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Asian Peruvians
Total population
36,841 self-reported having Nikkei (Japanese) or Tusán (Chinese) ancestry (2017)
0.04% of Peru's population[1]
Regions with significant populations
Lima · La Libertad · Lambayeque
Spanish · Chinese · Japanese · Korean · Indian languages · Arabic · Filipino
Buddhism · Catholicism · Protestantism · Shinto
Related ethnic groups
Asian Latin Americans

Asian Peruvians, primarily referring to those of Chinese and Japanese descent. Around 36,000 constitute some 0.16% of Peru's population as per the 2017 Census in Peru.[2] In the 2017 Census in Peru, only 14,223 people self-reported tusán or Chinese ancestry, while only 22,534 people self-reported nikkei or Japanese ancestry.[3] However, according to the 2009 census, it was estimated that 5% (or 1.2 million) of the 29 million Peruvians in 2009 had Chinese roots and ancestry,[4][5] while 160,000 Peruvians in 2015 had Japanese roots and ancestry.[6][7][8] Today it is believed that the Asian population in Peru would be from 3 to 10% of the population.

East and Southeast Asians

Asian slaves, shipped from the Spanish Philippines to Acapulco (see Manila-Acapulco galleons), were all referred to as "Chino" meaning Chinese. In reality they were of diverse origins, including Japanese, Malays, Filipinos, Vietnamese, Javanese, Timorese, and people from modern day Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Makassar, Tidore, Terenate, and China Pakistan. [9][10][11][12] Filipinos made up most of their population.[13] People from this diverse community of Asians in Mexico were called "los indios chinos" by the Spanish.[14] Most of these slaves were male and were obtained from Portuguese slave traders who obtained them from Portuguese colonial possessions and outposts of the Estado da India, which included parts of India, Bengal, Malacca, Indonesia, Nagasaki in Japan, and Macau.[15][16] Spain received some of these Chino slaves from Mexico, where owning a Chino slave was a sign of high status.[17] 16th century records of three Japanese slaves, Gaspar Fernandes, Miguel and Ventura, who ended up in Mexico showed that they were purchased by Portuguese slave traders in Japan and brought to Manila from where they were shipped to Mexico by their owner Perez.[18][19] Some of these Asian slaves were also brought to Lima, where it was recorded that in 1613 there was a small community of Asians made out of Chinese, Filipinos, Malays, Cambodians and others.[20][21][22][23]


Main article: Chinese Peruvians

Historic communities inhabited by people of Chinese descent are found throughout the Peruvian upper Amazon, including cities such as Yurimaguas, Nauta, Iquitos and the north central coast (Lambayeque and Trujillo). In contrast to the Japanese community in Peru, the Chinese appear to have intermarried much more since they came to work in the rice fields during the Viceroyalty and to replace the African slaves, during the abolition of slavery itself.


Main article: Japanese Peruvians

Japanese immigrants arrived from Okinawa; but also from Gifu, Hiroshima, Kanagawa and Osaka prefectures. Many arrived as farmers or to work in the fields, but after their respective contracts were completed, settled in the cities.[24] In the period before World War II, the Japanese community in Peru was largely run by Issei immigrants born in Japan. "Those of the second generation", (the Nisei), "were almost inevitably excluded from community decision-making."[25]

The first Asian-Peruvian president, Alberto Fujimori, was elected in 1990, prevailing over novelist Mario Vargas Llosa.


Main article: Koreans in Peru

According to the statistics of South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Koreans in Peru formed Latin America's seventh-largest Korean diaspora community at 1,774 people as of 2005.[26]

Other groups

South Asians

Indians in Peru form a tiny minority in the country. The first immigrants from India to have arrived in Peru were businessmen who had gone there in the early 1960s. Later on, the community grew in number marginally until the early 1980s, after which many of its members left due to the severe local economic crises and the prevailing terrorism.[citation needed]

West Asians

An estimated 10,000 Palestinians live in Peru alone, many of these families who arrived after the first Israel wars in 1948-49 had re-established and bettered themselves in Peru when it comes to socio-economic status.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Perú: Perfil Sociodemográfico" (PDF). Instituto Nacional de Estadística e Informática. p. 216.
  2. ^ "Perú: Perfil Sociodemográfico" (PDF). Instituto Nacional de Estadística e Informática. p. 216.
  3. ^ "Perú: Perfil Sociodemográfico" (PDF). Instituto Nacional de Estadística e Informática. p. 214.
  4. ^ Crawford, Michael H. (8 November 2012). Causes and Consequences of Human Migration: An Evolutionary Perspective. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-107-01286-8.
  5. ^ Robert Evan Ellis (2009). China in Latin America: The Whats and Wherefores Hardcover. Boulder, Colorado: Lynne Rienner Publishers. p. 272. ISBN 978-1588266507.
  6. ^ "Japan-Peru Relations (Basic Data)". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  7. ^ [1] Archived 29 March 2023 at the Wayback Machine Embassy of Peru in Japan
  8. ^ [2] Archived 9 August 2022 at the Wayback Machine Peruvian Japanese NewsPaper PeruShimpo
  9. ^ Walton Look Lai; Chee Beng Tan, eds. (2010). The Chinese in Latin America and the Caribbean (illustrated ed.). BRILL. p. 12. ISBN 978-9004182134. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
  10. ^ Herrera-Sobek, María (2012). Celebrating Latino Folklore: An Encyclopedia of Cultural Traditions. ABC-CLIO. p. 59. ISBN 978-0-313-34339-1. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  11. ^ Wolfgang Binder, ed. (1993). Slavery in the Americas. Vol. 4 of Studien zur "Neuen Welt" (illustrated ed.). Königshausen & Neumann. p. 100. ISBN 3884797131. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
  12. ^ Arnold J. Meagher (2008). The Coolie Trade: The Traffic in Chinese Laborers to Latin America 1847-1874. Arnold J Meagher. p. 194. ISBN 978-1436309431. Retrieved 2 February 2014.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ Russell, James W. (2009). Class and Race Formation in North America. University of Toronto Press. p. 27. ISBN 978-0-8020-9678-4. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  14. ^ Machuca Chávez, Claudia Paulina (Autumn–Winter 2009). "El alcalde de los chinos en la provincia de Colima durante el siglo xvii: un sistema de representación en torno a un oficio" [The mayor of the Chinese in the province of Colima during the seventeenth century: a system of representation around a trade] (PDF). Letras Históricas (in Spanish) (1). Ciesas Occidente: 95–116. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 April 2014.
  15. ^ Oropeza Keresey, Déborah (July–September 2011). "La Esclavitud Asiática en El Virreinato de La Nueva España, 1565-1673" [Asian Slavery in the Viceroyalty of New Spain, 1565-1673] (PDF). Historia Mexicana (in Spanish). LXI (1). El Colegio de México: 20–21. ISSN 0185-0172. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  16. ^ Oropeza, Déborah (Autumn–Winter 2009). "Ideas centrales en torno a la esclavitud asiática en la Nueva España" [Central ideas around Asian slavery in New Spain] (PDF). Historia Mexicana (in Spanish) (1). Meeting of Mexicanists 2010 (Asian slavery in the viceroyalty of New Spain, 1565-1673): 2. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 April 2014.
  17. ^ Slack Jr, Edward R. (2010). "Signifying New Spain". In Walton Look Lai; Chee Beng Tan (eds.). The Chinese in Latin America and the Caribbean. BRILL. p. 13. ISBN 978-90-04-18213-4. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  18. ^ "Japanese slaves taken to Mexico in 16th century". asiaone news. 14 May 2013. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014.
  19. ^ Torres, Ida (14 May 2013). "Records show Japanese slaves crossed the Pacific to Mexico in 16th century". Japan Daily Press. Archived from the original on 31 January 2016.
  20. ^ Bethell, Leslie (1984). Leslie Bethell (ed.). The Cambridge History of Latin America. Vol. II (1997 reprint ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 21. ISBN 978-0-521-24516-6. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  21. ^ López-Calvo, Ignacio (2013). The Affinity of the Eye: Writing Nikkei in Peru. University of Arizona Press. p. 134. ISBN 978-0-8165-9987-5. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  22. ^ Hoerder, Dirk (2002). Cultures in Contact: World Migrations in the Second Millennium. Duke University Press. p. 200. ISBN 0-8223-8407-8. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  23. ^ Fernando Iwasaki Cauti (2005). Extremo Oriente y el Perú en el siglo XVI [The Far East and Peru in the 16th century] (in Spanish). Fondo Editorial PUCP. pp. 293–. ISBN 978-9972-42-671-1.
  24. ^ Irie, Toraji. "History of the Japanese Migration to Peru," Hispanic American Historical Review. 31:3, 437-452 (August–November 1951); 31:4, 648-664 (no. 4).
  25. ^ Higashide, Seiichi (2000). Adios to Tears: The Memoirs of a Japanese-Peruvian Internee in U.S. Concentration Camps. University of Washington Press. p. 218. ISBN 978-0-295-97914-4. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  26. ^ 재외동포현황 - 중남미 [Overseas Koreans - Latin America] (in Korean). Overseas Korean Foundation. 2005. Archived from the original on 12 February 2006. Retrieved 27 September 2008.