The EU, Japan and a fraying international order

22-23 March 2021

 This workshop at the European University Institute’s Robert Schuman Centre, where an EU-Asia Programme has been inaugurated in January 2021, explored the EU and Japan’s international relations in an age of great power competition, especially their position amidst US-China rivalry and the engagement with economic statecraft and strategic communications. The workshop and the EU-Asia Project positions the EUI as a European hub for research on contemporary Asian politics and economics. The event – focused on EU-Asia geo-economics and (dis)information challenges – included relevant Europe & Asia experts from our network, and members of the EUI academic community.

Video Recording

In the programme below you will find a video recording linked to the title of each session.

22 March

9:00 – 9:30 | Introductory morning session: on the EU, NATO, and the Indo-Pacific

Welcome Address and Keynote Speakers
Prof. Brigid Laffan | Director of the Robert Schuman Centre, EUI
Dr. Enrico Letta | Dean of the Paris School of International Affairs at Sciences Po in Paris
and former Prime Minister of Italy
Mr. Toshimitsu Motegi | Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan
Mr. Kazuyoshi Umemoto | President of the Japan Foundation

9.45 – 11.30 | Introductory morning session: Europe Faces Asia; Asia Faces Europe

Chair: Prof. Ken Endo | Hokkaido University and EUI
Dr. Nathalie Tocci | Director, Istituto Affari Internazionali
MEP Reinhard Bütikofer | European Parliament
Prof. Shinichi Kitaoka | President, Japan International Cooperation Agency
Dr. Anna Costa | Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

12:00 – 13:30 | Panel 1 – Setting the Political and Values-Based Landscape: The Prospects of EU-Japan, Transatlantic and Trilateral Coordination towards Asia

Chair: Dr. Giulio Pugliese | University of Oxford and EUI
Dr. Gudrun Wacker | Asia Senior Fellow, Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik
Dr. Andrew Small | Senior Transatlantic Fellow, German Marshall Fund
Prof. Michito Tsuruoka | Keio University
Discussant: Dr. Eva Pejsova | Senior Japan Fellow, Institute for European Studies, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

13:45 – 15:15 | Panel 2 – Setting the Strategic Landscape: Taiwan, Europe, and Japan amidst US-China Strategic Competition

Chair: Prof. Ken Endo | Hokkaido University and EUI
Dr. Mathieu Duchâtel | Director of the Asia Program at Institut Montaigne
Prof. Luis Simón | Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Mr. Hiroyuki Akita | Nihon Keizai Shimbun (Nikkei)
Discussant: Ms. Céline Pajon | Senior Research Fellow, Head of Japan Research, Center for Asian Studies, French Institute of International Relations; and Senior Fellow, Japan Program, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

23 March

8:30 – 10:00 | Panel 3 – NATO, the EU, East Asia and Disinformation

Chair: Prof. Ken Endo | Hokkaido University and EUI
Prof. Neville Bolt | King’s College London
Dr. Aurelio Insisa | Hong Kong University
Prof. Chiyuki Aoi | Tokyo University
Discussant: Dr. Peter Busch | King’s College London

10:15 – 11:45 | Panel 4 – The Promise and Pitfalls of Connectivity: FOIP, BRI and EU-Asia Connectivity Initiatives

Chair: Prof. Bernard Hoekman | Director, Global Economics, EUI
Prof. Marie Söderberg | European Institute of Japanese Studies and Chairperson of the European Japan Advanced Research Network (EJARN)
Prof. Shino Watanabe | Sophia University
Dr. Akiko Fukushima | Senior Fellow, The Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research
Discussant: Dr. Maaike Okano-Heijmans | Senior Research Fellow, Clingendael Institute

12.00 – 13.30 | Panel 5 – Between Openness, Securitisation and Protectionism: EU-Asia Trade and Trade Practices

Chair: Prof. Kazuto Suzuki | Tokyo University
Prof. Douglas Nelson | Tulane University
Prof. Bernard Hoekman | European University Institute
Mr. Hosuk Lee-Makiyama | Director of the European Centre for International Political Economy
Prof. Michael Plummer | Director, Johns Hopkins University, SAIS Europe, and Eni Professor of International Economics
Discussant: Prof. Stephanie Rickard | London School of Economics

13:45 – 15:15 | Panel 6 – Between Openness, Securitisation and Protectionism: Politics and Economic Security in Europe and Japan

Chair: Dr. Giulio Pugliese | Oxford University and EUI
Ms. Francesca Ghiretti | Research Fellow, Istituto Affari Internazionali
Dr. Hugo Meijer | CNRS Research Fellow at Sciences Po, Center for International Studies (CERI)
Prof. Akira Igata | Executive Director, Center for Rule-making Strategy (CRS), Tama University
Discussant: Dr. Liselotte Odgaard | Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute