Diplomatic Bluebook 2018

Chapter 2

Japan's Foreign Policy that Takes a Panoramic Perspective of the World Map

1 Regional Organizations

Japan is collaborating with the regional organizations in LAC region such as CELAC, FEALAC and other organizations below;

Regional Organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean

(1) Pacific Alliance

The Pacific Alliance (Mexico, Colombia, Peru, and Chile; hereafter referred as “PA”) was established by the agreement signed in June 2012.

With the goal of integrating the markets of member countries, the PA immediately eliminated tariffs of the 92% of products traded within the region in accordance with the Additional Protocol to the Framework Agreement (of the PA ), which entered into force in May 2016. At the summit held in June 2017, the Alliance announced that it would launch a negotiation with Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore so that they are to be “associate members” when they conclude a comprehensive agreement with the PA members.

Japan has been an observer nation since 2013. With three, Japan concluded EPAs and with the other one, Japan is negotiating EPAs in order to strengthen collaboration across the Pacific ocean.

(2) Common Market of the South (MERCOSUR)

The Common Market of the South (MERCOSUR) is a customs union established in 1995 in order to eliminate tariffs within the region, among other goals. Its members are Argentina, Bolivia1, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela2. With a few exceptions, tariffs have been eliminated for all goods traded within the region since January 1995.

Regarding the relationship between Japan and MERCOSUR, the first “Dialogue to Strengthen the Economic Relationship between Mercosur and Japan” was held in November 2012 and four dialogues in total have been held up to the present. The most recent dialogue was held in May 2017, where Japan and MERCOSUR nations exchanged views on recent trade policies and experiences.

  • 1 Accession protocol was signed in December 2012. Ratification by each country's congressional assembly is currently underway.
  • 2 Membership currently suspended as of December 2017.

(3) Caribbean Community (CARICOM)

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) was founded by 14 Caribbean nations (See the figure) for its economic integration and foreign policy coordination. It shows a big presence in the international arena for their coordinated actions. On the other hand, this region suffers from catastrophic hurricanes almost every year. For the damages, Japan provided emergency relief goods to Antigua and Barbuda for those affected by Hurricane Irma and to the Commonwealth of Dominica for those hit by Hurricane Maria in September 2017.

CARICOM member states and regionsCARICOM member states and regions

Japan is leading its diplomacy in accordance with the three pillars for Japan-CARICOM cooperation ((1) Cooperation towards sustainable development, including overcoming the vulnerabilities particular to small island states; (2) Deepening and expanding fraternal bonds of cooperation and friendship; and (3) Cooperation in addressing challenges of the international community) announced by Prime Minister Abe in 2014 during a visit to Trinidad and Tabago. Japan is also providing support to high income level countries based on their development needs and economic capabilities. Japan also took a number of other opportunities to further develop its relationship with CARICOM in 2017, including the attendance of Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Takei at the meeting of the Council of Foreign and Community Relations of CARICOM (COFCOR) in May and the visit of Secretary-General of CARICOM Secretariat, LaRocque to Japan in July.