Asia Europe Journal

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 435–447 | Cite as

A partnership postponed? Japan–EU cooperation in conflict resolution in East Asia

Original Paper


This paper explores reasons for the (un)willingness of the European Union (EU) to cooperate with its external partners such as Japan in promoting regional integration and conflict resolution outside of Europe. One of the key arguments made in the paper is that the EU has demonstrated a strong preference for independently promoting regional integration and conflict management. Moreover, it has evidenced little inclination to cooperate with partner countries in attempting to address regional problems. Furthermore, until now, the EU’s concept of a ‘strategic partnership’ may not have functioned sufficiently well to enable it to play any constructive role in conjunction with its partners in East Asia. Such tendencies have been strengthened by the problems currently affecting the Japan–EU relationship such as the EU’s preference of not ‘taking sides’ with respect to complex regional problems, Japan’s ongoing ‘expectation deficit’ towards the EU and the EU’s ever-worsening perception of Japan.


European Union Regional Integration Strategic Partnership Strategic Partner Conflict Transformation 



I would like to thank Thomas Diez, Moosung Lee, Koji Kagotani, Cheng-Chwee Kuik and Michito Tsuruoka for their valuable comments on an earlier version of this paper. This work was supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science through a Grant-in-Aid for Exploratory Research (Research Project Number 24653038).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of TsukubaIbarakiJapan

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