Ten Years of Mekong-Japan Relations: From “Bi-Regional Relations’ to ‘Linked Regionalization”

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Narut Charoensri


It has been 10 years after the Japanese government officially initiated ‘Mekong-Japan Cooperation’ since 2009. The regional cooperation between the two regions develop progressively thus far particularly the economic aspect. The regional development objectives receive many projects from the Japanese and Southeast Asian government. Up until now, the cooperation is still developing through meetings between the two regions.

This article aims to revisit the Mekong-Japan relations since the establishment of the cooperation in 2009. The main questions of this article are: how has the cooperation developed after the initiation; and, what is the trend of the cooperation in the future? This article contends two issues. First, Japan endeavored to develop the Mekong area to be an economic prosperous area. It also attempted to decrease economic development disparity in the subregion so that it can develop its economy through the development of infrastructure. Second, in the future, the Japanese government will endeavor to link the region – or as this paper calls it as ‘linked regionalization’ – with South Asia and Africa for two reasons. It anticipates the economic linkages (e.g. markets and capital) and economic cooperation. Moreover, Japan also expects to play this leading role to support its regional leadership in order to balance the power of China in South and Southeast Asia.

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Charoensri, N. (2019). Ten Years of Mekong-Japan Relations: From “Bi-Regional Relations’ to ‘Linked Regionalization”. Political Science and Public Administration Journal, 10(1), 149–194. Retrieved from https://so05.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/polscicmujournal/article/view/165196
Academic Article
Author Biography

Narut Charoensri, Faculty of Political Science and Public Administration, Chiang Mai University

Narut wrote peer-reviewed academic articles and books in Thai, such as (2014) The US Roles towards the Establishment of Regionalism in Europe and Southeast Asia, (2013) Local Government of Vietnam, (2013) International Relations Theory. He also contributes to many journals in Thailand, for example, Monograph of Security Studies, International Journal of East Asian Studies, Journal of European Studies, Political Science and Public Administration Journal, Journal of Social Sciences, Journal of Japanese Studies.

Some research and articles can be downloaded from: https://chiangmai.academia.edu/NarutCharoensri


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