The changing global geopolitical balance in the 1990s has prompted Japan to reassess its international role and to question the bases upon which its foreign economic policies have rested for the past half century. Similarly, the internal developments of the European Community (now the European Union) have been underlined by the need to view Europe within a new global context. In order to fulfil these new orientations, it is becoming ever more important to address international issues through cooperation.This book traces the history of mutual interaction between Japan and the EU and shows how their growing cooperation provides the foundations for a significant partnership for the twenty-first century. In examining the development of that cooperation, the book also analyses the importance of mutual perceptions for creating the right environment in which bilateral relations may prosper. It also shows how the types of cooperative structures which have developed over time to sustain the Japan-EU relationship have helped to define the type of role Japan-EU relations can play at the start of the new millennium.