Japan-Mexico Relations: Finding Common Ground in a Changing Policy Environment

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Co-hosted by:



and the Embassy of Japan in Mexico

The political environment in the Americas has shifted remarkably in only a matter of years. Center-left governments in countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Guatemala, Paraguay, and Peru have been replaced by center-right administrations, which in many cases are looking overseas for economic partnership and opportunity. In addition, in November 2016, Donald Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States. The new president’s “America First” policy stands in stark contrast to the increasingly outward-looking trade and investment policies evident elsewhere in the hemisphere. It also calls into question the US’s existing political and economic alliances with countries in Latin America and other regions.

Major changes to US trade policy will also affect US partners in numerous ways. Though already dealt a considerable blow, the TPP might proceed without the US in the coming years, in an effort to strengthen Asia-Pacific trade relations, including between Mexico and Japan. A NAFTA renegotiation would have negative consequences for a wide variety of industries, but might also prompt new value chain development in the Mexican automotive sector, which has been fortified over the years by the Japan-Mexico Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).

This event will examine the various effects of the new political and economic landscape in the Americas and Asia, as well as implications for Japan’s long-standing relationships in Latin America. What are the prospects for continued political and economic change in the region? What does this new landscape mean for the region’s enduring partnerships with Japan? And how can Japan best navigate political and economic change in the Western Hemisphere?


12:30PM – 1:00PM: Registration

1:00PM – 2:00PM: Lunch

2:00PM – 2:10PM: Welcome 

Ambassador Sergio Ley, Consejo Mexicano de Asuntos Internacionales and Consejo Empresarial Mexicano de Comercio Exterior, Inversión y Tecnología, A.C.
Ambassador Yasushi Takase, Embassy of Japan in Mexico

2:10PM – 2:30PM: Opening Remarks

Maria Cristina Hernández Zermeño, Executive Director for Asia, Oceania, and Multilateral Organizations, Ministry of Economy of Mexico

2:30PM – 3:40PM: Panel

Michael Shifter, President, Inter-American Dialogue

Takahiro Nakamae, Director General, Latin American and Caribbean Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
Jorge Mario Martinez, Chief of the International Trade and Industrial Development Unit, United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL)
Nobuaki Hamaguchi, Professor, Research Institute for Economics and Business Administration (RIEB), Kobe University
Mireya Solis, Co-Director, Center for East Asia Policy Studies, Brookings Institution

3:40PM – 4:10PM: Q&A

4:10PM – 4:30PM: Closing Remarks

Michael Shifter, President, Inter-American Dialogue
Osamu Sasaki, Executive Director and Secretary General, Japan Association of Latin America and the Caribbean

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