Dr. Lars Vargö is the former Swedish Ambassador to Japan (2011-14) and South Korea (2006-11). He holds a Ph.D. in Japanese studies (history) from the University of Stockholm (1982). He graduated from Uppsala University 1972 with a major in sinology. In 1972-76 he was a repeat Mombusho scholar at Kyoto University. As a diplomat, Vargö has returned to Japan four times, but has also served in Libya, Lithuania and the United States. During 2001-2005 he served as an Ambassador and the Head of the International Department of the Swedish Parliament.
Vargö has published a number of books on Japan in Swedish, mainly in the fields of history and literature, but is also the author of numerous articles in Swedish, English and Japanese. He has translated Japanese novels, short stories and poetry into Swedish. He is the founder of the Seoul Literary Society, as well as the Tokyo International Literary Society
Vargö has been decorated with the “Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun” (2014), the “Kwanghwa Medal Order of Diplomatic Service” (2011) and the “Korean Red Cross Grand Taegug Award” (2007).
Visit Lars Vargö’s blog Japan-kommentarer on larsvargo.wordpress.com.
Publications by Lars Vargö
Japan in 2022
Japan underwent important changes and developments during 2022. At the beginning of the year, the international trade agreement RCEP came into force. Borders started to open to foreign visitors towards […]
Renewable Energy and Climate Action: The Future of Japan and Sweden Cooperation
This joint publication of the Institute for Security and Development Policy (ISDP) and Kajima Institute of International Peace (KIIP) in Tokyo covers a solution-oriented approach to Climate Challenges that both […]
Japan’s Historic Moment: Global Challenges Necessitate Policy Evolution
Abstract: As Japan’s power and importance in the regional and international domain continues to grow, this issue brief provides an analysis of the domestic and international threats that are challenging […]
Conference Report: EJEA Conference 2021 in Kagawa
On October 22-24, 2021, the European Japan Experts Association (EJEA), the Kagawa University, the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT, and the Institute for Security and Development Policy (ISDP) […]
Politics in East Asia Today: Between Democracy, Debates, and Discourse
Introduction: On September 9-10, 2021, the Stockholm China Center at the Institute for Security & Development Policy (ISDP) organized the seminar “Politics in East Asia Today.” Thirteen scholars from different […]
AUKUS: Resetting European Thinking on Indo-Pacific?
This special publication brings together a number of experts from Europe and Asia to discuss the implications of AUKUS for Europe. The AUKUS is a critical geopolitical development. It has […]
Tomheten definieras på olika sätt. Det kan vara den verklighet, eller icke-verklighet, som existerar, eller inte existerar, bortom det individuella jaget. Det kan vara ett annat sätt att beskriva Gud […]
Security in the Asia-Pacific: Japan’s Options Amid U.S.-Chinese Tensions
Abstract The first arms control conference in history was held in Washington D.C. a hundred years ago. The Washington Naval Conference focused on the naval capabilities of major actors in […]
The BRI vs FOIP: Japan’s Countering of China’s Global Ambitions
Abstract With the Donald Trump administrated U.S. turning inwards, the world saw Japan taking a step forward on the global stage during Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s tenure. Not only did […]
Close Partners or Hesitant Dreamers? The EU-Japan Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA)
In July 2018, Japan and the EU signed both the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA). The two agreements have been described as formally ushering in […]