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 project, beginning in 2012, will provide intensive analysis and discussion of historic, contemporary and future development in East Asia-Arctic relations.

A group of leading experts from Japan, China, South Korea, Russia, the United States and Canada, working in the fields of Arctic sovereignty, East Asian international relations, and the politics of the Circumpolar world, will gather at workshops in Whitehorse and Waterloo in March 2013.  They will draw scholarly and policy-making attention to East Asia’s growing interests in the Far North and address critical questions in the political, economic, legal and security connections between East Asia and the Arctic. Research outputs will include workshop papers, policy briefs, and a major research monograph.

Workshop Reports

to cigi


East Asian states declare growing interest in Arctic research, climate and resources, new CIGI book says

Bridging Troubled Waters: China, Japan, and Maritime Order in the East China Sea, by James Manicom (Georgetown University Press, 2014).

China and Japan in the East China Sea

Alaskan state flag flies next to the American flag. (Nic McPhee via Flickr CC).

East Asia and the Arctic: Alaskan and American Perspectives


Arctic Prospects and Challenges from a Korean Perspective



Kimie Hara

Renison Research Professor and Director of East Asian Studies at Renison University College, University of Waterloo

Kimie Hara holds cross-appointments in the departments of History and Political Science, and is Renison University College's Director of East Asian Studies, at the University of Waterloo. An expert in the international relations of the Asia-Pacific region, she is currently leading a collaborative research project exploring relationships between the Arctic and East Asia.

Photo of Ken Coates

Ken Coates

Canada Research Chair in Regional Innovation, Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Saskatchewan

Ken Coates is Canada Research Chair in Regional Innovation at the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy and co-Director for the International Centre of Northern Governance and Development at the University of Saskatchewan.  An expert in Indigenous-newcomer relations, rights and politics, and Aboriginal land and resource claims, he is currently contributing to collaborative research projects on East Asia-Arctic relations and the internationalization of indigenous rights.