Diplomats from Latin American and Caribbean countries met with a group of Japanese journalists on Tuesday to discuss perceptions of the Japanese media toward countries in the region.

Present at the meeting at the Latin American Salon in Tokyo’s Minato Ward were 21 ambassadors and embassy officials from 16 Latin American countries and five Caribbean nations and journalists from the Yomiuri Shimbun, Mainichi Shimbun, Nikkei Shimbun, Asahi Shimbun, as well as Japan Times Chairman Toshiaki Ogasawara.

During the meeting, the journalists commented that while the region has a positive image in its cultural aspects such as music and dancing, there are also images of corruption, drug abuse and widespread terrorism, including the frequent kidnapping of Japanese businessmen.

Ecuadorean Ambassador Marcelo Avila-Orejuela commented: “So, how to fill the gap or how to accommodate the positive aspects and get more messages to the general public in Japan has to be analyzed by us and by the Japanese media.”

“I’m afraid that the media here is not (fully) aware of what is going on (in Latin America),” said Mexican Ambassador Carlos De Icaza, emphasizing that the media should focus more on economic activities in the region.

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