This article examines the strategic partnership between the EU and Japan in the post-Cold War era by focusing on the bilateral political and security cooperation. To this end, the discussion explores both sides’ motivations for strengthening ties, the constraints on cooperation and the main joint initiatives. The article demonstrates that on the basis of shared values and common goals, as well as the two partners’ focus on soft power, Euro-Japanese partnership has since the early 1990s become more action-oriented and has acquired a certain strategic dimension. Nevertheless, different foreign policy priorities and structural limitations concerning the role Japan and the EU each can assume as international political and security actors suggest that the bilateral partnership is not likely to move far beyond its current “paper value” and hence become a more intense, and genuinely strategic one, in the years to come.
EU, Japan, Politics, Security, Post-Cold War
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