Northeast Asia Program

Northeast Asia Program


The Northeast Asia program will examine current strategic shifts in Northeast Asia and the stabilising role Australia can play within the region.

This program will have a three part focus:

  • Japan - building upon Australia and Japan's existing 'special strategic partnership'
  • Korea - raising Australia's profile in Korea to help strategic thinkers in Korea recognise the important role of Australia in the coming decade
  • China - examine the future strategic challenges and opportunities facing Australia's relationship with China and the U.S.

Australia-Japan Relations in an age of uncertainty

In the pursuit of the prosperity of Asia and its surrounding region, it is important that we consider the way in which we get there. Japan-Australia relations are of increasing importance in this regard. In the pursuit of peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region, their strategic thinking is coming into alignment. Both countries are committed to upholding the rule of law, ensuring free access and human rights. This publication, based on a speech presented on 8 June 2017 by His Excellency Ambassador Kusaka, Ambassador of Japan to Australia, outlines the prospects, uncertainties, challenges and opportunities which currently face the Indo-Pacific region. Most particularly, it focuses on the importance a co-operative effort among Japan, Australia, India, the United States and other allies when facing the increasing challenges in the Indo-Pacific region and the globe.
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Talking japanese (politics)

In this episode of the Perspectives podcast, Professor Rikki Kersten from Murdoch University talks Japanese politics with research fellow, Natalie Sambhi. She explains how Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan artfully orchestrated the reinterpretation of Japan's pacifist constitution despite strong public opposition to the change. Rikki explains why the reinterpretation of Article 9 is a policy fiat, not a democratic change to a law of Japan. She also addresses the fallout from Japan losing the bid to build Australia's submarines - a blow to PM Abe's ambitions in defence and security.

Professor Kersten is currently the Dean of Arts at Murdoch University specialising in Japanese political history, security policy and foreign policy. She also has a particular interest in Australia-Japan security relations and the US-Japan alliance.

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Update on the korean peninsula

In this episode of Perspectives podcast, Kyle Springer speaks with Professor Gordon Flake, Perth USAsia Centre CEO and North Korea expert. Professor Flake discusses the recent geopolitical developments between South and North Korea, the incoming South Korean Moon Jae-In administration and the international security implications of North Korea’s nuclear proliferation program.

Professor Gordon Flake is the founding CEO of the Perth USAsia Centre, a position he assumed in January of 2014. He was previously Executive Director of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation, a Senior Fellow and Associate Director of the Program on Conflict Resolution at The Atlantic Council of the United States and prior to that Director for Research and Academic Affairs at the Korea Economic Institute of America. He received his BA degree in Korean with a minor in international relations from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.  He completed his MA at the David M. Kennedy Center for International and Area Studies, also at B.Y.U. He speaks both fluent Korean and Laotian.

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In this episode of Perspectives podcast, Scott Snyder, senior fellow of Korea studies and director of the program on U.S.-Korea policy at the Council on Foreign Relations discusses his experiences in Pyongyang, North Korea. Synder also anaylses the missile capabilities in the North.

Scott Snyder is director of the Center for U.S.-Korea Policy and senior associate of Washington programs in the International Relations program of The Asia Foundation. He joined The Asia Foundation as country representative of Korea in January 2000 and moved to the Washington office in April 2004. Mr. Snyder is also senior associate at Pacific Forum CSIS and was recently named adjunct senior fellow for Korea Studies by the Council on Foreign Relations.

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Japan and Australia have deepened our economic ties. We will now join up in a scrum, just like in rugby, to nurture a regional and world order and to safeguard peace. Today I stand in front of you, who represent the people of Australia, and state solemnly that now Japan and Australia will finally use our relationship of trust, which has stood up through the trials of history, in our cooperation in the area of security. Australia and Japan have now freed ourselves from one old layer and are now moving towards a new “special relationship"

Shinzo Abe
Japanese Prime Minister