Diplomatic Bluebook 2019

Chapter 4

Japan's Diplomacy Open to the Public

3 Cooperation with Emigrants and Japanese Descendants, Nikkei

The migration of Japanese nationals overseas has a history of 150 years as of 2018. There are estimated 3.6 million overseas Japanese and Nikkei, with especially large numbers residing in North, Central and South America. They make positive and great contributions to the development of the countries in various fields, including politics, economy, academics and culture, and at the same time, they act as a bridge between Japan and these countries in developing close relations.

Together with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), MOFA provides cooperation in Central and South America, where estimated 2.13 million Japanese descendants live. Various forms of assistance are offered, including welfare support for aging emigrants, training in Japan for Nikkei persons, and dispatch of volunteers to the local Nikkei communities. Also, in May 2017, based on the report submitted to the Minister of Foreign Affairs from the Panel of Experts on Collaborating with Nikkei Communities in Latin America and the Caribbean, MOFA is working to build further relationships with Nikkei communities.

To date, invitation programs for Nikkei leaders in various fields have been carried out in North, Central and South America. Also, efforts are underway to strengthen relations with Japanese descendants in these regions. As part of this, diplomatic missions in each country are working closely to cooperate with Nikkei communities, including actively establishing an occasion to meet with Nikkei persons during visits of Japanese government high-level officials.

In June, a number of commemorative events were held in Hawaii, including the Convention of Nikkei and Japanese Abroad, to mark the 150th anniversary of the first Japanese migration to Hawaii. In August, during Foreign Minister Kono's visit to the U.S., he interacted with Japanese descendants representing various generations and fields, and during his visit to Peru in the same month, Foreign Minister Kono met with the Nikkei community through the Association of Nikkei and Japanese Abroad. Moreover, in December, Prime Minister Abe visited Uruguay and Paraguay, where he held talks with members of the Nikkei community in both countries. Japan intends to provide support for Japanese emigrants and their descendants, promote cooperation with the young generation and strengthen the bond between these people and Japan.