National interests of Japan and its emerging Arctic policy

A.B. Almazova-Ilyina, A.D. Vinogradov, E. E. Krasnozhenova, K.Yu. Eidemiller

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3 Scopus citations
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Abstract

In this paper we discuss main challenges, both global and regional, that define Japan's current policy for the Arctic. Global challenges like rising sea levels and threats to marine biodiversity primarily stem from rapid climate change in the Arctic. However, these developments also bring new opportunities that attract attention of governments and businesses. Shrinking covered in ice areas open up prospects for Arctic Ocean shipping and development of natural resources. Regional challenges mostly concern rivalry between China, Japan and South Korea, as well as Japan's 'mediator' role between other states in East Asia and the Arctic. We then analyze policy initiatives in Arctic affairs declared by the government of Japan in the official documents as well as some practical outcomes of these policies. There are three main policy areas prioritized by Japan: research and development, international cooperation, and sustainability of further exploration of the Arctic. Ultimately, we attempt to identify national interests that are confronted by existing challenges and pursued by Japan in its emerging Arctic endeavors. Japan's current interests in the Arctic include energy and food security, economic interests in new shipping opportunities and extraction of natural resources, urgent environmental action, and a search for a stronger position in contemporary global and regional order.
Original languageEnglish
Article number012048
Number of pages9
JournalIOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science
Volume539
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 12 Aug 2020
Event5th International Conference "Arctic: History and Modernity" - Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation
Duration: 18 Mar 202019 Mar 2020

Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)

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