By the early 1990s, most Latin American countries had embraced a new economic and political openness. Japan has already become an important actor in Latin America. Initial Japanese interests in Latin America were heavily centered in Brazil; this pattern continued until the early 1980s. Insofar as Latin America wants to try to obtain a significant share of Japan's markets and capital in the 1990s, it is essential for Latin leaders to understand the history of Japanese interactions with the region. As the 1980s drew to a close, several new developments began to emerge with respect to Japanese-Latin American relations. Insofar as the Japanese private sector maintained an interest in the region, a new geographical concentration became evident. The Japanese government began to take a more active role, acting on its own, rather than as part of public-private consortia. Japanese activities in Latin America were more carefully coordinated with the United States and with the international financial institutions.