Linking Historical Reconciliation and Security Cooperation in Northeast Asia


The purpose of this blog is to invite discussion and debate about the best ways to encourage reconciliation among the countries of Northeast Asia and how to build new, multilateral institutions in the region to enhance peace and strategic stability. The basic assumption of the project is that it will be difficult if not impossible to establish viable, security institutions without the resolution of historical and contemporary differences among the states involved.

To date, we have convened six international workshops: the first, on “Reconciliation between China and Japan,” held at the ANU in August 2006; the second, on “Security Cooperation in Northeast Asia,” held at the Institute for Far Eastern Studies in Seoul in April 2008; a third, on  “Comparing Strategies of Reconciliation,” in October 2009, held at National Chung Hsing University and National Taiwan University in Taiwan; the fourth on “Nuclear Weapons and the Security of Korea and East Asia,” in May 2010, was held at the University of Oregon and Portland State University in the US; the fifth, on “Avoiding an Arms Race in Space,” in April 2011, was held at the University of Hawaii; and the sixth, on “Nuclear Disaster Response: The Need to Know,” was held at Tohoku Fukushi University in Sendai, in May 2012.  Papers from all of the workshops have been published in special issues of the journal Asian Perspective (31:1, 2007, 32:4, 2008, 34:4, 2010, 35:4, 2011, and 37:4, 2013).

Our objective is to produce concrete and realistic policy proposals for peacebuilding in Northeast Asia. Working with colleagues from China, Japan, Korea, Russia, and the United States, we want, for example, to help make a success of the Six Party Talks on the DPRK nuclear programs, and to provide useful ideas for a potential East Asian Community. A future workshop will bring together colleagues from around the region to share proposals for designing a new, multilateral security institution for NE Asia based on the six-party foundation.

Mel Gurtov
Richard Tanter
Peter Van Ness – Coordinator