Japan’s Contribution to Regional and Global Security (Japan's Foreign and Security Policy)'

Project Details


The 2018 Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) have set the foundations for a stronger relationship between Japan and the European Union (EU). Seeking to leverage recent progress in Japan-EU relations, the Institute for European Studies at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (IES-VUB) proposes to create a Course on Japan’s contribution to regional and global security (‘Course’) which, during its initial phase, will run from academic years 2020-2021 to 2024-2025. This time-horizon will ensure: a) the ability to attract the best Europe-based Japan experts to the position of Course leader; b) sufficient time to consolidate the Course and ensure its continuity as part of the VUB’s graduate and executive curricula; c) a natural time-line for the PhD scholars that will support the Course and the research and activities that will feed it.

In order to make the Course appealing to practitioners and graduate students alike, we shall follow an intensive, executive-style format, and combine traditional academic lectures with interactive discussions with experts and policy-makers. The Course will seek to provide students with the necessary background to understand the basics of Japan’s contemporary history, institutions and foreign policy structures and priorities. At the same time, it will strive to remain flexible enough to tailor lectures and seminars to an evolving international landscape. At least 30 students from various backgrounds will attend each year.

In line with the vision set out in the EU-Japan SPA, the Course will put much emphasis on fostering intellectual connectivity between European and Japanese scholars, experts, practitioners and students. To this end, it will draw on a roster of high-level Visiting Lecturers from Japan and East Asia, the United States and Europe. The Course will be divided into three separate Modules of two days each, which will take place in November, March and May of each year. The first Module will be devoted to understanding the main institutions. It will be more fixed in character, in that its content will be subject to minor or no variation from one year to another.

The second Module will focus on Japan’s contribution to regional security (i.e. in the Indo-Pacific). It will focus on Japan’s evolving vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific, and to exploring the evolution of Japan’s relations with key partners in the region. This second Module will feature greater variation, with a view to taking stock of a dynamic geostrategic environment and an evolving policy agenda in Japan and other relevant countries. It will also accommodate special sessions (e.g. expert roundtables) devoted to addressing relevant and timely challenges.

The third and final Module will be devoted to Japan’s global contributions to security and Japan’s relations with Europe, paying particular attention to the EU and NATO. This Module will be more dynamic, with a view to reflecting the evolving agenda in EU-Japan and NATO-Japan relations. It will also pay particular attention to interaction with those policy-makers responsible for setting out the course of Europe-Japan relations. As way of assessment, participants will have to write a short Policy Brief of 2,000-3,000 words. The subject of the brief will be agreed upon with the Course leader.
Effective start/end date1/09/201/09/24


  • regional and global security

Flemish discipline codes in use since 2023

  • Security, peace and conflict


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