The Inter-American Dialogue and the Japan Association of Latin America and the Caribbean (JALAC) are pleased to publish this report by Mikio Kuwayama, managing director and senior analyst for JALAC, and Margaret Myers, director of the Dialogue’s China and Latin America Program. One of Japan’s premier experts on Latin America, Kuwayama was formerly head of the International Trade Unit in the International Trade and Integration Division of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). Myers, a widely recognized authority on Asia’s evolving relations with Latin America, has worked for the US government in both Japan and China.
The findings in this report are a product of the “Japan-LAC Relations: Then & Now” meeting held in Washington, DC, in September 2015. The meeting, co-hosted by the Dialogue and JALAC, brought together public and private sector representatives for a wide-ranging discussion on Japan’s evolving foreign and economic policies in Latin America. The authors describe a long-standing relationship that has sustained decades of political and economic turmoil in both Japan and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). The report distinguishes Japanese engagement with LAC from that of other East Asian nations and points to considerable potential for stronger relations in the coming years. Enhanced ties will, indeed, be critical as growth slows on both sides of the Pacific.
JALAC was founded in 1958 as a Japanese forum for public and private sector engagement with Latin America and the Caribbean. Based in Tokyo, the organization’s membership includes approximately 100 companies and organizations and 260 individuals. Following on their successful collaboration in September 2015, the Dialogue and JALAC will continue to work together to promote mutual understanding between Japan and Latin America and the Caribbean through joint seminars, roundtable meetings, and publications. The Dialogue and JALAC are grateful to Mitsubishi Americas, NEC, Mayekawa, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, and Prudential for their support of this work.