Circumpolar News


May 10-11, 2019 Arctic Circle China Forum: Polar Silk Roads - Oceans - Transport - Energy - Science - Indigenous Dialogue - Governance in Shanghai

The Arctic Circle China Forum "China and the Arctic" was held in Shanghai, China, May 10-11. The details of the programe is available from here.

May 7, 2019 The 11th Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting 2019 held in Rovaniemi

Currently Finland holds the Chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2017–2019. The Ministerial Meeting in Rovaniemi on 7 May 2019 marked the end of Finland's Arctic Council Chairmanship. Next Chairmanship goes to Iceland.

April 9-10, 2019 5th International Arctic Forum ‘Arctic: Territory of Dialogue’ was held in Russia, St. Petersburg

The International Arctic Forum is a key platform for discussing current issues relating to the socioeconomic development of Arctic regions. At the 5th forum, more than 3,600 participants, including representatives of Russian and international political, scientific and business circles, the mass media were attended.

October 19-21, 2018 Arctic Circle Assembly was held October 19-21 in Reykjavik, Iceland.

The annual Arctic Circle Assembly is the largest international forum on the Arctic and is attended by governments, experts, scientists, businesses, NGOs, indigenous peoples and others interested in the future of the Arctic.

Japan's Foreign Minister Kono made speach at the plenary of the Assembly. The text of Minister's speech is available from here.

October 12, The Arctic Environment Ministers’ meeting (AEMM) was held in Finland.

The Arctic Environment Ministers’ meeting (AEMM) was held at Rovaniemi. The meeting has focused on the issues concerning climate change, biodiversity and pollution prevention.

October 3, 2018 Central Arctic Ocean fisheries agreement signed by 10 parties, including Japan.

Nine countries and EU signed the agreement to prevent unregulated commercial fishing on the high seas of the central Arctic Ocean. Related information is available from here: Barents Observer, U.S. State Department, and MOFA Japan.

June 8, 2018, Third Trilateral High-Level Dialogue on the Arctic was held in Shanghai, China.

Representatives of China, Korea and Japan recognized the global challenges and international impacts brought by the changes in the Arctic, and expressed the willingness to continue to contribute to the peaceful, stable and sustainable development of the Arctic. Further information is available from here: Joint Statement, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MOFA Japan.

May 23, 2018 Arctic Science Cooperation Agreement entered into force.

Outline and full text of the Agreement is available from here.

May 15, 2018 Japan’s Third Basic Plan on Ocean Policy, with a section on the Arctic, approved.

It is the first time for Japan to provide for the policy on the Arctic as one of the main measures on ocean policy. Outline of the 3rd revised Basic Plan on Ocean Policy is available from here.

March 7, 2018 Utilizing Scientific Knowledge in the Arctic: Japan's Contribution

Proposal “Utilizing Scientific Knowledge in the Arctic: Japan’s Contribution” (only in Japanese) has been officially submitted to the State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan. This proposal is based on the discussion in the Advisory Board for the Promotion of Science and Technology Diplomacy. It is interesting to note the following: (1) Japan as a “neutral non-Arctic State” can provide objective scientific data for the Arctic policy and rule making; (2) Japan recognizes the Arctic research as an “international public value”; (3) Closely observing the “claims for extended continental shelves by the Arctic coastal states”, Japan should apply the state-of-the-art environmental and other technologies for sustainable mineral resources development and shipping routes in the Arctic; and (4) Japan recognizes the necessity for interdisciplinary research in the Arctic,, including humanities and social sciences, taking also into account indigenous and local knowledge.

January 26, 2018 Release of  China's Arctic Policy

On January 26, 2018 China releases its Arctic Policy, which attracts the worldwide attention. China's Arctic objectives and claims are clearly articulated in its newly-released Arctic Policy. Besides the recognition of eight Arctic States' territorial sovereignty and jurisdiction and rights of Arctic indigenous peoples, China claims itself as a 'near-Arctic State' as well as an 'important  stakeholder in Arctic affairs'. Please refer to the English version of China' Arctic Policy from Chinadailyasia website here.

June 8, 2018  Second Trilateral High-Level Dialogue on the Arctic

On June 8, 2016, Second Trilateral High-Level Dialogue on the Arctic among Japan, the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Korea was held in Tokyo, with participation of Ms. Kazuko Shiraishi, Ambassador in charge of Arctic Affairs, from Japan. At the meeting Joint Statement was adopted which emphasized that "it is indispensable for the international community to ensure the protection and preservation of the fragile marine environment of the Arctic Ocean, and maintain peace, stability and constructive cooperation based on a rule-based maritime order." The statement is available both in English , in Japanese .

March 29-30, 2017 the Fourth International Arctic Forum

On March 29-30, 2017 the Fourth International Arctic Forum “The Arctic – Territory of Dialogue” was held at Arkhangelsk, a northern region in Russia described as a “gateway to the Arctic”. A key theme of the forum this year is People and the Arctic, highlightening the importance of the role of human being in the Arctic sustainability. Political leaders from Russia, Finland, Iceland, Denmark, Norway, and China attended the forum, and more than 2000 people from academia, government, business and media participated in the forum panels, where combat with climate change at the Arctic and international cooperations among the Arctic stakeholders were still heated topics for discussions.

August 8, 2016

The SCAR Open Science Conference (OSC) will be held on August 22-26, 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Director Shibata and research fellow Lindsay Arthur Tamm will attend the conference and make presentations.

August 8, 2016

On July 6-8, 2016, 3rd Arctic 5+5 meeting on Arctic high seas fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean was held in Iqaluit, Canada. The chairman's statement of this meeting is now available here .

May 9, 2016

On April 19-21, 2016, the meeting on the high seas fisheries in the central Arctic Ocean (CAO) was held in Washington D.C. with the participation of Canada, China, Denmark, the EU, Iceland, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Norway, Russia and the U.S. (5+5). In the meeting, the delegations discussed the scientific workshop to be held in Tromso in September 2016 and the possible future measures to prevent unregulated commercial fishing in the high seas of the CAO based on the updated US proposal for an international agreement. The Chairman's Statement of this meeting is now available here . The next meeting will be held on 6-8 July in Iqaluit, Canada.

May 2, 2016

Arctic cooperation among Japan, China and South Korea. On April 28, 2016, the 1st high high-level dialogue among these three states on the Arctic was held in Seoul, South Korea with the participation of Arctic Ambassodor Kazuko Shiraishi from Japan. The high level dialogue issued a joint press release in which the heads of the delegation "shared the view that ...... scientific research is among the most promising areas for their joint activities and trilateral cooperative activities in this area need to be encouraged" (para.5). Moreover, they "decided to report the discussions of this Dialogue to the Arctic Council through appropriate channels" (para.6). The 2nd high-level dialogue is to be hosted by Japan. The joint press release is now available in English and in Japanese .

April 13, 2016

On March 14, 2016, Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) published an important report on the Arctic Council entitled "An Arctic Redesign: Recommendations to Rejuvenate the Arctic Council." The report identifies several challenges which the Arctic Council is now facing, including the issue of observer states, and provides recommendations for Arctic Council's institutional reforms in order for it to overcome these challenges. The report is available here .

April 13, 2016

Japan-Finland cooperation on the Arctic. On March 10, 2016, Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe held a summit meeting with President of Finland Sauli Niinistö in Tokyo. The two leaders made a joint statement in which they shared the determination to enhance cooperation on various Arctic issues within the Arctic Council and other fora, noting Finland's upcoming chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2017-2019 (para.13), and confirmed their commitment to advance cooperation in their shared interest in futher unilization of Northern Sea Route (NSR) (para.14). The Joint Statement is available here .

April 2, 2016

Recent two important conferences on the Arctic: On March 12, 2016, the Fletcher School held the Fletcher Opening Arctic V Conference in which distinguished panelists including Japanese Arctic Ambassador Kazuko Shiraishi discussed the various Arctic issues from Arctic diplomacy to sustainable Arctic development. On February 29, 2016, the Wilson Center's polar initiative organized IMO Polar Code Roundtable which discussed the issues concerning forthcoming implementation of IMO Polar Code.

January 6, 2016

Two recent articles on the Arctic and the Antarctic: the article of Science & Diplomacy entitled "Cold War in a Warming Place" examines how scientific cooperation in the Arctic can be achieved; the article of New York Times dated December 29, 2015 highlights heated competition among states in the Antarctica.

December 10, 2015

Two important meetings on the Arctic legal order-making have been convened. First is the 7th meeting of the Scientific Cooperation Task Force (SCTF) under the Arctic Council, held on 1-2 December in Reykjavik. It has made good progress on the draft Agreement on Enhancing International Arctic Scientific Cooperation. Second is the Meeting on High Seas Fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean, with the participation of Canada, China, Denmark, EU, Iceland, Japan, Korea, Norway, Russia and the USA, on 1-3 December in Washington DC (Chair’s statement is available here).

November 19, 2015

Two recent Japanese newspaper articles on the Arctic. The article of Sankei newspaper dated November 14, 2015 (in Japanese) reports that the Japanese Government has determined to build Arctic research vessel for the first time in its history, and it will operate in 2020.The Article of the Japan News dated November 18, 2015 (in English) examines the various challenges to Japan's new Arctic Policy determined in October.

November 12, 2015

On 9-11 December, in Singapore, there will be a symposium on Governance of Arctic Shipping , co-organized by Jebsen Centre for the Law of the Sea, UiT, and Professor Kentaro Nishimoto, a member of Kobe Arctic Legal Order Studies Forum, is one of the speakers.

November 5, 2015

November 5, 2015

Professor Timo Koivurova has been elected as the Director of the Arctic Centre, University of Lapland. PCRC has already established close collaboration in Arctic legal research and education with his Centre. Photo: Professor Koivurova speaking at Kobe Arctic Seminar in April 2015.

October 16, 2015

October 16, 2015

Japanese government announced its Arctic Policy. Among others, it emphasizes the rule of law and the promotion of international cooperation in the Arctic region. According to the Policy, Japan will actively participate in the formulation process of international rules for the Arctic. Photo: Arctic Ambassador of Japan, Shiraishi, announcing Japan’s Arctic Policy at the Arctic Circle Assembly, 16 October.

October 1, 2015

Some previous news interesting for Arctic legal studies: July 16, 2015: Oslo declaration concerning prevention of unregulated high seas fishing in the Central Arctic Ocean; August 3, 2015: Russia’s revised submission on its extended continental shelf in the Arctic region to CLC; August 19, 2015: SCTF continues to negotiate an international treaty on international scientific cooperation in the Arctic.

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