The Revitalizing of Japan’s Burgeoning European Connections
Jagannath P. Panda
The shift in global power was already in motion, but found new momentum with the ongoing Ukraine war. Along with the emerging threats and challenges in the ever-volatile Indo-Pacific and the unstable European landscape, it offers Japan an opportunity to recalibrate its foreign policy.
Given the major political and security churning going on in Europe, the region must be a focal point of Japan’s policy reassessment.
Europe is not only a global economic power, but a key player in the emerging global security environment seeking geopolitical credibility. Considering its current tilt toward the Indo-Pacific, Tokyo would not be amiss to aspire for a greater presence in the European Union’s foreign policy ambit.
Even though the investment and trade opportunities provided by China are too valuable for the EU to throw away (China has been EU’s top trading partner in recent years), ties with China are deteriorating. Their in-principle comprehensive agreement on investment (CAI) stands stalled today – and the threat from China cannot be wished away. Despite the continued bonhomie of France and Germany with China, growing mistrust in EU-China ties has created a vacuum that Japan can capitalize.
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