Céline PAJON

Research Fellow, Head of Japan Research

Center for Asian Studies, Ifri

Research Interests:

  • Japanese foreign and defense policy
  • Domestic political debates in Japan
  • International relations and geopolitics of the Asia-Pacific

Celine Pajon researches and analyses Japan’s foreign and defense policy for Ifri since 2008. She also follows the major domestic political debates in Japan. She conducts researches on the evolving International Relations and geostrategic setting of the Indo-Pacific region.

Céline Pajon is an International Reasearch Fellow with the Canon Institute for Global Studies (CIGS) in Tokyo, where she stayed to conduct several research fieldworks.In 2016, she is invited fellwo with the Japan Institute for International Affairs (JIIA), the think tank of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

She also lectured at INALCO (Langues’O) and is also regularly teaching at ENSTA and EPFL (Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne).

Céline Pajon holds a Master in International Affairs from the Graduate Institute of International Studies of Geneva and graduated from SciencesPo Lyon. She studied two years in Japan, at Waseda University and Osaka University.

Among her publications outside Ifri are : “Japan’s Coast Guard and Maritime Self Defense Forces in the East China Sea. Can a black and white system adapt to a gray zone strategy?”, Asia Policy, n°23, January 2017;“Japan and France, Slowly but Surely Moving Forward on Security Cooperation”, The Diplomat, 6 February 2017 ;  “What Role for Japan in Africa’s Security After Withdrawal from South Sudan?”, The Diplomat, 24 May 2017.

All my publications

For decades, the Franco-Japanese partnership has essentially been characterised by a vibrant cultural exchange as well as by sound economic relations. Today Japan is France’s second-largest trading partner in Asia (after China) and its leading Asian investor.


The Asia–Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC) — a Japan–India initiative to promote connectivity between Asia and East Africa and encourage joint projects in Africa — is often misrepresented. All too often, the AAGC is depicted as a political move aimed exclusively at countering China’s Belt and Road...


Assessing the state of democracy in Asia is a challenge. While some countries, such as Japan and India, have been showing the way from early days, some others, such as in Southeast Asia are still struggling to ensure stable and sustainable democratic institutions and practices.


By reinforcing hostility between Russia and the West, the Ukraine crisis has shone a spotlight on the limits and contradictions of any Russo-Japanese rapprochement. Russia has grown more dependent on China, just as Japan has become more reliant on the United States.

All my medias