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Cross-border population flows and policies in northeast Asia

Maurice D. Van Arsdol, Jr., Monterey Institute of International Studies
Tsuneo Akaha, Monterey Institute of International Studies
Brian Ettkin, Monterey Institute of International Studies
C. Stephen Lam, King's College London
Glenn Guarin, School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies, London

The large populations of the Northeast Asian countries magnify the consequences of state and human insecurity in the region. We consider how changes in cross-border population flows affect security in Northeast Asia. First, what migration trends and policies characterize Northeast Asian countries? Second, how do cross-border flows respond to or affect other changes in Northeast Asia? Third, what cross-border policy frameworks might enhance security in the region? Root obstacles to state and human security posed by cross-border flows are the fixed political positions of Northeast Asia governments. Proximate obstacles include population aging, particularly in Japan and South Korea, the low level of economic development and depopulation in the Russian Far East, the serious economic deterioration in North Korea, and lagging economic development and unemployment in rural China. Successful guidance of cross-border flows requires public-private sector coordination in developing effective multilateral governance frameworks for cross-border movement.

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Presented in Session 143: Trends of international migration flows