January 25, 2024

What to Do When Partners Share Threats and Challenges But Do Not Agree on Priorities?

On January 23, the Japan Chair at the ICDS held a seminar on Alliances and alignments in Europe and the Indo-Pacific that was moderated by Elena Atanassova-Cornelis, the Japan Chair at the ICDS, and attended by high-level guests H.E. Japanese Ambassador Matsumura Yukihiko and H.E. US Ambassador George P. Kent.

The seminar featured presentations by Takuya Matsuda, project researcher at the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology (the University of Tokyo), Tony Lawrence, head of the defence policy and strategy programme at the ICDS, and Bart Gaens, leading researcher at the Global Security Research Programme at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs.

The roundtable focused on the evolution of traditional US-led alliances in Europe and the Indo-Pacific, as well as on how they can be reinforced by bilateral, multi-, and mini-lateral security formats, alignments, and networks of partners. The discussion addressed such questions as:

  • What are the areas of penitential growth in the uncertain security environment?
  • Why is there no Asian NATO?
  • How does one nation’s pursuit of autonomy in strengthening one’s own defence and deterrence capabilities benefit all allies?
  • What makes Japan’s approach to engaging the Global South more successful than that of the West?
  • Is the lack of a defined collective response by traditional alliances in new areas, such as cyber, an opportunity to promote regional cooperation and global partnerships?
  • Is division of labour a viable course of action?
  • How the Russian war in Ukraine has impacted security cooperation in the Indo-Pacific?
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