The EU and Japan: Strategic partners in the Indo-Pacific

In collaboration with the Embassy of Japan in Madrid, ECFR has organised a public virtual debate to explore how the EU and the Indo-Pacific can build a strategic alliance and how the EU-Japan relationship can drive this process

, Berlin time (CET, UTC+1)
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Guests

  • H.E. Kenji Hiramatsu, Japanese Ambassador to Spain
  • H.E. Fidel Sendagorta, Spanish Ambassador to Japan
  • H.E. Pilar Méndez, Spanish Ambassador to Vietnam; former Deputy Director General for Southern and Eastern Asia, Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union, and Cooperation
  • Carmen Cano, Deputy Director General for Southern and Eastern Asia, Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union, and Cooperation
  • Ken Endo, Professor of International Politics, School of Law, and Dean of the Graduate School of Public Policy, Hokkaido University
  • Mark Leonard, Director, European Council on Foreign Relations
  • Janka Oertel, Director of the Asia Programme and Senior Policy Fellow, European Council on Foreign Relations
  • Maaike Okano-Heijmans, Senior Research Fellow, Clingendael Institute
  • Makoto Yokozawa, Director of Strategic and International Studies in Digital Economy and Senior Research Fellow, Center for International Economic Collaboration (CFIEC)

Chaired by

  • Jonathan Hackenbroich, Head of ECFR’s Task Force for Protecting Europe from Economic Coercion and Policy Fellow, European Council on Foreign Relations
  • José Ignacio Torreblanca, Head of the Madrid Office and Senior Policy Fellow, European Council on Foreign Relations

The future of Europe is inextricably linked with that of the Indo-Pacific. Current dynamics in the latter have produced intense geopolitical competition and tensions on trade, technology, and security. As a key partner for the region, the EU seeks to further deepen its engagement with the Indo-Pacific to respond to emerging challenges affecting its stability. Here, EU-Japan cooperation will be instrumental. How can both partners build and share effective protections against the threat of economic coercion increasingly exerted by great powers? How can they advance regional security cooperation and promote a rules-based digital transformation and connectivity agenda?

In collaboration with the Embassy of Japan in Madrid, ECFR has organised a public virtual debate to explore how the EU and the Indo-Pacific can build a strategic alliance and how the EU-Japan relationship can drive this process. The event will bring together leading government representatives from both regions and experts from academia and think tanks to provide their thoughts as speakers in two panel discussions that will be live-streamed.

Agenda

9:00 – 9:15: Opening remarks

  • H.E. Kenji Hiramatsu, Japanese Ambassador to Spain
  • H.E. Fidel Sendagorta, Spanish Ambassador to Japan
  • Mark Leonard, Director, European Council on Foreign Relations

9:15 – 10:05: Panel One – Protecting markets and bolstering security in the Indo-Pacific

How can Europe and Japan support one another’s shared quest for strategic autonomy and that of the Indo-Pacific region? How can both partners build effective protection from the extraterritorial economic coercion increasingly exerted upon them and their markets by great powers? In which areas can Japan and the EU advance regional security cooperation such as in securing sea lines of communication, protecting freedom of navigation, and fighting piracy?

  • Carmen Cano, Deputy Director General for Southern and Eastern Asia, Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union, and Cooperation
  • Ken Endo, Professor of International Politics, School of Law, and Dean of the Graduate School of Public Policy, Hokkaido University
  • Janka Oertel, Director of the Asia Programme and Senior Policy Fellow, European Council on Foreign Relations

Moderated by Jonathan Hackenbroich, Head of ECFR’s Task Force for Protecting Europe from Economic Coercion and Policy Fellow, European Council on Foreign Relations

Q&A round with participants

10:05 – 10:15: Break

10:15 – 11:00: Panel Two – Towards sustainable, rules-based connectivity and digital transformation

In what areas can the EU and Japan most rapidly advance in their Partnership on Sustainable Connectivity and Quality Infrastructure? Which elements of their bilateral cooperation on connectivity can be translated to the “mini-lateral”, regional and multilateral levels? How can both partners leverage existing initiatives and coalitions in the region and where should new ones be created?

  • Maaike Okano-Heijmans, Senior Research Fellow, Clingendael Institute
  • Makoto Yokozawa, Director of Strategic and International Studies in Digital Economy and Senior Research Fellow, Center for International Economic Collaboration (CFIEC)
  • H.E. Pilar Méndez, Spanish Ambassador to Vietnam

Moderated by José Ignacio Torreblanca, Head of the Madrid Office and Senior Policy Fellow, European Council on Foreign Relations

Q&A round with participants

11:00: End of event