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Author Archives: Luke Austin

Luke Austin has recently completed his MA with distinction in Governance and Global Affairs at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO). He wrote his master’s dissertation on the levels of consistency and contradiction between actual policy-making and political discourse in the framework of EU-Russia relations. Luke also holds a BA in Japanese and Russian from the University of Leeds. He has previously interned for the Primakov Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) in Moscow.

Welcome on board the Almaty-Tokyo Express: Japan’s pragmatic diplomacy in Central Asia

Owing to Central Asia’s geographical proximity and historical links to both Russia and China, it is understandable that the activities of both powers in this region receive the most attention. There is, however, one other power whose influence and activities in the region are often left out of the equation: Japan

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A long way from home: the unexpected smart power role of Japan Self-Defence Force Base Djibouti

The Japanese military presence in the Horn of Africa commenced in 2009, when two Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF) destroyers were dispatched to the region to participate in counterpiracy operations following an emergency order from the cabinet. In 2011, in order to facilitate this, Japan Self-Defence Force (JSDF) Base Djibouti was established.

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A frozen flashpoint: how will the Kuril Islands dispute affect Russo-Japanese relations following Suga’s election?

There has been extensive discussion of the challenges faced by Japan’s new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. One major issue facing Suga which has not been analysed in depth is the ongoing territorial dispute between Russia and Japan concerning the ownership of the southern Kuril Islands.

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