The Arctic’s profile as a region for engagement and opportunity is rising among both circumpolar and non-circumpolar states. In addition to countries like Canada, Russia and the United States, which have expressed a renewed interest in the region, East Asian countries, such as Japan, Korea and China, are now increasingly fixated on prospects offered by the Arctic.
To the present, Arctic and East Asian nations have not engaged in extensive discussions about competing and complementary Arctic activities and responsibilities. This volume is an outcome of an international collaborative project, which launched a focused and detailed conversation about the historic, contemporary and future dimensions of East Asian countries’ relationships and interests in the Arctic. Bringing together leading experts from Japan, China, South Korea, Russia, the United States and Canada, the volume draws scholarly and policy-making attention to East Asia’s growing interests in the Far North and identifies political, economic, legal and security connections between East Asia and the Arctic.
Two workshops were held in 2013: the first in Whitehorse, Yukon and the second in Waterloo, Ontario. These workshops provided an opportunity for participating scholars to reflect on the issues at hand. Intensive discussions took place on the papers, which were submitted and circulated prior to the workshops. The focus was to identify potential points of conflict and cooperation. At both workshops, there were lively exchanges among the participants, who gathered from Japan, China, Korea, Russia, the United States, Norway and across Canada. The workshops also generated significant personal and collective discoveries and inspired participants to consider anew the fundamental political and economic relationships in the Arctic, as well as several research outputs.
This volume consists of the revised Whitehorse conference papers examining the interests of East Asian powers in the Arctic, particularly Japan, China and South Korea; Arctic powers with gateways to the pacific on East Asia-Arctic Relations, specifically, the United States, Canada and Russia; the changing Arctic and its implications for East Asia, in terms of security, economics and border regions; and East Asia-Arctic Affairs from global and circumpolar perspectives.
"A timely and instructive tour d’horizon of evolving Arctic issues from an informed perspective highlighting East Asian, Russian and North American dimensions. Sober in tone without being alarmist or drawing premature conclusions, it opens a refreshingly wide array of topics from climate change, resource dynamics, shipping routes and territorial claims to governance, local development and ecospheric- and geopolitics — a challenging and distinctively twenty-first-century agenda."
— Paul Evans, Professor, Institute of Asian Research and Liu Institute for Global Issues, University of British Columbia
"Much has been written about the Arctic in recent years; this compendium brings a fresh view to the issues by giving the reader an opportunity to hear from Asian contributors. Authors from the United States, Canada and Russia round out the complex picture that emerges. A must-read for those interested in learning about power politics at play in this important region, those who are avid Asia watchers and those following developments in the Arctic."
— Eva Busza, Vice President, Knowledge and Research, Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada
Kimie Hara is professor and the Renison Research Professor at the University of Waterloo, where she is also director of East Asian Studies at Renison University College. She specializes in contemporary international relations of the Asia-Pacific region, border studies, Cold War history, and Japanese politics and diplomacy. She has held visiting fellowships/professorships at Kyoto University, the University of Tokyo, the International Institute for Asian Studies/University of Amsterdam, the East-West Center, Stockholm University and the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Science.
Ken Coates is Canada Research Chair in Regional Innovation at the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy. Ken has worked at universities across Canada and in New Zealand. He was the Founding Vice-President (Academic) of the University of Northern British Columbia and held administrative posts at the University of Waikato (New Zealand), the University of New Brunswick at Saint John, the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Waterloo. Ken is the president of the Japan Studies Association of Canada.