Japanese Argentine

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Japanese Argentine
Total population
30.000 (estimated)
Regions with significant populations
Greater Buenos Aires, La Plata Partido, Misiones Province
Rioplatense Spanish · Japanese
Buddhism · Roman Catholicism · Shintoism
Related ethnic groups
Japanese diaspora · Asian Argentine

Japanese Argentines (日系アルゼンチン人 Nikkei Aruzenchin-jin?, Spanish: nipo-argentinos) are Argentine citizens of Japanese ancestry, comprising Japanese immigrants and their descendants born in Argentina. The country is home to the third largest population of Japanese immigrants and their descendants in Latin America after Brazil and Peru.[1] According to Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, there are about 11,675 Japanese citizens and 23,000 people of Japanese descent living in Argentina as of 2011.

Migration history[edit]

Japanese migration to Argentina began in 1908 with the arrival of immigrants from Okinawa and Kagoshima.[2] The first Japanese entered the country via Brazil, and succeeding groups of immigrants tended to reach Argentina through the neighboring nations. In the prewar years, Japanese Argentines were concentrated in urban small businesses, especially dry cleaning and cafes in Buenos Aires, while some worked as domestic servants, factory workers, and longshoremen. A minority of Japanese Argentines also engaged in horticulture, floriculture, and fishery. There is an important Japanese community in the city of Belén de Escobar where they settled and specialised in floriculture.

Between the 1960s and 1970s, more Japanese immigrants arrived in the country. Many were attracted by the economic opportunities in agriculture. At the end of the 1980s, approximately 30,000 persons of Japanese ancestry lived in Argentina.[1]


Buenos Aires Japanese Gardens. The gardens were inaugurated on occasion of a State visit to Argentina by then-Crown Prince Akihito and Princess Michiko of Japan.

In regions with a substantial Japanese population in Buenos Aires, institutions such as Japanese associations and Japanese language schools were established by early Japanese immigrants.

During the United States-Japanese conflict of World War II, Argentina remained neutral until 1943, which limited the impact of war on the lives of Japanese Argentines. However, restrictions included the ban on meetings, Japanese education, newspaper publication, as well as a freeze on Japanese assets—which remained effective between 1944 and 1946.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Marcelo Higa. "Research Proposal Abstract - The Japanese Descendants in Argentina ", Japanese American National Museum
  2. ^ "Migration Historical Overview - Argentina", Discover Nikkei, 12 September 2007.