nation with 5,000,000 habitants (INEC, 2018) and even though it presents a GDP per capita of US$10,714 dollars (World Bank, 2017) which is relatively high for the zone it is located, the inequality and poverty rate among the urban and rural zones of the country are very significant.
Costa Rica and Japan share values such as peace, democracy, human rights and protection of the environment. This last issue is considered one of the pillars of the good bilateral relationship between both countries.
In 1973, an agreement was signed between the governments of Japan and Costa Rica, which permitted the reception of Japanese volunteers; it is ratified under Law No. 6938. This allowed the arrival of the first group of Japanese volunteers for Cooperation with Foreign Countries on October 9, 1974. On May 6, 1986, the Law No. 7036 on technical cooperation was approved, which allowed the country to receive technical cooperation programs, Japanese experts, scholarships in Japan and all the other modalities that JICA offers.
In view of the approach oriented to the local reality that JICA adopts in each country, the activities together with the Government of Costa Rica have been concentrated in three priority areas:
- Environmental Conservation
- Reduction of inequalities