Both the European Union and Japan have been major beneficiaries and supporters of the liberal international order, first led by the United States since the end of World War II. During this period, they have emerged as global powers, however, the very order that nurtured their rise is now facing twin threats. First, through authoritarian China’s promotion of alternative models of global governance, and second from a crisis of liberalism, manifested in the policies of President Donald Trump and Brexit.

This book explores these challenges faced by both the EU and Japan, providing a multidisciplinary approach to studying the relationship between the two. It analyses their cooperation in terms of security, defence and trade and examines how their shared normative values are ultimately implemented. Having recently concluded an Economic Partnership Agreement and with a Strategic Partnership Agreement in the pipeline, this book asks whether they can convert their latent and modest cooperation into an alternative form of leadership and an antidote to the illiberal tide sweeping the developed world?

As the first book to shed light on the new Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and Japan, this book will be useful to students and scholars of Japanese Studies, as well as European Union politics and international political economy more generally.

chapter 1|14 pages


Now or never?
ByMarie Söderberg, Axel Berkofsky, Christopher W. Hughes, Paul Midford

part II|80 pages

Political and security cooperation

chapter 2|24 pages

The strategic partnership agreement

17New and better or more of the same EU–Japan security cooperation?
ByAxel Berkofsky

chapter 3|19 pages

Abe’s pro-active pacifism and values diplomacy

Implications for EU–Japan political and security cooperation 1
ByPaul Midford

chapter 4|22 pages

Ordinary/civilian, not normative/post-modern

Lessons from the EU for Japanese security policy
ByPaul Bacon, Hidetoshi Nakamura

chapter 5|14 pages

Japan and EU defence production cooperation

A strategically important but nascent relationship
ByChristopher W. Hughes

part II|107 pages

Political economy, development, and normative issues

chapter 6|22 pages

EU–Japan relations in the age of competitive economic governance in Asia

ByMaaike Okano-Heijmans, Takashi Terada

chapter 7|32 pages

Taking the lead in current and future trade relationships

ByPatricia A. Nelson

chapter 9|15 pages

EU and Japanese aid and trade

Legitimising “Chinese democracy” in ASEAN
ByAndré Asplund

chapter 10|18 pages

Japan and the EU

SDGs and changing patterns of development cooperation
ByMarie Söderberg

part III|53 pages

Reflections by the two superpowers

chapter 12|16 pages

From “wider west” to “strategic alliance”

An assessment of China’s influence in EU–Japan relations
ByLilei Song, Liang Cai

chapter 13|12 pages


ByMarie Söderberg, Axel Berkofsky, Christopher W. Hughes, Paul Midford