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Publication Chris Lamont in Clingendael Asia Forum: Japan's New Middle East Policy - Good News for Europe?

09 February 2015
Christopher Lamont
Christopher Lamont

Japan's New Middle East Policy: Good News for Europe?

Christopher K. Lamont is Associate Professor at the Osaka School of International Public Policy at Osaka University in Japan and Assistant Professor at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. Hannah Pannwitz is pursuing an M.Phil. in Modern Middle Eastern Studies at Oxford University in the United Kingdom.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who remarkably has already travelled to over 50 countries since taking office in December 2012, began 2015 with a six-day tour of the Middle East, which was meant to showcase his new Middle East policy. Abe also highlighted his security doctrine, known as proactive pacifism, with a pledge of US$ 2.5 billion in humanitarian and development assistance and US$ 200 million for non-military assistance in support of the war against the (self-proclaimed) Islamic State. This is also important for Europe, because if Tokyo and Brussels fail to leverage their relationship to promote shared policy objectives – such as the promotion of regional stability – Abe’s activism in the Middle East will in the longer term serve to undermine both Japan’s and the EU’s ability to exercise influence. More . . .

Last modified:06 February 2015 4.10 p.m.

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