The publication “Developing the EU-Japan Strategic Partnership: An analysis of European Union member states’ relations with Japan” dissects relations between Japan and EU countries. Our research fellow Róbert Vancel contributed with his comments on the relationship between Slovakia and Japan.
This chapter provides an overview of bilateral relations between Japan and the Slovak Republic. Relations between them are based on the belief in the same universal values, the role of international law and cooperation, and free trade. This gives the relationship the potential to develop in all areas, but even so, Japan-Slovakia relations are primarily economic. Yet they are also highly unbalanced in this respect. Due to the growing interest of the European Union in the Indo-Pacific region, Slovakia’s relationship with Japan is changing, not only in the economic but also political, security and cultural fields. In this respect, the change in the relationship must be understood primarily through the growing interest and efforts to deepen cooperation. Slovakia-Japan relations began to develop at the end of the 1990s, mainly on the
basis of trade and the inflow of Japanese investment into the developing Slovak economy. At the same time, along with investment, comes Official Development Assistance (ODA). It is trade that best defines the nature of the relationship between the two countries. The natural imbalance in trade and the level of Foreign Direct Investment
(FDI) between countries is irreversible, although there is some potential for resolving disparities. The main driver of economic cooperation is the automotive industry, which has the largest share of trade between the two countries. The political level of relations between Japan and Slovakia, which has long been marginalized, gained in importance only in the second decade of the 21st century. Political relations are developing at the bilateral level, in particular by increasing the number of visits by representatives at the highest level. Relations are also developing at the multilateral level, notably through the V4 + Japan and EU formats. At the level of people-to-people and cultural cooperation, it is possible to see great potential that is receiving new impetus to fulfill it. Continued support for academic cooperation and exchanges represents promising areas for the development of relations between the two nations.
The whole publication can be read here.