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Céline PAJON

Research Fellow,
Head of Japan Research,
Coordinator of the Program on Pacific Islands,

Center for Asian Studies, Ifri


Research Interests:

  • Japanese foreign and defense policy
  • Japan's domestic political debates
  • International relations and geopolitics of the Indo-Pacific
  • French and European approaches to the Indo-Pacific and Pacific Islands

Celine Pajon is Head of Japan Research at the Center for Asian Studies of the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI), Paris, where she has been a Research Fellow since 2008. She also leads the research program on Pacific Islands, set up in March 2022. She has also joined the Japan Program at Vrije Universiteit Brussels (VUB) as a Senior researcher since October 2020.

Céline is an International Research Fellow with the Canon Institute for Global Studies (CIGS) in Tokyo and was a visiting fellow with the Japan Institute for International Affairs (JIIA), Tokyo, back in 2016. Her area of expertise is Japan’s foreign and defense policy, as well as geostrategic dynamics of the Indo-Pacific area, including the position of France and Europe in the region, and their policies vis à vis the Pacific Islands. A graduate from the Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva and Sciences Po Lyon, Céline also studied in Waseda University (Tokyo) and Osaka University.

She tweets @CelinePajon

All my publications
16/09/2022

Addressing remotely the 8th Japan-Africa TICAD Summit held in Tunis between August 27th and 28th, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida pledged $30 billion in public and private contributions to the African continent over the course of the next three years. This is a quite a remarkable...

18/05/2022

Laying the foundation for the Eighth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi held talks on 28 March 2022 with ministers from 50 African nations. Hayashi expressed concerns that the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine had...

11/05/2022
By: Céline PAJON, Eva PEJSOVA

The war in Ukraine has shaken the foundations of European security and of the global rules-based order. In many ways, Russia’s aggression has been a wake-up call for the EU, adding a sense of urgency to its ongoing transformation to becoming a stronger geopolitical actor, materialised by the...

21/04/2022

In recent years, France and the European Union (EU) have published their respective Indo-Pacific strategies and a Ministerial Forum was held in Paris on February 22, 2022, bringing together over 60 foreign affairs ministers from European and Pacific Island countries.

16/09/2021

In May 2018, French President Emmanuel Macron delivered a speech at the Garden Island Naval Base in Sydney, Australia, where he outlined a French strategy for the Indo-Pacific. With this speech, France formally positioned itself as an ‘Indo-Pacific power’ and became the first European country...

16/09/2021
By: Céline PAJON, Eva PEJSOVA

The Indo-Pacific mega-region is home to the world’s most fluid, complex, and dangerous security environment. Lingering traditional security flashpoints (Taiwan Strait, North Korea, territorial disputes) are exacerbated by the rise of China and the US–China great power competition.

All my medias
30/06/2022
By: Céline PAJON, cited by Maria Siow in the South China Morning Post

Partners in the Blue Pacific (PBP) is made up of US, UK, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, with the latter two expected to spearhead cooperation efforts. Some experts say France is already interested despite anger over Aukus security pact; the new PBP will become ‘multilateral rather than...

28/06/2022
By: Céline PAJON, cited by Jesse Johnson for the Japan Times

When Prime Minister Fumio Kishida becomes the first Japanese leader to attend a NATO leaders summit on Wednesday, he’ll be looking to stress the need for unity in preventing China from taking the “wrong lessons” from the Ukraine war as the bloc looks to expand its footprint in the Indo-Pacific...

18/05/2021
By: Céline PAJON, quoted by Satoshi Sugiyama in the Japan Times

Alarmed by China’s rising power, its frictions with neighboring countries in the East and South China seas, allegations of human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region and crackdowns in Hong Kong, European countries are seeking to step up their involvement in the Indo-Pacific region.