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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, left, toasts with Argentina’s president, Mauricio Macri, during an official visit to Buenos Aires, Argentina, Nov. 21, 2016 (AP photo by Natacha Pisarenko).

How China and the Trump Effect Have Changed Japan’s Position in Latin America

Monday, Oct. 23, 2017

Changing realities in the Americas are forcing Japan to re-evaluate its brand in the region. Seeking to preserve and expand its longstanding economic connections from Argentina to Mexico, Japan is taking active steps to raise its profile in the shadow of China’s continuing push into Latin America and growing uncertainty about the role of the United States under the Trump administration. As the newly protectionist trade talk coming out of Washington threatens economic pillars like NAFTA, there are surprising consequences for Tokyo.

Traditionally, Japan has taken a low-key approach to Latin American issues, content to build its relations quietly and methodically, and preferring to remain apart from the normal churn of regional politics. Such an approach may no longer be tenable. ...

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