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Japan-EU relations after World War II and strategic partnership

  • Yuko HosoiEmail author
Original Paper
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Abstract

Japan and the EU formally agreed on the outline of The Japan-EU Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) and the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) on 7 July 2017 and finalized on 17 July 2018. Despite such major shifts in the relationship between Japan and Europe, it is unfortunately true that Japanese society does not have a high level of interest in establishing a cooperative relationship or negotiating agreements such as the SPA with the EU, in fields other than economics. However, this low level of interest does not mean that strengthening a political relationship with the EU is unimportant. Rather, confirming that Japan and the EU share the basic values promoted by the SPA is even more important now than it was in 2011, when both leaders decided to initiate SPA and EPA negotiations. The international order—based on values such as liberty, democracy, the rule of law, human rights, the market economy, and free trade—which has been built up by Western countries, including Japan, since the end of the Second World War, is being challenged not only by emerging countries such as China but also by the Trump Administration in the United States. Japan-Europe relations after World War II have historically been dominated by economic friction, especially in the 1960s–1980s. But the experiences involved in resolving the economic friction enabled the relations to evolve from economic interests to the other area. There was a qualitative transformation of the relationship between Japan and Europe in the 1990s. This paper assesses the importance of cooperation with the EU for Japan in the twenty-first century.

Keywords

Japan-EU relations SPA EPA Civilian power Normative partnership 

Notes

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Takushoku UniversityTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence for EU Studies at Keio UniversityTokyoJapan

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