Arctic Circle Japan Forum winds up in Tokyo

A file photo of the Tokyo skyline. Over 100 speakers gathered here to talk about Asia’s growing role in the Arctic. (Philip Fong/AFP via Getty)

The Arctic Circle Japan Forum wound up Monday after three days of sessions focused on Asia’s growing role in the North as well as the perspectives of Arctic Council observer countries from the region. 

There were 100 speakers at this years events including Arctic ambassadors and Indigenous representatives from around the North. 

Canadian speakers included Herb Nakimayak from Inuit Circumpolar Council Canada, Julie Crôteau, head of the Canadian International Arctic Centre and Mia Otokiak from the Nunavut Impact Review Board. 

Topics at this year’s event included Asia’s role in Arctic governance, Asian-Nordic collaboration in the Arctic and the North as a region for securing critical minerals.

The event was co-organized with The Nippon Foundation and the the Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF).

“The SPF has presided over the “Study Group on the Future of the Arctic” since 2016, leading discussions on Japan’s Arctic policy and actively participates in international discussion frameworks to demonstrate Japan’s presence in the Arctic field to the international community,” the Sasakawa Peace Foundation said on their website.

There are five Asian countries amongst the Arctic Council’s observer states: South Korea, Japan, China and Singapore and India.

Forums held throughout the year

The Arctic Circle Assembly was established in 2013 and is held in Reykjavik, Iceland every fall. It’s evolved into one of the largest Arctic-themed conferences in the world.

Arctic Circle has gone on to regularly hold satellite forums throughout the year in regions around the world.

Besides Japan, Arctic Circle forums have also been held in places like Japan, Alaska, South Korea and Quebec City, Canada. 

The Arctic Circle Japan Forum ran March 4-6 in Tokyo. 

Write to Eilís Quinn at 

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Int’l arctic cooperation needs to continue despite rupture with Russia: Canada’s GG, The Canadian Press

Finland: Russian shoppers take Norway’s Schengen shortcut to Arctic Finland, Yle News

Greenland: Historic Hans Island agreement with Canada moves from Copenhagen to Greenland, Eye on the Arctic

Iceland: Climate, integration & Arctic among priorities in Iceland’s Nordic Council of Ministers program, Eye on the Arctic

Norway: NATO will make us stronger, says Nordic defense chiefs, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Three exercises, one scenario: Russia, The Independent Barents Observer

United StatesU.S. nominates Alaskan as first Arctic ambassador, Eye on the Arctic

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