Our relations are better than ever. In 410 years of friendship and in almost 135 years of diplomatic ties, our relationship with Japan has continued to flow and flourish, without a single misstep.
We are constantly renewing our bond and are always very open to finding new opportunities for our relationship to grow bilaterally and multilaterally.
We are and have been for many years, the only capital in Latin America that has direct flights to Japan.
Even during the pandemic, there were direct flights, from Tokyo to Mexico and Mexico to Tokyo every day. This kept an open route for all the Japanese travellers coming from all over Latin America.
There have been some recent high-level government visits between our two countries in relation to the anniversaries and we expect more in the coming year.
We are looking forward to bringing a very big exhibition of Mayans, Aztecs and Toltecs to the National Museum in Tokyo then to Osaka and Kyushu as part of the celebration of our 135th anniversary of diplomatic relations.
Mexico is participating in Expo 2025 happening in Osaka. It is a great opportunity for each of us to showcase the great things we are doing.
Important to each other’s growth
Nissan came to Mexico in 1958 and opened their first production unit in 1960, much before anybody was talking about globalization. After Nissan, Honda then Toyota and finally Mazda came to Mexico in waves. It was the presence of these four carmakers in Mexico that made it feasible for the Japanese car manufacturers to expand and succeed in the North America.
Mexico has a privileged geographical location, hinging both North and Latin America. This makes it a very interesting destination for investors. We also have a workforce that is young and well prepared. Mexico is one of the top three countries that prepares engineers, many for high-tech manufacturing. These have attracted many Japanese manufacturers to invest in Mexico and create a thriving ecosystem.
We have a very open economy with 151 free trade agreements around the world. This opens up more opportunities for Japanese companies invested in Mexico to expand globally.
Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture has acknowledged that Mexico is important to their nation’s food and nutrition security. Many agricultural products from Mexico are already staples in the Japanese market. A variety of fruits, avocados, asparagus, beef, pork, tuna and many other products agricultural products coming from Mexico help build up the daily nutrition value in Japan.
Where we get our energy is becoming increasingly important so we are seeing a broad range of investments coming into this field. Mexico is not only blessed with energy giving natural resources from oil to year-round sun. We also have significant investments in the important area of lithium, which you find in powering more and more things from cars to mobile phones.
One of the many important non-economic partnerships we have formed over the years has been towards the disaster preparedness, as both Japan and Mexico are connected to the Ring of Fire. There are many collaborative efforts and studies being done on volcanology and tsunamis by both countries.
We also have the biggest government scholarship exchange program between the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation. In more than 50 years, thousands of researchers, academics and human resources have been exchanged between Mexico and Japan.
There are 6 Japanese schools in Mexico City and more in other areas where Japanese communities thrive in Mexico.
In arts and culture, we can find Japanese painters inspired by the Mexican culture and Mexican artists that go to Japan to learn traditional Japanese pottery.
Coming to Mexico
Mexico is a very attractive country. It is a cultural powerhouse, among the top ten in terms of natural diversity, with so much history, incredible weather and world-renowned food. It is really a very interesting place for Japanese and international travellers to visit.
Plus, there are 130 million very friendly Mexicans. You may come just for business but end up leaving having made friends in Mexico. We are gregarious people and many Japanese travellers feel very welcome in Mexico.
These are two millenary cultures that still talk to each other. The successful partnerships between Mexico and Japan have many fathers and many mothers that have now birthed many children, figuratively and literally. There are many mixed marriages and Mexican-Japanese families living across both sides of the Pacific Ocean, which bathes both our shores.
Marking the milestone
Anniversaries are always important because they make us reflect on how things happened and how we got to where we are today.
We’ve come a long way since the first Japanese migration to Mexico 125 years ago. The long journey that the first migrants took can now be done in a matter of hours, generations of Japanese migrants have built communities around Mexico and the Japanese continue to come to Mexico for many good reasons.
I am proud that Mexico and Japan have remained friends for so long. I’m sure that we will become closer and closer over time regardless of how far we think we are.