October 27, 2020

Latin America and the Caribbean


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Screen Shot 2015-12-22 at 11.27.03 AMFrom MOFA Ministry of Foreign Affairs Japan

With a population of 600 million and a regional GDP of approximately $6 trillion (2013), Latin America and the Caribbean is an enormous market. The region has steadily increased its presence in the international community through the consolidation of democracy and relatively stable growth since 2008, and as a provider of iron one, copper, silver, rare metals, crude oil, natural gas, biofuels, and other minerals and energy resources, as well as food resources. Although the average income level in the region is relatively high among ODA recipient countries, the region is also characterized by significant income disparities between the rich and the poor and a large number of people suffering from poverty. In addition, while the region boasts rich in natural environments such as the Amazon Rainforest, it is also vulnerable to natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes. Therefore, efforts to address environmental issues, climate change and disaster risk reduction are also important.

Screen Shot 2015-12-22 at 11.27.13 AMJapan’s Efforts

Latin American and Caribbean countries often suffer from natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, and volcano eruptions. Therefore, Japan’s assistance to these countries, utilizing Japan’s knowledge and experience in the field of disaster risk reduction has special importance. Japan provided reconstruction and development support to Haiti, which suffered catastrophic damage from the huge earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 in January 2010. It has also provided assistance in anti- earthquake and anti-tsunami measures for countries in the Caribbean Sea and countries bordering the Pacific Ocean. Furthermore, the Project on Capacity Development for Disaster Risk Management in Central America “BOSAI,” which aims to share knowledge of disaster risk reduction and reduce disaster risks at the community level, has achieved significant results in the Central American region.

In recent years, Latin America and the Caribbean have been attracting attention as a manufacturing base and market, and Screen Shot 2015-12-22 at 11.27.25 AMmany Japanese companies are expanding their businesses to this region. A training session on cardiac catheterization techniques* inviting medical doctors from Mexico in 2011 is expected to promote the dissemination of Japanese companies’ techniques across the Latin American

and the Caribbean region. In addition, from the perspective of laying the foundation for the economic development of Latin American and the Caribbean countries, Japan has been actively implementing infrastructure development in the capital and regional areas.

Japan has been providing cooperation in a wide range of issues such as in addressing environmental issues in the region. These include assistance to scientific and technological research on climatic phenomena, conservation of biodiversity, Screen Shot 2015-12-22 at 11.27.36 AMevaluation of carbon dynamics of Amazonian forests, and construction of waste disposal facilities. In the area of renewable energy, which has been receiving increasing attention in recent years, Japan has provided support for introducing solar power generation in many countries, and also plans to support the construction of geothermal power plants.

Japan also provides various kinds of cooperation for Latin American and the Caribbean countries in the medical and healthcare area. In the Central American region, Japan has provided technical assistance to eradicate Chagas disease, a parasitic disease specific to the region, and has been contributing to the reduction of infection risk. In Paraguay, Japan has provided assistance in the renovation of university hospitals and provision of medical equipment.

In the area of sanitation, Japan also implements numerous projects to assist in the construction and improvement of water and sewer systems in various countries, including Peru, in order to ensure the provision of safe drinking water and to promote the recycling of domestic water in these countries.

Assistance in the area of education is extremely important for Latin American and Caribbean countries, as poverty still remains high and the educational budget is not sufficient in these countries. Japan has provided support for building educational facilities such as primary schools, as well as dispatching volunteers to improve the capacity of teachers. Such efforts are highly appreciated in these countries.

In small island states in the Caribbean Sea, the fishery industry is vital in terms of supplying food to the people and creating employment opportunities. In this light, Japan contributes to the sustainable use of fishery resources in these areas through fishery sector assistance.

One of the results of Japan’s long years of development cooperation can be seen in Brazil, Mexico, Chile, and Argentina. These four countries have come to obtain the capacity to assist other countries, and achieved results in South-South Cooperation*. Japan has signed partnership programs with these countries. For example, Japan has worked together with Brazil to provide agricultural development cooperation in Mozambique. Japan also joined hands with Mexico to provide similar cooperation in Paraguay. In cooperation with Argentina, the Dominican Republic and other countries, Japan is providing assistance for the reconstruction process after the earthquake in Haiti.

Japan has cooperated with the Central American Integration System (SICA), the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), and other regional organizations to formulate wide-ranging projects in order to achieve more effective and efficient development cooperation related to development issues that are shared throughout Latin

America and the Caribbean.

Under the public-private partnership (PPP), Japan has endeavored to introduce Japanese ISDB-T6 standards for terrestrial digital TV. By the end of September 2013, this system has been adopted by 12 Latin American countries. Japan has supported these countries by transferring technology and training experts to enable the smooth implementation of the system.

Moreover, Japan has provided approximately $190 million in assistance to date for reconstruction efforts in Haiti, which was hit by the major earthquakes in 2010. It will continue providing reconstruction support from a mid- to long-term perspective, with a focus on basic social servicessuch as health, sanitation and education.



Community-based disaster risk reduction initiative conducted in San Pedro Masahuat City, El Salvador. Primary school students learning how to save people trapped under rubble. (Photo: Ernest Manzano / JICA)

The ceremony for the completion of the new sewerage system developed through the “Proyect de construcción del sistema de alcantarillado

en Cunduana Potable de Cunduana” in FY2012 in Riobamba City in Chimborazo Province, the central mountain area in Ecuador. (Photo: Yutaka Sonoda / Embassy of Japan in Ecuador)

In November 2014, the Fourth Japan-CARICOM Ministerial-Level Conference was held in Tokyo, inviting foreign ministers and other officials from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states, which comprise of 14 countries.

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For more on this story go to; http://www.mofa.go.jp/files/000119329.pdf




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