Over the course of several decades the relationship between Japan and the EU has transformed from one focused on economics and trade into one that is a more comprehensive and ‘strategic partnership‘. This has been built on the EU and Japan sharing common values, principles and interests. It has also grown as a result of globalisation and the new security challenges that both have had to face, although the return of geopolitics could shift relations back towards traditional security. This policy brief focuses on the political and security aspects of the EU-Japan relationship. Given Europe’s links to East Asia, the EU has a stake in East Asia‘s security in much the same way as East Asia has a stake in the security of Europe. This policy brief therefore asks whether Japan is a genuine partner for the EU in managing relations with the broader region of East Asia and whether Japan regards the EU to be a genuine strategic partner.