Institut d'etudes Européennes
De l'Université libre de Bruxelles


New Book Release - " The European Union and Japan: A New Chapter in Civilian Power Cooperation?"

Edited by Paul Bacon, Waseda University, Japan, Hartmut Mayer, University of Oxford, UK and Hidetoshi Nakamura, Waseda University, Japan.

Ashgate 2015 - 298 pages.

The EU and Japan have one of the most important trade relationships in the world. Fittingly, this book presents a detailed analysis of their bilateral regulatory environment and negotiation processes. Moreover, the two polities have also co-operated extensively in bilateral and multilateral contexts on a range of global governance issues. Nevertheless, the relationship is widely acknowledged to have significant untapped potential. Deploying the concept of civilian power, the book takes a fresh, honest and provocative look at this important relationship, in a post-Fukushima, post-sovereign debt crisis world. 

First the book analyses the place of EU-Japan relations within the worldviews of the Japanese and European bodies politic. Subsequently, three thematic sections evaluate their cooperation on such issues as trade, energy security, environmental politics, development, human rights, post-conflict reconstruction, health and biosecurity. The eminent scholars of the EU-Japan relationship gathered in this book offer informed, empirically rich and policy-relevant insights into the present and future prospects for the relationship.

 ‘When war-related deaths in the world have been dramatically reduced, the world desperately needs those actors and institutions who tackle, head-on and with professional expertise, mundane daily life issues such as trade and regulations, environmental, economic and energy security issues and political, food and health security issues. The EU and Japan are among two of them. This volume is a must-read to know what civilian powers aspire and carry out.’

Takashi Inoguchi, University of Tokyo and University of Niigata Prefecture, Japan

 'The European Union and Japan takes a long overdue and fresh look at this interregional relationship of potential considerable importance to international stability and governance. The book gathers together some of the leading scholars, both established and emerging, working in this area today in Japan, Europe and North America. This book demonstrates the continuing problems in maximising EU-Japan relations, but also demonstrates key areas of cooperation across economics, security, and a broad range of new and pressing global governance issues. It is essential reading for students, scholars and practitioners alike.’

Christopher W. Hughes, University of Warwick, UK

 ‘This excellent book could not come at a better moment. Japan and the EU are negotiating a bilateral economic partnership agreement which is much more discrete than its rivals, between Japan and the US and between the EU and the US. This book gives a precious analysis of the relatively little known existing relations between Japan and the EU in domains at the core of the negotiations.’

Patrick Messerlin, Sciences Po, France

 ‘This is a strong collection of incisive and detailed analyses of the state of relations between the European Union and Japan. The book takes a close look at what the relationship is today, what it has failed to be, and what it could and should be in the future. Its central message deserves broad attention: European and Japanese contributions to global governance are essential, and will become even more important in the future.’

Hanns W. Maull, University of Trier, Germany and Johns Hopkins University Bologna Center, Italy 


For more information on this title, including excerpts for the book and ordering options, including a 10% discount, please visit