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In 2016, Shinzo Abe articulated his signature Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP) initiative. This was both a moment of synthesis of a vision that had been developed over almost a decade, and the beginning of a conceptualisation of the Indo-Pacific as a space in which prosperity draws upon maritime connectivity.

By the time Abe stepped down from the helm of the Japanese government, FOIP had become a notion recognised, if not embraced - albeit in different ways - across the region.

The talk reviews Abe’s legacy in forging an alternative vision to the Belt and Road Initiative and examines how Prime Minister Kishida has sought to take it forward and implement its content in light of a more competitive international landscape.

This event is online and will take place on MS Teams - link to join


Professor Alessio Patalano

Alessio Patalano is Professor of War & Strategy in East Asia at the Department of War Studies (DWS) at King’s College London (KCL) where he specialises in maritime strategy and doctrine, Japanese military history and strategy, East Asian security, and British defence policy towards the Indo-Pacific.

Alessio is the Director of the King’s Japan Programme and the Indo-Pacific Programme at the Centre for Grand Strategy. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (FRHistS), a Visiting Professor at the Japan Maritime Command and Staff College (JMCSC), and an Adjunct Fellow at the Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies, Temple University Japan, a Senior Fellow at the think tanks Policy Exchange, Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), and Sir Herbert Richmond Fellow on naval strategy at the Council on Geostrategy.

He is also visiting fellow at the Royal Navy Centre for Strategic Studies (RNCSS) and non-resident fellow at the Royal Australian Navy Seapower Centre. In 2022, Prof Patalano became the first specialist advisor on the Indo-Pacific to the Foreign Affairs Committee in the UK Parliament. 

At this event

Alessio Patalano

Professor of War & Strategy in East Asia

Christophe Jaffrelot

Professor of Indian Politics and Sociology