The efficiency of European external action and the institutional evolution of EU-Japan political relations

Hidetoshi Nakamura*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Citations (Scopus)


For the EU, Japan is not merely one of the strategic partners, but also one of the like-minded partners, sharing 'fundamental values and principles, in particular, democracy, the rule of law and human rights'. This chapter will look back the historical development of institutional interaction between Europe and Japan. We will then examine the efficiency of European external action vis-à-vis Japan. European external action has been focused on economics, and so has Japan. The era of economic friction, during the 1970s and the 1980s, made the Europe-Japan institutional interaction evolve at several significant levels. It was only after the end of the Cold War when they were able to institutionalise the bilateral 'political' dialogue at their highest level: the bilateral summit meetings from July 1991. But, this bilateral institutional evolution has been closely linked with the development of transatlantic relations, and therefore, with the trilateral/multilateral institutional evolution. EU-Japan political relations have been the relationship between the civilian powers, and their interaction has still been responsive to the US policy in many areas. Nevertheless, two civilian powers are now able to cooperate politically, and even militarily. They are also proactive to the United States in such areas as climate change and renewable energy. It would be very hard for the short-term efficiency to be compatible with the long-term effectiveness. We should search for the more efficient European external/diplomatic action, but should not forget about the effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe EU's Foreign Policy
Subtitle of host publicationWhat Kind of Power and Diplomatic Action?
PublisherAshgate Publishing Ltd
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9781409464518
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Dec 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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