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

Top 5 China Research

02 September 2019 - 12:00
Europe in the World

The multilateral system under stress: Europe’s path forward

28 August 2019 - 15:14
Trade and Globalisation

The US–China trade–tech stand-off

12 August 2019 - 14:29
Europe in the World

How to strengthen Europe's agenda on digital connectivity

11 July 2019 - 14:23
Europe in the World

Roundtable ASEAN-EU Relations

02 July 2019 - 19:29

China-experts aan het woord

11 June 2019 - 11:08
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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
Europe in the World

Public panel: EU-Asia relations

06 November 2018 - 15:30
Europe in the World

Conference: EU-Japan Agreements - What now?

13 September 2018 - 09:30
Europe in the World

Connectivity and Beyond: Improving EU/NL-India ties

25 June 2018 - 13:45
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