Cancelled:SSU Forum/GraSPP Research Seminar “The Japan-UK Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation in an age of maritime and technological competition”

  • Date:
  • Time:
  • Venue:
    SMBC Academia Hall, 4F International Academic Research Building, the University of Tokyo
  • Subject:

    The Japan-UK Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation in an age of maritime and technological competition

  • Language:


  • Hosts:

    Security Studies Unit, Institute for Future Initiatives, the University of Tokyo
    GraSPP Research Seminar, the University of Tokyo
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  • Announcement:

    Taken the domestic circumstances relating to Novel Coronavirus into consideration, please to be noted that SSU Forum/GraSPP Research Seminar “The Japan-UK Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation in an age of maritime and technological competition” is cancelled. Please accept our apology for the cancel.

Registration is now closed for this event.

Speaker: Chris Hughes, Professor and Pro Vice-Chancellor, University of Warwick

Speaker: Kazuto Suzuki, Professor, Hokkaido University

Speaker: David Ellis, Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission, British Embassy Tokyo

Speaker: Chiyuki Aoi, Professor, GraSPP, University of Tokyo

Moderator: Yee Kuang Heng, Professor, GraSPP, University of Tokyo


In 2017, then-UK Prime Minister Theresa May and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe signed the “Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation” as each other’s closest partners in Europe and Asia. Both affirmed “that free and open access to oceans, space and cyberspace based on the rule of law serves as the foundation of the stability and prosperity of the international community, including in the Indo-Pacific region”. More than two years later, this roundtable discussion seeks to assess the progress and prospects.

The declaration mentioned international stability frameworks for cyberspace. However, US-China competition over technologies such as 5G and AI has intensified to such an extent perhaps not foreseen in the May-Abe declaration. Yet, the most visible cooperation so far has been in the maritime domain. Five Royal Navy ships have deployed to Japan since 2018, to take part in increasingly complex bilateral exercises, and contribute towards UNSC sanctions against North Korea. There has also been an increase in bilateral capacity-building efforts in third countries across the Indo-Pacific.

Where has the impetus for this increase in security cooperation come from? How far do the threat perceptions of Japan and the UK converge, from technology issues such as 5G to the maritime domain and North Korea? How can Japan and the UK contribute to a secure maritime or technological order? As key US allies, what are the prospects for Japan-UK partnership in light of intensifying Sino-US rivalry over the securitization of technologies? How far can the partnership be understood through the politics of strategic reassurance?

Panelists' Biography

Chris Hughes is Professor of International Politics and Japanese Studies in PAIS, a Research Associate at the Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation, and former Head of the Department of Politics and International Studies. Previously he was Research Associate at the Institute for Peace Science, Hiroshima University (IPSHU). From 2000-2001 he was Visiting Associate Professor, and in 2006 he held the Asahi Shimbun Visiting chair of mass Media and Politics, both at the Faculty of Law, University of Tokyo. He holds degrees from the Universities of Oxford (BA and MA), Rochester (MA), and Sheffield (MA and PhD). He is an honorary Research Associate at IPSHU, and has been a Research Associate at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), and Visiting Scholar at the East Asia Institute, the Free University of Berlin. In 2009-2010 he was the Edwin O Reischauer Visiting Professor of Japanese Studies at the Department of Government, Harvard University , and is currently an Associate in Research at Harvard’s Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies. Research Scholarships have been received from the Japanese Ministry of Education, the Japan Foundation Endowment Committee, the European Union, the British Council, and the British Academy.

Kazuto Suzuki is Vice Dean and Professor of International Politics at Public Policy School of Hokkaido University, Japan. He graduated Department of International Relations, Ritsumeikan University, and received Ph.D. from Sussex European Institute, University of Sussex, England. He has worked in the Fondation pour la recherche stratégique in Paris, France as assistant researcher and the Associate Professor at the University of Tsukuba from 2000 to 2008 and moved to Hokkaido University. He also spent one year at Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University from 2012 to 2013 as visiting researcher. He served as an expert in the Panel of Experts for Iranian Sanction Committee under the United Nations Security Council from 2013 to July 2015. He has been the President of Japan Association of International Security and Trade. His research focuses on the conjunction of science/technology and international relations; subjects including space policy, non-proliferation, export control and sanctions. His recent work includes Space and International Politics (2011, in Japanese, awarded Suntory Prize for Social Sciences and Humanities), Policy Logics and Institutions of European Space Collaboration (2003) and many others.

David Ellis took on the role of Minister and Deputy Head of Mission on 1 August 2016. He is responsible for advancing UK-Japan relations on political and security issues. He also oversees the consular and visa operations as well the Embassy’s corporate operations.
2011 – 2015 Minister-Counsellor (Political), British Embassy Beijing. Responsibilities included leading political teams covering Chinese domestic politics, human rights, and foreign and security policy.
2007 – 2011 Director of Corporate Services and Consul-General, British Embassy Tokyo. Responsibilities included consular, security, corporate change programmes.
2004 – 2007 Deputy Head of Afghanistan Group, FCO London. Responsibilities included planning and delivery of the UK’s security policy for Southern Afghanistan.
2002 – 2004 Deputy Head of Far Eastern Department, FCO London. Responsibilities included China-EU relations, Cross-Straits relations, East Asian security, Human Rights and UK-China bilateral relations.
1999 – 2002 1st Secretary (Political), British Embassy, Beijing. Responsibilities included reporting and analysis of domestic politics, analysis of senior leadership policies and ideological developments.
1996 – 1999 Joined the FCO. Research Officer, then Senior Research Officer, North East Asia and Pacific Research Group, Research Analysts. Specialised in Chinese politics and East Asian Security.
David holds a MA (Hons) in Chinese and a PhD in 17th century Chinese literature, both from the University of Edinburgh.

Chiyuki Aoi Ph.D, is Professor of International Security at the Graduate School of Public Policy, the University of Tokyo, and Visiting Professor at the Department of War Studies, King’s College London. Aoi was educated at Sophia University (BA), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MS), and Columbia University (PhD).
Her main research interest is the transformation of warfare, especially with regard to technology and information/communication, strategic communications, counterinsurgency history and theory (British and American), use of force in the post-Cold War era, and Japanese national defence and strategy. She has published books and journal articles in both English and Japanese, including in Defence Strategic Communications, Pacific Review, RUSI Journal, Journal of International Peacekeeping, International Affairs (in Japanese) and Journal of Military History (in Japanese). In 2018, she served as a member of the Shinzo Abe administration Council on Security and Defense Capabilities.