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Author: Wilhelm Vosse

The EU and Japan have intensified its cooperation and a broad range of fields since the early 1990s. Political, industrial and academic cooperation in the area of science and technology including in the improvement of new technologies to production of energy had become one core element since the early 1990s, and even more so with the 2001 EU-Japan Action Plan.

The 3/11 disaster and the post-Fukushima energy future promise another area of cooperation, namely in dealing with the global energy crisis. Despite common interests between Japan and many European countries and the EU in regard to energy policy, research and development in nuclear safety and renewable energy resources, post-3/11 cooperation between Japan and European countries remained far from optimal. In the immediate post-disaster period, it was the initiatives of businesses and R&D interests rather than national government initiatives that provided first evidence that cooperation between Japan and the EU and individual EU member states might become more prominent in the face of a global energy crisis. This article analyzes the changes in bilateral and multilateral relations of the EU and some of its member states with Japan, and asks whether 3/11 can act as a trigger for the development of a joint Japanese-European energy strategy.

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In: Asian International Studies Review