Established in October 2020 with the support of the Japan Foundation. Japan Program VUB serves as an independent platform to advance academically rigorous discussions on geostrategic developments in Asia and the Indo-Pacific region, enhance awareness of Tokyo’s foreign and security policy, inform and shape the policy agenda confronting the Japanese and European leadership and promote political and security cooperation between Japan and Europe, focusing specifically on the EU and NATO.
Europe and Japan have never been closer. Japan’s efforts to play a greater role in the Indo-Pacific region offer an opportunity for deeper strategic engagement with Europe. At the same time, the EU and its member states have started to pay increasing attention to the many security challenges looming across the Indo-Pacific and are determined to play a more proactive role in shaping the region’s evolving geostrategic landscape. The conclusion of the EU-Japan Economic and Strategic Partnership Agreements in 2018 highlights the many shared interests between the two like-minded partners in the face of the increasingly volatile global strategic environment, opening the potential for closer security cooperation - which still needs to be fulfilled. At the same time, NATO’s growing attention to global security dynamics opens opportunities for furthering the partnership between the Alliance and Japan going forward.
Part of the newly established Centre for Security, Diplomacy and Strategy (CSDS) at the Brussels School of Governance, the Japan Program stands out for its academic excellence, policy-relevance and networking credentials. Its location in Brussels gives it a direct access to the various intergovernmental institutions, transnational networks, and diplomatic and business communities of the EU, NATO and their member states. At the intersection between academia and think tanking, its research and expertise has rigor and credibility enabling a lasting impact, while at the same time a high degree of policy relevance.