21ST Annual Japan-EU Conference: The EU-Japan Partnership: Charting a strategic vision in uncertain times


30 October 2018


Egmont Palace, Place du Petit Sablon 8 bis, 1000 Brussels

In the Summer of 2018, the EU and Japan finalized their landmark economic agreement (EPA), through which they signaled to the world their shared commitment to a free and open, rules-based international trade system. They also signed a strategic partnership (SPA) that further reinforces their cooperation and represents a clear step forward for their respective foreign and security policies.

While the proceeds of their economic agreement will be key to their future relations, not to mention to the liberal order itself, the political and security cooperation that Brussels and Tokyo may envisage will have to adjust to an uncertain environment.

What can this partnership achieve in an international context marked by an eroding rules-based multilateral order? Can the EU-Japan partnership be the lynchpin of a much deeper Europe-Asia political and security agenda?

The 21st Japan EU Conference is co-organized by Egmont – the Royal Institute for International Relations, Sophia University (Tokyo) and the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (TUFS), and supported by the Japan Foundation. The lunch has been made possible by the support of the Mission of Japan to the EU.

(Photo credit: Flickr/European Council President/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)


Please note this is an invitation-only event.





08:30 – 09:00 Registration

09:00 – 09:15 Welcoming words

  • H.E. Takako Ueta
  • Mr. Bruno Hellendorff, Egmont Institute

09:15 – 10:30 Panel 1: Delivering on the EPA and SPA

  • Mr. Bruno Hellendorff, Egmont Institute (Chair)
  • Ambassador Kazuo Kodama, Mission of Japan to the EU
  • Mr. Gunnar Wiegand, Managing Director Asia and the Pacific, EEAS
  • Mr. Marco Chirullo, Deputy Chief negotiator EU-Japan EPA, DG Trade

10:30 – 10:45 Coffee

10:45 – 12:15 Panel 2: Japan-EU Cooperation in Asia: Growing Risks of Militarization

  • H.E. Takako Ueta (Chair)
  • Prof. Masako Ikegami, Tokyo Institute of Technology
    • “New Strategic Landscape of East Asia”
  • Dr. Masato Hori, Deputy Director Integrated Support Center for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Nuclear Security (ISCN) Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA)
    • DPRKs Nuclear Program and Denuclearization
  • Dr. Alexander Mattelaer, Egmont Institute & VUB-IES
  • Mr. Alexander McLachlan, Senior Advisor, Strategic Policy Planning Division, EEAS

12:15 – 13:15 Lunch

13:15 – 14:45 Panel 3: Japan-EU Cooperation in Development Aid: New challenges ahead

  • Prof. Yasuhiro Ueki, Sophia University (Chair)
  • Prof. Yumi Nakayama, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies
    • “Japanese Aid in Africa through The Trust Fund for Human Security: Views from Refugees”
  • Mr. Atsushi Matsushita, Representative of JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) to the EU
    • Japan’s development cooperation policy for Africa and JICA’s role
  • Mr. Paul Renier, Deputy Head of Unit, EU-Africa, DG DEVCO
    • The new EU-Africa Alliance
  • Ms Anna Saarela, Administrator, European Parliament – Policy Department
    • Global Japan-EU cooperation opportunities under the SPA

14:45 – 15:15 coffee

15:15 – 17:00 Panel 4: Japan-EU Cooperation in maintaining an international rules-based order

  • Mr. Thomas Renard, Egmont Institute (Chair)
  • Mr. Pedro Velasco Martins, Cabinet of Commissioner Malmström, DG Trade
    • Japan-EU cooperation at the WTO
  • Prof. Kazuhiro Maeshima, Sophia University
    • “The Trump Revolution: Views from Japan”
  • Prof. Yasuhiro Ueki, Sophia University, Former UN Spokesman
    • The Challenges Facing the United Nations and Multilateralism
  • Prof. Elena Atanassova-Cornelis, UCL & UAntwerp