Japan’s largest trading houses are positioning themselves in Cuba before any easing of U.S. sanctions, seeking opportunities in infrastructure, resources and automobiles as Havana emerges from near-isolation.

Mitsubishi Corp., the nation’s largest trader, opened an office this month in Havana and is currently researching potential business deals, a spokesman said. Mitsui & Co. will open an office as soon as September and is considering exporting Cuban nickel, according to a spokesman. Marubeni Corp. expects the removal of sanctions to unleash pent-up demand for cars and industrial machines, and the company also plans to open an office, it said earlier this year.

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