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Japan’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy: What does it mean for the European Union?

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Not so long ago Japan seemed to be left out on the diplomatic stage, notably when it decided not to join China’s newly established Asian Investment and Infrastructure Bank (AIIB) in 2015. But while no one can deny China’s impressive global outreach under the banner of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Japan has not been sitting idly by. Quite the contrary, Japan is playing a leading role in shaping the concept of free and open Indo-Pacific region, and has positioned itself as an important political actor that upholds the rule of law under its Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy (FOIP). As China becomes more and more assertive economically and militarily, strengthening ties with Japan becomes all the more important for the European Union (EU). As a strategic partner of Japan, the EU more than ever needs to work with Japan in upholding the liberal international order.

(Photo credit: International Relations Today)