Japan's Foreign Policy toward Latin America and the Caribbean
Summary of the Discussion at the Fiscal 2008 Meeting of Ambassadors to Latin American and Caribbean Countries

January 2009
Spanish [PDF] / Japanese

The fiscal 2008 meeting of ambassadors to Latin American and Caribbean countries was held from January 28 to 30. An overview of the discussions follows.

1. Japanese Diplomacy and Latin America

  • Latin American and Caribbean countries, which have traditionally been friendly toward Japan, are important partners for Japan. In the context of promoting Japanese diplomacy, Japan will strengthen its ties with these countries, while taking into account such factors as the rise of Brazil and other newly emerging countries, complementary relations in economic terms, and the presence of people of Japanese descent in the region.
  • The Obama administration of the United States has declared a policy of vigorous involvement with Latin America and the Caribbean. Japan will pay close attention to US policy as it seeks possibilities for cooperation.
  • Japan will also keep a close eye on the radical administrations of Venezuela and other countries, on the Brazil-led drive toward regional integration, and on the activities of countries outside the region, such as China, Russia, and countries of the European Union.

2. Repercussions of the Global Economic Crisis and Japan's Response

  • Repercussions of the worldwide economic crisis are hitting Latin America and the Caribbean, and economic conditions are worsening in every country in the region, with no bottom yet in sight. However, conditions and responses vary from one country to the next.
  • Japan will encourage Latin American and Caribbean countries to resist protectionism. It will also support their efforts in international initiatives aimed at recovery from the economic crisis.
  • In the medium to long term, Latin America and the Caribbean are a growing market with 550 million people and are important for Japan as a stable source of food and resources. In order that Japanese enterprises may benefit from available opportunities under the economic crisis, Japan will provide support by making use of policy finance, concluding economic partnership agreements and investment agreements, and improving the business environment.

3. Environmental and Climate Change Issues and International Cooperation

  • Many Latin American and Caribbean countries support Japan's Cool Earth Promotion Programme. With an eye on developing a framework for 2013 and beyond, Japan will strengthen ties with countries of the region, as well as promote concrete assistance to countries that support the program.
  • Japan will strengthen public-private cooperation primarily in the areas of the environment, resources, and energy, while effectively and efficiently supporting efforts toward stable development in Latin American and Caribbean countries.

4. Themes in Japanese Diplomacy toward Latin America and the Caribbean in 2009

  • In 2009, Japan will conduct a foreign ministerial meeting of the Forum for East Asia-Latin America Cooperation and play a leading role in promoting exchange between Asia and the Latin American and Caribbean region.
  • Japan will broaden exchanges with Latin American and Caribbean countries, making effective use of programs commemorating the quadricentennial of Japan-Mexico relations and other anniversaries.
  • Japan will actively address, from a diplomatic standpoint, the issue of Brazilians, Peruvians, and others living in Japan who are facing difficulties amid the economic crisis.

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