It is no secret that China is now a major economic presence in Latin America. For countries such as Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, and Venezuela this has meant money to help keep their economies going, to build power plants, to provide loans to business, to increase the consumption and trade of agricultural goods, and to create new opportunities for both foreign and domestic investment. China also has overtaken the U.S. to become Brazil’s largest trading partner.
But China is not the only Eastern nation playing in Latin America’s sandbox. Japan has also amassed a great deal of assets, investment gains and trade opportunities—most notably in Brazil. Japanese foreign direct investment in Brazil totals just over $4 billion—well behind that of China ($17 billion) and the U.S. ($8.2 billion) but not insignificant. Brazil has just what Japan needs: commodities, natural resources and high-yielding interest rates on investment.