Director Chiyuki Aoi’s paper, titled The significance of strategic communications: implications for the free and open Indo-Pacific initiative was published by the European University Institute in July 2021. It examines the role of values in today’s international security environment and the various functions of Strategic Communications as a tool of statecraft. Dr. Aoi further explores how Japan and Australia, two key states in the Indo-Pacific region, express the need to “shape” the security environment in their defence concepts. In this context, the Free and Open Indo-Pacific vision can be understood as a Strategic Communications process; a key component of Japan’s values-driven strategy to maintain security in the region. It represented Japan’s effort to expand its diplomatic frontiers beyond traditional alliances and partners in order to help make its environment amenable to realisation of the country’s interests. Other countries, from both within and outside the region have adopted the concept of Indo-Pacific, albeit in varying visions and strategies, thus “shaping” international relationships across the globe. Finally, Dr. Aoi identifies several challenges for the future of the Indo-Pacific vision, particularly in coordinating different approaches and priorities among key stakeholders. In doing so, she highlights the importance of Strategic Communications, particularly in its constitutive function, in realising the Indo-Pacific vision.
This paper is part of the European University Institutes’ Policy Briefs collection.

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