“De-risking” in concept and in practice: Japan and the EU’s approaches to China

Date: Friday 29 September 2023, 09:00–17:00 CEST.

Location: SIPRI, Signalistgatan 9, Solna.

Concept: In recent years, geopolitical tensions and great power competition have led many countries to implement stricter measures to safeguard their economies from political pressure and disruptions. Concerns over potential economic coercion have been particularly prominent in the relationship between the extended West and China. However, more needs to be understood about how what has come to be referred to as a “de-risking” approach is conceptualized, and how such policies have been, are, or will be implemented in concrete terms. This hybrid workshop aims to examine how two important geopolitical actors—Japan and the EU— are approaching “de- risking” and balancing their strategic concerns and economic interests with respect to China.

Event registration:

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Time (CEST) 29 September 2023
8.30 – 9.00 Arrival and Fika
9.00 – 9.15  Welcome Remarks and Introduction

 Dan Smith: Director, SIPRI

 Dr Jingdong Yuan: (Incoming) Programme Director, China and Asia Security Programme, SIPRI

9.15 – 10.45  Panel 1: Unpacking the concept of “de-risking”

 This panel will explore the following questions:

·       What are the key drivers of ‘de-risking’ policies and are those foundational factors likely to change?

·       How has the concept of “de-risking” been understood in the EU/Japan, and what does de-risking specifically entail?

·       What are the ultimate policy objectives of “de-risking” with China and can they be achieved?


Dr Jingdong Yuan: (Incoming) Programme Director, China and Asia Security Programme, SIPRI


Dr Takahiro Tsuchiya: Associate Professor, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Kyoto University of Advanced Science

 Dr Åsa Malmström Rognes: Head of Asia Programme, the Swedish Institute of International Affairs

John Seaman: Research Fellow, French Institute of International Relations

 Dr Alexander Sandkamp: Assistant Professor, Department of Economics

Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel; Researcher, Kiel Institute for the World Economy

10.45 – 11.00 Fika
11.00 – 12.30




 Panel 2: Unpacking the practice of “de-risking”

This panel will explore the following questions:

·       In which economic sectors has “de-risking” so far taken place, and will the scope narrow or widen in the future?

·       How are different public and private sector actors involved in, responding to, and shaping ‘de-risking’ in Japan and the EU?

·       How far have “de-risking” policies reached to date, and much further are they likely to go?  


Fei Su: Researcher, SIPRI


Dr Ulf Pehrsson: Chairman of the Board, Sweden-China Trade Council

Dr Erja Kettunen-Matilainen: Adjunct Professor, Economic Geography; Senior Research Fellow, Turku School of Economics, University of Turku

Dr Giulio Pugliese: Lecturer in Japanese Politics, the University of Oxford; Part-time Professor on Europe-Asia Studies, European University Institute

Dr Aya Adachi: Analyst, Mercator Institute for China Studies

12.30 – 13.30 Lunch
13.30 – 15.00




 Panel 3: Challenges and Opportunities

 This panel will explore the following questions:

·       What are some of the concrete challenges of implementing “de-risking” policies, and examples of success?  

·       How are Japan and the EU balancing the geopolitical risks and opportunities of “de-risking”?

·       How are Japan and the EU balancing the geoeconomic risks and opportunities of “de-risking”?


Dr Jiayi Zhou: Researcher, China and Asia Security Programme, SIPRI


Dr Alicia García-Herrero: Senior Research Fellow, Bruegel; Adjunct Professor Hong Kong University of Science and Technology; Chief Economist for Asia Pacific at NATIXIS

Ichiro Hara: Managing Director of Keidanren (Japan Business Federation)

Robert Dujarric: Co-Director, Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies at Temple University Japan Campus

Dr Patrik Ström: Director, European Institute of Japanese Studies, Stockholm School of Economics

15.00 – 15.15 Fika
15.15 – 16.45  Panel 4: EU-Japan collaboration

 This panel will explore the following questions:

·       To what extent are “de-risking” approaches between the EU and Japan aligned?

·       How concretely might the EU and Japan effectively collaborate on de-risking policies?

·       How will their relations with the USA affect the “de-risking” policies in Japan and the EU?


Luc van de Goor: Director of Studies, Conflict, Peace and Security, SIPRI


 Dr Lars Vargö: Distinguished Fellow and Head of the Stockholm Japan Center and former Swedish Ambassador to Japan

Dr Hugh Whittaker: Director, Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies; Professor, Economy and Business of Japan, Oxford University

Dr Patricia A. Nelson: Researcher, KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Dr Saori Shibata: Lecturer, School of East Asian Studies, Sheffield University

16.45 – 17.00 Summary and Closing Remarks
17.30 – 19.00 Dinner
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