Japan-Europe, New Frontiers of Security Cooperation
On December 10th, the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) hosted Tomohiko Taniguchi, special advisor to the cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe; Akiko Fukushima, senior fellow at the Tokyo Foundation; and Gilles Vander Ghinst, head of contact countries in the global partners section at NATO; for an expert roundtable discussion on new frontiers of security cooperation between Japan, Europe, and NATO. Sarah Raine, transatlantic fellow for GMF's Asia Program, moderated the event, and welcome remarks were offered by Ian Lesser, executive director of GMF’s Brussels office.
The roundtable discussion highlighted the extent to which collaboration with Europe and NATO has taken a central position within the Abe administration’s foreign and security policy agenda. As Tokyo works to develop a national security strategy that enables it to proactively contribute to global peace, it has sought to diversify and enhance its network of strategic and democratic alliances. In so doing, the Japan-Europe relationship is undergoing a dynamic transition. Japan’s contributions to EU-led missions, such as Operation Atalanta off the Horn of Africa and the Western Indian Ocean, and the recent appointment of a Japanese advisor to the NATO Special Representative for Women, Peace, and Security are promising evolutions to enhancing areas of cooperation. However, the debate also highlighted that more can be done by the strategic partners in the realms of information-sharing, capacity-building, and military-to-military contact. The discussion made clear that on matters of security and defense, Japan and Europe have a lot to gain from increasing engagement with each other, not least because this would serve to strengthen the triangular relationship that binds the U.S., Europe and Japan, as well as NATO together.
The event was attended by 40 academics, journalists, government officials, and young professionals from the Brussels and Asia policy community.
Read Tomohiko Taniguchi’s speech delivered during this event.