Japones Chiles, pronounced ja-pon-aaas, are also known as Hontaka, Santaka, Oriental chile peppers or Chinese Chiles. While very popular in Chinese and Japanese recipes these chiles are native to Mexico and are widely used in Caribbean and Latin American cuisine. Some believe that Japones get their name from the Spanish word for Japanese. The cuisines of southeastern Asia tend to gravitate towards using chiles that do not have complex flavor profiles. This allows better balance with the heavy usage of the very flavorful and widely used spices cilantro, garlic and lemongrass. Chiles are used more for pure simple heat.