Europe, Japan and India in the Indo-Pacific: exploring convergences

Monday 10 May 2021, 09:00 to 12:00


PANEL 1 -  9:00-10:30 CET

Maritime security in the Indo-Pacific: Exploring Convergence between Europe, India and Japan

The Indo-Pacific maritime environment is home to a multitude of security challenges, ranging from mounting strategic rivalries, lasting territorial disputes, militarisation and unilateral interpretations of international law, to less traditional ones, such as IUU fishing, seaborne crime, resource depletion and environmental degradation. What are the most burning maritime security concerns in the region from the perspectives of Tokyo, New Delhi and Brussels? What could be the benefits for a closer EU-Japan-India trilateral cooperation in the field of maritime security – in the Indian Ocean region and the broader Indo-Pacific? What are the political and practical challenges ahead?

  • 9:00-9:10: Keynote Address by H.E. Makita Shimokawa, Ambassador to Belgium and to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), Japan
  • 09.10-10.30 Discussion

Chair: Eva Pejsova, Senior Japan Fellow, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)

Impulse statements:

  • Garima Mohan, Fellow, Asia Program, GMF
  • Abhijit Singh, Head, Maritime Policy Initiative, Observer Research Foundation
  • Satoru Nagao, Fellow (Non-Resident) at Hudson Institute, Washington


PANEL 2 -  10:45-12:00 CET

Connectivity, Tech, Supply Chains and Health Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific: An Opportunity for Europe, India and Japan?

Asia’s infrastructure needs are huge, and stakes are high, as efficient connectivity is key to foster national and regional prosperity and promote greater trade between two major economic poles: Europe and Asia. The competition to fund critical hard and soft infrastructures has been fierce since China has deployed its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2013. Japan, India and the EU have all demonstrated their interest to provide alternative to the BRI to ensure free access, quality infrastructures and sustainability. Synergies exist between the Japanese Free and Open Indo-Pacific vision, India’s Act East Strategy, the India-Japan Asia Africa Growth Corridor and the EU-Asia Connectivity Partnership. The COVID-19 crisis also highlighted the importance of fostering cooperation on critical technologies, ensuring the resilience of supply chains and developing a coordination in health sector. These critical areas were discussed in the recent Quad Summit and are also key for the Japan-India partnership, as well as for EU’s cooperation with both Japan and India.

This second session will explore the convergence of approaches and will strive to identify areas suitable for greater trilateral coordination.

Chair: Céline Pajon, Senior Researcher, Japan Program, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)

Impulse statements:

  • Maaike Okano-Heijmans, Senior Research Fellow, Clingendael Institute
  • Ritika Passi, 2021 Perth USAsia Indo-Pacific Fellow and Visiting Fellow, Observer Research Foundation (ORF), New Delhi
  • Ippeita Nishida, Senior Research Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation