As to Japanese in the country, there are very few, and most of the ones have come to fill top jobs as managers and high echelon employees of the few Japanese firms that have made investments in the country. The Japanese, at least in Costa Rica, seem to feel superior to the Chinese. I became aware of that one morning at the 'Feria del Agricultor' (farmer's market) when a farmer mistook a Japanese woman for a Chinese. The mistake cost the farmer a sale and the woman went away with an expression of anger. I wonder if the Japanese express the same feeling toward South Koreans of which there are a few in the country.
The Chinese are very hard-working people. Practically all of them go to Costa Rica searching for economic prosperity. When the poor ones arrive, they first rent a house, use part of it to live in and use the rest to establish a small restaurant. The husband cooks and takes care of the kitchen while the wife looks after the cash register. If they have a son or daughter, he or she takes orders and serves the tables. They buy their vegetables and other food materials at the lowest cost by going to the farmers' market very early in the morning. They're excellent hagglers. By maintaining their costs at the lowest level possible, they're able to make a go of the business.
Once they've made some money, they buy the house they were occupying and maybe expand the restaurant. The ones, who have been able to make a larger fortune generally buy old houses in the principal cities, tear them down and convert the property to a parking lot or build apartments. Most of the more recent arrivals who have come with a substantial amount of cash, invest in larger projects such as industries, real estate developments and casinos. Very few engage in agricultural pursuits.
There is no discrimination or standoffish attitudes against Orientals and these have been well integrated into the national life with mixed marriages being very common. They're known to be big gamblers, heavy smokers and non-drinkers. The Census of 2000 revealed that there were 7800 in Costa Rica. Although they have their own social club, they're welcome everywhere, are well integrated into the national life, and many belong to the more sophisticated private clubs and cultural associations. Most of the second and third generation Chinese speak little of their Asian language and prefer to communicate in Spanish. The more educated ones also speak English.