Determining the East Asian country most similar to Latin America requires considering various social, cultural, economic, and political factors.
One way to answer this complex question is by analyzing the data from the Country Similarity Index. The index attempts to quantify how similar countries are to each other relative to other countries, using a variety of statistics from five broad categories: demographics, culture, politics, infrastructure, and geography.
The data suggests that Taiwan is the most similar East Asian country to Latin America. On the other end of the spectrum, the data suggests that Japan and North Korea are the least similar East Asian countries to Latin America.
(Latin American countries defined as Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela)
In terms of government and geography, Taiwan has many interesting parallels with Latin America.
Both Taiwan and various Latin American countries transitioned from authoritarian rule to democratic governance. At present, Taiwan and most Latin American countries have presidents that are elected by popular vote.
Furthermore, Taiwan stands out in East Asia for its progressive stance on LGBTQ+ rights, including being the first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage in 2019. Most Latin American countries have also legalized same-sex marriage.
Taiwan is closer to the equator than other East Asian nations. As a result, it has a hot and humid climate, like the majority of Latin American countries. This enables a variety of tropical fruits to be grown in both locations.
The Most Similar Latin American Country to Taiwan
The Country Similarity Index suggests that Costa Rica is the most similar Latin American country to Taiwan. Both countries border the Pacific Ocean and have a lot of coastline. Like Taiwan, Costa Rica has experienced relatively high levels of economic development in comparison to other countries in its region. They are also both democracies. In addition, both Taiwan and Costa Rica have Type A, B electrical outlets.