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Aki Tonami

(+45) 3532 9531
Research areas: 

International Political Economy; Foreign Policy Analysis; Politics and International Relations of East Asia and the Polar Region; Environment and Development, Environmental aid; Development Studies.


Dr. Aki Tonami is a specialist in foreign policy and development in Asia, with research interests in international environmental governance and economic diplomacy. She has a PhD in Global Environmental Studies (2008) and a MA in Economics (2004) from Kyoto University. She has written extensively on East Asian states’ environmental foreign policy and participated in several international research projects such as “Asian Strategies towards the Northern Sea Route” and “Japan i bevæglese før og efter skælvet”.


Politics and Economics of Aid
Japanese Society
Images of Asia

Selected publications: 

Tonami, A. (Forthcoming). Asian Foreign Policy in a Changing Arctic. Palgrave Macmillan.

Tonami, A.(Forthcoming). Atomkraft, ja tak! Grønne miljøidealer og realpolitik (Nuclear power, yes please! Green environmental ideals and realpolitik), Hansen, A.S., A. Platz and J. Borup (Eds.), Japan i bevæglese før og efter skælvet (Japan after the Quake), Højbjerg, Denmark: Forlaget Univers. (in Danish).

Tonami, A. (2014). The Arctic policy of China and Japan: multi-layered economic and strategic motivations. The Polar Journal, 4(1) , pp.105-126.

Tonami,A. (2014). Future-Proofing Japan’s Interests in the Arctic: Scientific Collaboration and a Search for BalanceAsia Policy 18 , pp.52-58.

Tonami, A. & Müller, A. R. (2014). Trajectories of Japanese and South Korean Environmental Aid: A Comparative Historical AnalysisThe Journal of Environment Development, 23(2191-219).

Tonami, A., & Müller, A. R. (2013). Japanese and South Korean Environmental Aid: What are their life stories? DIIS Working Paper 2013-08. Copenhagen: Danish Institute for International Studies.

Watters, S., & Tonami, A. (2013). Japan og Singapore i Arktis: Overvejelser for Grønland. Tidsskriftet Grønland, 2013(1), 2-17.

Tonami, A., & Watters, S. (2012). Japan's Arctic Policy: The Sum of Many Parts. In L. Heininen (Ed.), Arctic Yearbook 2012 (pp. 93-103). Akureyri, Iceland: Northern Research Forum.

Watters, S., & Tonami, A. (2012). Singapore: An Emerging Arctic Actor. In L. Heininen (Ed.), Arctic Yearbook 2012 (pp. 105-114). Akureyri, Iceland: Northern Research Forum.

Tonami, A. (2009). Evaluating Local Participation in Environmental Aid: The Environmental Fund Project in Thailand. Journal of International Development Studies, 18(1), 79-96.

Tonami, A. (2009). Partnership: NGOs Shoulder Challenges of Environment and Development. In Japan Environmental Council (Ed.), The State of the Environment in Asia 2006/2007 (pp. 23-25). Tokyo: United Nations University Press.

Tonami, A. (2008). Public Participation and Environmental Aid: Evaluating Projects in Thailand. (doctoral dissertation), Kyoto University, Kyoto.

Tonami, A., & Mori, A. (2007). Sustainable Development in Thailand: Lessons from Implementing Local Agenda 21 in Three Cities. The Journal of Environment and Development, 16(3), 269-289.

Recent activities: 

Speaker, Japan’s Arctic policy, environmental research and climate change, 19 October 2014
The Brookings Institution, Washington DC.
Charting Japan’s Arctic Strategy

NSR paradiplomacy: Sub-national actors in the Arctic, Hokkaido as an example
The Arctic Circle, the Panel on Building Arctic Resilience - Asia and the Northern Sea Route: Trade, Logistics and Actors
Reykjavik, Iceland, 17 October 2015

China and Japan in the Arctic: Economic Security and the Role of Foreign Policy
The Nineteenth Asian Studies Conference Japan (ASCJ), Tokyo, 21 June 2015

Future-proofing Japan’s Interests in the Arctic
Annual Maritime Power Conference, National Maritime Foundation, New Delhi, India, 19-20 February 2015

Panel discussant, Arctic 2014: Who Gets a Voice and Why It Matters.
May 21, 2014 // 9:00am — 12:00pm
The Wilson Center, Washington DC.

Panel discussant, China's Arctic Aspirations: Conference with Dr. Linda Jakobson, April 17, 2013

Stockholm Seminar on Japan: Japan's Arctic Policy
Jan 17, 2013

Danish and Japanese Aid in Asia
The 5th Annual Nordic NIAS Council Conference
21st November 2011 - 23rd November 2011

The Great East Japan Earthquake: Japan as an Aid Recipient
One Year On: A Symposium Commemorating '311', the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011
8th March 2012