The little known story of Japanese migration, assimilation, suffering and identity in Mexico
By Lorraine Orlandi Original Print Publication: July, 2007
7th - Japan’s foreign investor rank in Mexico.
1888 - Treaty of Amity, Commerce and Navigation signed between Mexico and Japan.
1952 - Octavio Paz travels to Japan to reestablish the Mexican Embassy.
1977 - Opening of the Japan-Mexico Lyceum. Plan got a boost when Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka visited Mexico in 1974.
2004 - Mexico-Japan Agreement for Strengthening of the Economic partnership signed.
4,100 Japanese nationals residing in Mexico (1999).
15,650 - population of Japanese descendants living in Mexico (1999).
109,000 - approximate number of Japanese tourists to visit Mexico in 2007.
27.81% - growth in trade between Japan and Mexico inform 2005 to 2006.
10.56% - increase in Mexican exports to Japan in 2006.
34.14% - increase in Japanese exports to Mexico in 2006.
60.9% of Mexican exports to Japan are manufactured products.
95.3% of Japanese exports to Mexico are manufactured products.
$85,112,000 USD of fresh fish sold to Japan from Mexico (2005).
$176,329,000 USD of pork sold to Japan from Mexico (2005).
Francisca Ono , 80, is the child of Japanese emigrants to Mexico. She lives near Tapachula, Chiapas, close to where the first Japanese colony settled.
Toward the end of the 19th Century, MexicanPresident Porfirio Diaz looked to draw immigrantsand foreign investment to modernizehis poor and largely indigenous nation. Diazwas the first foreign leader to sign a friendshipand trade pact with Japan in 1888 and the firstLatin American leader to encourage Japaneseemigration.
“Mexico had pretty much given up on theIndians, saying the Indians are holding backmodernization so we have to take land awayfrom them and give it to immigrants, especiallywhite immigrants,” says Michigan StateUniversity historian Jerry Garcia, a specialistin the migration.