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Lords Committee examines the strategic interests of key non-Arctic states in the Arctic region

Monday 19 June 2023

On Wednesday 21 June the House of Lords International Relations and Defence Committee will hold an evidence session with a panel of senior academics as it continues its inquiry into the Arctic region

The session will discuss the diplomatic, economic and strategic approaches of India, Japan and the Republic of Korea to the region. It will also explore the countries’ roles as Observer States in the Arctic Council and in the governance of the region more broadly.

The session will start at 10.35am and will be available to watch live or on demand on Parliament TV, or attend in person in Committee Room 4, Palace of Westminster.

Giving evidence will be:

10.35am

  • Dr Aki Tonami, University of Tsukuba, Japan;
  • Dr Hyuong Chul Shin, Korea Polar Research Institute; and
  • Capt Anurag Bisen, Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies, India.

Questions for discussion will include:

  • India, Japan and the Republic of Korea all joined the Arctic Council as Observer States in 2013. What role does the Arctic play in the foreign policies of these three countries? What role do these countries seek to play in the Arctic Council and in the governance of the Arctic more broadly?
  • How important are (1) current and (2) future Arctic maritime routes (the Northern Sea Route, the North-West Passage, and, potentially in the future, a Trans-Polar Route) for the economies of India, Japan and the Republic of Korea?
  • How important are Arctic resources and minerals for the economies of India, Japan and the Republic of Korea at present, and is this likely to change in the future? Are many Indian, Japanese or Korean firms engaged in economic activity in the Arctic?
  • Are India, Japan and the Republic of Korea concerned by the potential growing cooperation between China and Russia in the Arctic?
  • Arctic states have long emphasised that the Arctic region should be an area of ‘high cooperation and low tension’. However, relations between Russia and the other Arctic states have deteriorated sharply as a result of the war in Ukraine. How concerned are India, Japan and South Korea by rising tensions in the Arctic and the risk of increased militarisation of the region?

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