Maaike Okano-Heijmans

Senior Research Fellow


  • Europe in the World
  • Trade and Globalisation


  • Asia
  • Europe
  • The Netherlands

Maaike Okano-Heijmans is a Senior Research Fellow at the Clingendael Institute. Her main research interests are in economic diplomacy and in international relations in East Asia, with a special focus on Japan and China. A key question underlying much of her work is how developments in these fields matter to Europe, the EU and, in particular, to the Netherlands. In addition, since joining Clingendael in 2006 she has worked on consular affairs and diplomacy - sometimes referred to as 'citizen security' or 'duty of care'.

Maaike is Clingendael’s key person in the Asia-Pacific Research and Advisory Network (APRAN), working with Chatham House (UK) and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS, Germany). This three-year project for the European Commission will provide European policymakers with policy advice, specialised research and analysis on the Asia-Pacific region and on EU's relations with Asia-Pacific.

She has been teaching a module on Diplomacy and International Relations in East Asia to second-year students of Leiden University's Master in International Relations and Diplomacy (MIRD) since 2012.

Maaike is a board member of the European Japan Advanced Research Network (EJARN) and a member of CSCAP-EU (Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific), the track-two organisation promoting security dialogue in Asia. She is on the editorial board of the The Hague Journal of Diplomacy (Martinus Nijhoff Publishers), the Clingendael Spectator (Clingendael's Magazine, in Dutch) and of the International Journal of Diplomacy and Economy .

She has lived and studied in the United States (Fulbright Program student), Hong Kong (Nuffic & VSB scholarships), Japan (Monbusho Scholar) and Australia. Prior to joining Clingendael, she worked at the Japanese Embassy in the Hague. From 2008-2013 Maaike was a non-resident visiting fellow at the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy of the Australian National University in Canberra. She was granted a Canon Foundation Research Fellowship in 2013.

In 2012 Maaike obtained her PhD in Political Science from the University of Antwerp, Belgium after the successful defense of her thesis on Economic Diplomacy and the Balance of National Interests, with a special focus on Japan. She holds two Master's degrees: one in Political Science from the University of Amsterdam (2001) and another in International Relations from Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan (2003). Furthermore, she studied the Japanese language at Leiden University, the Netherlands.

My work



Europe in the World

Providing consular services to low-skilled migrant workers

06 February 2020 - 14:53
Europe in the World

The Need for New Approaches to Export Control

03 February 2020 - 11:49
Trade and Globalisation

Navigating the US-China Trade-Tech Stand-Off: The Case of Japan

04 December 2019 - 13:05
Strategic Foresight

Horizonscan Nationale Veiligheid 2019

08 November 2019 - 10:58
Europe in the World

Empowering the EU–Japan connectivity partnership

04 November 2019 - 16:36
Europe in the World

Europe’s Next Move and the US-China Standoff

07 October 2019 - 17:53
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Europe in the World

Human rights in a world of great power competition

27 November 2019 - 15:00
Europe in the World

EU-Asia Connectivity: Building Bridges for a Sustainable Future

27 September 2019 - 09:00

Enhancing EU-Singapore Connectivity

27 June 2019 - 08:30
Trade and Globalisation

Publieksdebat: Talking China Strategy

03 June 2019 - 19:30
Trade and Globalisation

Dealing with China: Lessons from Southeast Asia

08 May 2019 - 17:00
Europe in the World

China's Growing Role In The World: Views From Europe And Japan

15 March 2019 - 09:30
Show more Events



EU-Asia relations firm on Clingendael’s agenda

14 September 2016 - 10:04