ISSUE: 4/2021

  • Volume 25
  • Number 4
  • 2021


Studia Europejskie –
Studies in European Affairs

ISSN: 1428-149X
e-ISSN: 2719-3780

Ccbync License


Articles published in the journal are under a Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial – No Derivatives 4.0 International License

The EU and Japan in the Process of Building Creative/Progressive Cultural Relations


The EU is promoting cultural relations with Asian countries. While building interpersonal and institutional connections, the EU pays special attention to Japan. The image of the EU and its mutual relations with Japan are generally recognised as predominantly good and trustworthy. This paper will examine the process of building creative/progressive cultural relations between the EU and Japan based on two hypotheses; first: despite the fact that the EU tried to develop cultural relations within Japan, the embassies of the EU Member States are far more active in cultural programs than the EU Delegation; and secondly: the reception of the EU as a historic and cultural project is rather fragmented (as opposed to being holistic) in Japan. The aim of this research is to analyse, compare, and evaluate both the effort and achievements made by the EU and Japan in the process of building creative cultural relations. The research will demonstrate an analytical approach in the political sciences discipline.


Cluster Fund 2012–2015, 2016. Evaluation Report. Published by EUNIC Global, Brussels 2016.

Consolidated version of the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union, OJ-C 326/47, 26 October 2012.

Cull N., Public Diplomacy: Taxonomies and Histories, “The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science” no. 1/2008, DOI:

Culture and External Relations. Europe and Beyond, eds. J. Bátora, M. Mokre, Routledge, New York–London 2016, DOI:

Dermendzhiev D., The Emergence of a Network of “European Embassies”: Increasing Cooperation between EU Delegations and Member State Diplomatic Missions, College of Europe, Bruges 2014.

Dermendzhiev D., The EU delegations four years after the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon: Do EU member states help delegations to fulfil their 151 mandate?, Master’s thesis, Bruges, College of Europe, Bruges 2013.

EU-Japan Fest Japan Committee. The 26th EU–Japan Fest Official Report, EU–Japan Fest Japan Committee, Tokyo 2019.

Fisher R., A Cultural Dimension to the EU ‘s External Policies: from Policy Statements to Practice and Potential, Amsterdam 2006.

Fisher R., Japan. Country Report, Preparatory Action, Culture in EU External Relations, Brussels 2014.

Fisher R., Kultura jako niezbędny komponent relacji zewnętrznych Unii Europejskiej, Międzynarodowe Centrum Kultury, Kraków 2011. (access 15.07.2020). lm-days-2020,62000.html (access 25.11.2020). (access 26.11.2020). (access 2.12.2020). (access 3.06. 2020). lm-days-2018-kick26-may_en (access 26.11.2020). les/eu-japan_factsheet_may-2020_1.pdf (access 28.08.2020). (access 26.11.2020). (access 26.08.2020). les/publications/docs/march16.pdf (access 15.07.2020). (access 26.11.2020). (access 2.12.2020).

Information and Communication Handbook for EU Delegations in third countries and to international organizations, December 2012, Ref. Ares (2013)32604 – 11/01/2013.

Lee S.J., Melissen J., Public Diplomacy and Soft Power in East Asia (series in Global Public Diplomacy), Palgrave Macmillan, London 2011, DOI:

McGray D., Japan’s gross national cool, “Foreign Policy”, no. 130/2002, DOI:

Nitszke A., Europejska Służba Działań Zewnętrznych – Nowa jakość Dyplomacji Unijnej?, „Politeja”, no. 3/2019, DOI:

Nye J.S., Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics, Public Affairs, New York 2005.

Nye J.S., The Future of Power, Public Affairs, New York 2011.

Ogawa T., Origin and Development of Japan’s Public Diplomacy, in: Routledge Handbook of Cultural Diplomacy, eds. N. Snow, Ph.M. Taylor, Routledge, New York–London 2009.

Pałasz-Rutkowska E., Historia stosunków polsko-japońskich, t. II: 1945–2019, Seria Japonica, Uniwersytet Warszawski, Wydział Orientalistyczny, Warszawa 2019.

Preparatory Action: Culture in EU External Relations: Engaging the World: Towards Global Cultural Citizenship, Executive Summary, Brussels 2014.

Routledge Handbook of Public Diplomacy, eds. N. Snow, B.J. Cull, New York–London: Routledge, New York-London 2020. (second edition), DOI:

Schaake M., Report on the Cultural dimensions of the EU’s External actions (2010/2161 INI), Committee on Cultural and Education, European Parliament, Brussels 2010.

Smagłowska J., Struktura i funkcjonowanie Europejskiej Służby Działań Zewnętrznych, Mado, Toruń 2012.

The EU Through the Eyes of Asia. Media, Public and Elite Perceptions in China, Japan, Korea, Singapore and Thailand, eds. et al., Fundacja AzjaEuropa, National Centre for Research on Europe, Ateneo de Manila University and Warsaw University, 2007.

Valaskavi K., A brand new future? Cool Japan and the social imaginary of the branded nation, “Japan Forum”, no. 25(4)/2013, DOI:

Vandewalle L., In-depth Analysis. The increasing role of the EU‘s culture, education and science diplomacy in Asia, Directorate-General for External Policy (DG EXPO), Policy Dept., Brussels 2015.

Watanable Y., McConnel D.L. Soft Power Superpowers. Cultural and National Assets of Japan and the United States, Routledge, New York–London 2008.

Wyszomirski M.J., Burgess C., Peila C., International Cultural relations: A multi-country comparison, Ohio State University, Ohio 2003.

Language: English

Pages: 133-152

How to Cite:


Gierat-Bieroń, B. (2021) "The EU and Japan in the Process of Building Creative/Progressive Cultural Relations". Studia Europejskie – Studies in European Affairs, 4/2021, pp. 133-152. DOI: 10.33067/SE.4.2021.8