The Natural Partnership - Selected Issues in the EU-Japan Relations

Agnieszka Batko

European Union and Japan, for several reasons, provide a case for being 'natural partners' as they shareprinciples of democratic values, market economies or commitment to human rights and climate change.Nevertheless, despite many attempts made in order to institutionalize and advance cooperation, mostly on tradeagenda, the bilateral relations have so far lacked mutual engagement, resources and have been largely trying toinclude too many issues. The aim of the article is to analyse and assess selected matters in the EU-Japanrelations. The areas of cooperation cover the policies of climate change, post-conflict reconstruction as well aspromotion of human security concept. Those agendas have been chosen in order to underline key areas fordeepening Japan - EU relations. Hence, the article goes beyond trade negotiations and puts an emphasis on theneed of providing greater resources in selected areas which may become a basis for broadening the scope ofpartnership in the future. It will be further argued that increasing activities of Japan within the fields such as postconflictreconstruction and climate change, connected with the new pro-active strategy of PM Shinz? Abe,provide an excellent and much-desired opportunity for the EU to enhance closer collaboration that may also havean effect on the organisation's position in the Asia-Pacific region. With regards to methodology, the analysis ofdocuments and declarations between the EU and Japan will be examined in order to present the gradualrecognition of issues that the two parties can build their cooperation around. Secondly, the case study of postconflictrebuild in Afghanistan, as the example of such mutual effort, will be analysed.

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