European Union, Visegrad 4 and Japan: Tradition and Prospects for Cooperation

The IIR was pleased to invite you to the one-day international seminar focused on the tradition and cooperation between Europen Union and Japan, including also the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). It took place on March 10th in Karolinum, Ovocný trh 560/5, 110 00, Prague - Stare Mesto.


Date: 10.03.2020
Time: 09:00
Venue: Carolinum, Charles University in Prague, Ovocný Trh 5, Prague 1
In cooperation: Embassy of Japan in the Czech Republic
Organized by: Rudolf Fürst

This seminar was held at the occasion of the 100th anniversary of establishing the diplomatic ties between Czechoslovakia and Japan, and on the Czech V4 Presidency. The key idea was to promote dialogue and cooperation between Japan, EU and V4 states in the multilateral and regional context, and to address the key issues for deepening mutual knowledge and communication.

The seminar was organized into two panels attended by Japanese as well as Central Europen scholars, diplomats, and media professionals.

Report from the event is available here.

The preliminary program is available in PDF here.

Speakers' biographies can be reached here.

Interview with Jan Sýkora:

Interview with Kaoru Natsuda:

Interview with Michal Kolmaš:


Carolinum, Charles University, Ovocný trh 5, Prague 1

Prague 10 March 2020


9.30          OPENING REMARKS

Ondřej Ditrych, Director of the Institute of International Relations Prague

Kaoru Shimazaki, Ambassador of Japan to the Czech Republic

PANEL 1: 10.00-12.00

EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and EU-Japan Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) as the framework for strengthening EU-Japan ties.

Chair: Rudolf Fürst, Head of the Centre EU – Asia Relations, the Institute of International Relations Prague

Yukari Akeda, Lecturer, Dokkyo University, Japan: Re-crafting EU-Japan Cooperation

                    Expectations and challenges under the EPA and SPA.

Hiroyuki Akita, Commentator and Journalist, Nikkei - Asian Review, Japan

                    EU – Japan EPA, and EU – Japan Strategic Partnership Agreement (+ update)

Takashi Hosoda, Associate Researcher, Charles University Prague

                    EU – Japan security cooperation

David Hutt, columnist at the Diplomat and correspondent for Asia Times

EU-Japanese relations amid a new Cold War between the US and China


12:00 – 13:00         BUFFET LUNCH 

PANEL 2: 13:00 – 15:00

Visegrad 4 and Japan: Perspectives and developments

Chair: Jan Sýkora, Associated Professor, Institute of Asian Studies, Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic

Michal Kolmaš, Assistant Professor, Metropolitan University Prague, Czech Republic

                   The challenges in Japan-V4 cooperation

Kaoru Natsuda, Professor, College of International Management, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU), Japan; Visiting Professor, Budapest Business School, Bulgaria

                   Japanese FDI and Management Transfer in Czechia

Robert Vancel, Research Fellow, Central European Institute of Asian Studies, Slovak Republic

                   Japan-Slovak relations in the context of EU-Japan connectivity

15.00-15.30       COFFEE BREAK


16.30-17.30       GLASS OF WINE

The programme is a subject to change