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December 15, 2010: Dr. Yasunori Hanamatsu, Dr. Liu Xu and Dr. Stephen Blank

(Click to enlarge) From left to right, Dr. Hanamatsu and Dr. Liu discuss cooperation efforts in Northeast Asia.


Dr. Stephen Blank analyzes the challenges to energy and environmental cooperation.

Energy and Environmental Cooperation in Northeast Asia: Opportunities and Challenges


(Washington, DC) Recently, Northeast Asia, the hub of Asia’s economic activity, has seen new efforts to improve inter-regional cooperation between states, such as Russia, China and Japan. Especially with the 2012 APEC summit being hosted in Vladivostok, Russia, such developments are gaining visibility and importance. Dr. Liu Xu discussed energy relations in the Northeast Asian region as well as the proposed plans for building oil and gas pipelines to export energy to neighbors China and Japan, while Dr. Yasunori Hanamatsu discussed cooperative conservation efforts being made in the Amur River Basin and the Sea of Okhosk. Dr. Stephen Blank analyzed the existing challenges to such cooperation efforts and discussed the broader implications of energy and environmental cooperation for regional security.

This Asia Pacific Security Seminar was co-sponsored by the Hokkaido University Global COE Program: Reshaping Japan's Border Studies .

Yasunori Hanamatsu is a visiting scholar at the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies at George Washington University. His current research focuses on legal, political and institutional aspects of environmental issues in Northeast Asia, in particular, the conservation of the Amur-Okhotsk ecosystem. Dr. Hanamatsu previously was part of a joint research project, called “Human Activities in Northeastern Asia and Their Impact on Biological Productivity in North Pacific Ocean,” at the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature in Japan from 2005 - 2009. He is also a fellow of the International Training Program for Young Scholars (ITP) at the Slavic Research Center, Hokkaido University. Dr. Hanamatsu’s major publications include National Boundaries and the Fragmentation of Governance Systems: Amur-Okhotsk Ecosystem from the Legal and Political Perspective , with editors Taniguchi, M. and Shiraiwa, T., and The Dilemma of Boundaries: Toward a New Concept of Catchment (Springer, 2011).

Liu Xu is a research fellow at the Slavic Research Center, Hokkaido University, and is currently studying Russia’s energy policy and energy cooperation in Northeast Asia. He earned two bachelor’s degrees from Peking University, one in Russian Literature and the other in Economics, and has studied at Tsukuba University and Hokkaido University; Dr. Liu later received his Ph.D. from Hokkaido University. He is a regular writer for the opinion corner of the Economic Research Institute for Northeast Asia (ERINA) and has published papers related to Russia’s energy policy in academic journals and industry magazines in four languages: Japanese, Chinese, Russian and English. Dr. Liu has also presented at numerous international conferences.

Stephen Blank is a professor of Russian national security studies at the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College. He began teaching at the Strategic Studies Institute in 1989 and was Douglas MacArthur Professor of Research at the War College from 1998 - 2001. Dr. Blank has published over 700 articles and monographs on Soviet/Russian, US, Asian and European military and foreign policies, published or edited 15 books and has frequently testified before Congress on the abovementioned topics. His most recent book is Russo-Chinese Energy Relations: Politics in Command(London, Global Markets Briefing, 2006). Prior to his appointment at the War College, Dr. Blank was Associate Professor for Soviet Studies at the Center for Aerospace Doctrine, Research and Education of Air University at Maxwell Air Force Base. Dr. Blank's M.A. and Ph.D. are in Russian History from the University of Chicago.