Japan’s Cable Deal With Chile Showcases Its Quiet Engagement in Latin America

Japan’s then-prime minister, Abe Shinzo, and Chilean President Sebastian Pinera meet on the sidelines of the G-7 summit in Biarritz, France, Aug. 25, 2019 (Kyodo photo via AP).
Japan’s then-prime minister, Abe Shinzo, and Chilean President Sebastian Pinera meet on the sidelines of the G-7 summit in Biarritz, France, Aug. 25, 2019 (Kyodo photo via AP).

Latin America and Japan are often thought of as only loosely connected, through a patchwork of free trade agreements and people-to-people ties. But this summer, Chile finalized a deal that indicates a significant convergence of geostrategic interests between Japan and the Americas. After much deliberation, Chile chose an undersea route, backed by Japan, for the first direct fiber-optic cable link between South America and the Asia-Pacific. The Japanese proposal traverses 13,000 kilometers from Chile across the Pacific Ocean—more than 8,000 miles—eventually connecting with existing undersea cables between Japan and Oceania. The new trans-Pacific route would utilize a link between Japan […]

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