Diplomatic Bluebook 2022
Japan's Foreign Policy by Region
2 Regional Organizations
In addition to the Forum for East Asia-Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC),1 the following regional organizations in the LAC region conduct policy coordination on various issues. In February, Japan held an online meeting for 26 young officials from FEALAC member states in lieu of in-person invitation to Japan. On the theme of “utilizing science and technology for a sustainable society and environment,” Japanese technologies related to the Tokyo 2020 Games, such as the Olympic Torch, were introduced and opinions were exchanged.
- 1 CELAC: Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States)
(1) Pacific Alliance
The Pacific Alliance (composed of Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru; hereafter referred to as “PA”) aims to conclude a comprehensive free trade agreement with Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, and is currently conducting negotiations toward an early conclusion of the agreement. Singapore completed negotiations for a comprehensive free trade agreement with the PA in July 2021 and signed it at the Summit of the PA in Colombia in January 2022. In addition to these four countries, the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Ecuador are expressing interest in participating in the negotiations.
Japan is an observer country of the PA, and places importance on cooperation with it as a group with which Japan shares fundamental values.
(2) Common Market of the South (MERCOSUR)2
MERCOSUR is a customs union composed of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. With a few exceptions, tariffs have been eliminated for all goods traded within the region since January 1995. In 2019, negotiations were concluded on free trade agreements (FTAs) with the EU and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), and negotiations are underway with the ROK, Singapore, Canada, and others. Meanwhile, Venezuela's participation has been suspended3 and Bolivia is an Associated State.4
- 2 MERCOSUR: Mercado Común del Sur (Southern Common Market)
- 3 Venezuela's participation qualifications have been suspended as of December 2021
- 4 Bolivia signed the participation protocol in December 2012, and is awaiting approval by the National Congress of Brazil
(3) Caribbean Community (CARICOM)
CARICOM was founded by 14 Caribbean nations for its economic integration and foreign policy coordination. It has a large presence in the international arena for their coordinated actions. Although CARICOM countries include many countries with relatively high incomes, they are threatened by natural disasters such as catastrophic hurricanes almost every year, and also have vulnerabilities particular to small island states due to the small size of their populations and economies. The situation in Haiti remains unstable; the political instability continues as the president was assassinated in July, and a massive earthquake killed over 2,000 people in August.
Japan is leading its diplomacy in accordance with the three pillars for Japan-CARICOM cooperation ((1) Cooperation toward 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). Japan is also providing support to high income level countries based on their development needs and economic capabilities. Japan provided emergency relief supplies and emergency grant aid in response to the damage caused by the volcanic eruption in Saint Vincent in April and the massive earthquake in western Haiti in August.
The 19th Japan-CARICOM Working-Level Consultation was held online in March. In July, Foreign Minister Motegi visited Jamaica and strengthened Japan-CARICOM relations amidst the COVID-19 pandemic by paying a courtesy call to the Prime Minister, conducting a foreign ministers' meeting, and holding the 7th Japan-CARICOM Ministerial-Level Conference. In addition, for the Tokyo 2020 Games, the Foreign Minister of Antigua and Barbuda visited Japan and held a foreign ministers' meeting, and online exchange programs were implemented to deepen interaction between host towns among Japan and CARICOM countries.