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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
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
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.

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...

25/05/2021
By: Céline PAJON, Eva PEJSOVA

EU-Japan relations have undergone a major uplift over the past 5 years. Bound by the Economic and Strategic Partnership Agreements, as well as the Partnership on Sustainable Connectivity, the two once-distant players have been stepping up efforts to address the many shared security concerns in...

09/04/2021

Let’s face it: while there are growing expectations for a French and European enhanced engagement in the Indo-Pacific, when Europeans step up their commitment, or express their willingness to do so, they are often met with disdain, on the ground that they would not make a big difference in...

All my medias
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.

03/09/2015
By: Alice EKMAN, Céline PAJON, quoted in an article published by eldiaro.es

Los actos que esta semana organiza China para conmemorar el 70 aniversario de su victoria ante Japón, coronados por un desfile militar en la plaza de Tiananmen, plantean un nuevo desafío a los lazos entre Pekín y Tokio, ya dañados en los últimos años por desavenencias históricas y...