Asian Peruvians, primarily Chinese and Japanese, constitute some 15-20% of Peru's population, which in proportion to the overall population is one of the largest of any Latin American nation.
Peru has the second largest population of Japanese people in Latin America after Brazil and the largest population of Chinese people in Latin America.
Despite the presence of Peruvians of Japanese heritage being quite recent, in the past decade they have made significant advancements in business and political fields; a past president, Alberto Fujimori and his daughter, Keiko Fujimori, who ran for the presidency in 2010, along with several past cabinet members, and one member of the Peruvian congress are of Japanese origin.
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, Javanese, Timorese, and people from modern day Bangladesh, India, Ceylon, Makassar, Tidore, Terenate, and China. Filipinos made up most of their population. People from this diverse community of Asians in Mexico were called "los indios chinos" by the Spanish. 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. Spain received some of these Chino slaves from Mexico, where owning a Chino slave was a sign of high status. 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. 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, Japanese, Filipinos, Malays, Cambodians and others.
Filipinos form the oldest Asian ethnic group in Peru and the rest of Latin-America. The bulk of Filipinos served as mariners in the transpacific Manila Galleon trade, which had Lima, Peru as a secondary port to Acapulco, Mexico. Their total number is unknown due to high levels of assimilation. Both Filipinos and "native" Peruvians practice Catholicism and have a Hispanic culture and Spanish names. These factors facilitate assimilation.
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.
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. 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."
Koreans in Peru formed Latin America's seventh-largest Korean diaspora community as of 2005, according to the statistics of South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. They are relatively small in size compared to both the Chinese and Japanese communities in Peru.
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.
An estimated 10,000 Palestinians live in Peru alone, many of these families who arrived after the first Israel wars in 1948-49 had reestablished and bettered themselves in Peru when it comes to socioeconomic status.