Motegi Leaves for Central American, Caribbean Nations


Tokyo, July 15 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi left Thursday on a weeklong trip to four Central American and Caribbean countries, aiming to strengthen ties with them to counter China's growing influence in the region.

Motegi is scheduled to visit Guatemala, Panama, Cuba and Jamaica from Thursday to Wednesday.

He will also attend online meetings of regional groupings SICA and the Caribbean Community, or CARICOM.

Central American countries including Panama and the Dominican Republic switched diplomatic recognition and established formal relations with China while severing ties with Taiwan in 2017-2018.

Backed by its economic might, China has approached the region more actively than ever with offers of COVID-19 vaccine supply.

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