Kazuko Shiraishi,  Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (photo:© OZZO Photography)Last Froday, Japan's first comprehensive Arctic policy was presented both in Tokyo and at Arctic Circle Assembly in Reykjavik. 

After a brief introduction on the already existing interlinks between a rapidily changing Arctic and Japan's research activities in the region, the document describes backgorunds and purpose for a Japanese Arctic Policy". Japan’s Arctic policy is intended to define policy for more specific measures. From the standpoint of "Proactive Contribution to Peace" based on the principle of international cooperation, the policy defines strategic initiatives in the fields of diplomacy, national security, environment, transportation, resource development, information and communications, and science and technology, from a multidisciplinary perspective with contributions from industry, academia, and the government. It aims to set Japan as an important player that contributes to the international community through its action to Arctic issues.

Against this background, Japan will:

– Make full use of Japan's strength in science and technology from a global viewpoint,
– Give full consideration to the Arctic environment and ecosystem, which is fragile, with a lower ability to recover,
– Ensure the rule of law, and promote international cooperation in a peaceful and orderly manner,
– Respect the right of indigenous peoples to continuity in their traditional economic and social foundations,
– Pay full attention to security developments in the Arctic,
– Aim for economic and social compatibility with climate and environmental changes, and
– Seek possible economic chances for the use of the Arctic Sea Route and for the development of resource

You can download Japan's Arctic Policy here.

Please, be advised that the document is a "provisional translation" from Japanese.