Japan relies on the Middle East for about 90 percent of its oil imports. Even if the global trend in the energy sector moves toward decarbonization and decoupling from Russia, the Middle East will remain strategically important to Japan. Meanwhile, with the US presence in the Middle East declining, including the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan in 2021, and negotiations on the Iran nuclear agreement (JCPOA) stalling, a realignment of the regional order toward a "post-JCPOA era" is underway. In addition, China's presence in the Middle East and Africa is increasing, and the transformation of the balance of power among the US, China, and Russia in the region is expected to continue. Moreover, the Global South is expected to further enhance its own presence. The world is not divided into east and west; many countries, including those in the Middle East and Africa, are practicing "balanced diplomacy" to protect their respective interests, and movements different from those in the West are underway. JIIA is working to clarify various aspects of regional trends through a multifaceted approach that includes geopolitics, regional studies, and maritime, economic, energy, and food security.