Europe and Japan

Europe and Japan

Flickr / Alessandro Basso

As Japan readies itself to contribute more proactively to regional and global security across areas of common concern in Eurasia, the Middle East and North Africa and amidst the on-going preparation of the world’s largest free trade agreement between the European Union and Japan, it is clear that Europe and Japan stand to benefit immensely from a closer relationship with each other. 

Despite this reality, Europe does not seem to invest enough human resources in understanding Japan. The image of Japan should remain central to European policy-making about Asia. Democracy, values, market economy, commitments to global public commons, have the same echo in Europe and Japan, even with the occasional differing interpretations or interests. For several reasons – size, rebirth of a pro-active Japanese diplomacy, stakeholding in the European economy and in third countries – Japan tops this list of Asian partners. In order to unleash the potential of cooperation between Japan and Europe it is essential to address the misperceptions currently held between the two regions.

In order to do this ECFR and the Japanese Foreign Ministry have initiated a project that will assess Japan’s contemporary image across Europe and result in concrete policy recommendations to improve Europe’s knowledge of Japan. 



The new Japan paradox

The paradox about Japan is no longer that of an economic giant and a political dwarf; it is about the lack of significant international cooperation between Europe and Japan

European views on Japan

As part of our analysis of the contemporary European attitudes to Japan, read summaries of each of our research from eight EU member states


A collection of podcasts and videos in which ECFR as well as external experts analyse EU-Japan relations and the future of foreign policy in Asia. 



This project is kindly supported by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Japan Airlines, Kikkoman, Mitsubishi, and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.


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