Connecting People & Ideas to Advance Mutual Interests in U.S.-Asia Relations

The Mansfield Foundation’s Northeast Asia 2025 program, a research partnership with the Advanced Systems and Concepts Office of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), examined the multifaceted security challenges in and around the Northeast Asia region as it looks to the future.

In 2009, the Foundation hosted a strategy session with core group members in Big Fork, Montana April 29-May 1 and a workshop and conference in Kanazawa, Japan July 22-25. The first workshop focused on framing the critical issues and shaping a multi-year research agenda. A core group of specialists from the region identified an “ideal” security situation for Northeast Asia in the year 2025 and then, working backwards, identified current and likely future trends diverging from that ideal. Based on the trends identified, the core group identified scholars from throughout the region to address seven key issues and draft policy recommendations to close the gap between current trends and the identified ideal. This research was presented and discussed in detail at the larger conference in Japan in July 2009. In 2010, the Foundation published “Toward an Ideal Security State for Northeast Asia 2025,” a compilation of the papers presented and discussed at the Kanazawa conference.

Also in 2010, the Foundation hosted a project planning meeting with many of the original core group members, renowned experts from Asia and the Pacific, over a one-day strategy session in Whitefish, Montana. During this meeting, the Foundation along with the core group revised the ideal and selected five issues to focus upon for a November 1-3 conference in Busan and Seoul, South Korea. Nine scholars from throughout the region drafted papers and proposed policy recommendations related to these five issues. Their papers were presented at a public symposium at Yonsei University and were compiled in “One Step Back? Reassessing an Ideal Security State for Northeast Asia 2025,” published in March 2011.