- Nobushige Takamizawa, Former Permanent Representative of Japan to the Conference on Disarmament
- Janka Oertel, Director, Asia Programme, ECFR
In 2016, Japan published its Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP) vision, underscoring the importance of a rules-based order in the region. Europe, on the other hand, has been more cautious in the adoption of this concept. But the pandemic has highlighted the need for Europe to recalibrate the status quo and actively expand its partnerships in the Indo-Pacific region. With France, Germany and the Netherlands, three EU countries have already published Indo-Pacific strategies and the need for a coordinated pan-European approach to the Indo-Pacific is growing. Toshimitsu Motegi, the Foreign Minister of Japan, has recently addressed the EU’s Foreign Affair Council to advocate for it, while The High Representative Josep Borrell expressed appreciation for Japan’s FOIP.
In this conversation with Prof Nobushige Takamizawa, we will discuss Japanese understanding of FOIP, the efforts to bring it about and potential for closer cooperation with Europe and the US. What does Japan’s FOIP strategy mean for Europe? How could a coherent and effective EU strategy on Indo-Pacific look like? What kind of expectations did the “European Indo-Pacific awakening” raise in the region? How can Europe, Japan and the US work together to maintain a rules-based order in the region?
Prof Nobushige Takamizawa is a Japanese expert on security policy, crisis management, disarmament and cybersecurity. He was the Permanent Representative of Japan to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva in 2016-2020. He also served as the Deputy Director of the National Security Secretariat of Japan and President of the National Institute for Defense Studies in Japan and worked at several positions, including as Director General of Bureaus of Operational Policy and Defense Policy, in the Ministry of Defence of Japan.