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[ 14 ] asia policy Pursuing Security in a Dynamic Northeast Asia Aaron L. Friedberg In November 2006 the National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) convened a two-day conference entitled “Pursuing Security in a Dynamic Northeast Asia” to mark the launch of its new Kenneth B. and Anne H.H. Pyle Center for Northeast Asian Studies. The Center is named in honor of NBR Founding President Ken Pyle and his wife, Anne. Professor Pyle is widely recognized as the leading American interpreter of modern Japanese foreign policy. His work is characterized by an extraordinary combination of depth and breadth; by a rich and sympathetic understanding of Japan, its culture, language, and history; and by a broad and comprehensive vision of that country’s changing role in the international system. Together with his wife, Anne, Professor Pyle has made significant contributions throughout his distinguished career as an institution builder, scholar, educator, and intellectual ambassador. The new Center aspires to follow their lead, both by supporting a comprehensive program of research on the dynamics of Northeast Asia and by building strong personal and institutional links between the United States and the countries of that vitally important region. Among the questions that the Pyle Center’s new research program will seek to address are the following: What forces will shape the evolution of Northeast Asia over the course of the coming decade and beyond? How will the states of the region relate to one another and how will the region as a whole interact with the rest of Asia and the world? What policies, programs, and institutions can increase the probability that Northeast Asia will remain peaceful, prosperous, and stable? There are no simple or obvious answers to these questions, nor is there a master historical analogy or political science theory capable of providing such answers. One reason the study of Northeast Asia is so interesting and so  The Pyle Center’s formal dedication program was held on November 17, 2006. NBR is grateful to the Russell Family Foundation and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation for providing initial seed funding for the Pyle Center. NBR would also like to thank the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership, and all the other foundations, companies, and individuals who supported the two-day conference and helped launch the Pyle Center. Aaron L. Friedberg is Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, where he has taught since 1987. He also serves as the Chairman of the Kenneth B. and Anne H.H. Pyle Center for Northeast Asian Studies Board of Counselors. From June 2003 to June 2005 he served as Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs and Director of Policy Planning in the office of the Vice President of the United States. He can be reached at . [ 15 ] roundtable • pursuing security in a dynamic northeast asia challenging is the sheer complexity, diversity, and fluidity of the region. These qualities are apparent in the nine essays that follow, all drawn from papers delivered at the Center’s inaugural conference. As a first step toward imposing a measure of order on a complex reality, I would suggest sorting the relevant issues into four categories: structure, societies, strategies, and shocks. Structure Thestructureofaninternationalsystemisdefinedbothbythedistribution of wealth and power among the units of which the system is comprised and by the nature of the interconnections among them. The most obvious and important questions about the distribution of power in Northeast Asia have to do with China. Will China continue to accumulate wealth and power at anything resembling recent rates—and if so, how will others in the region respond? There are questions as well about the trajectories of the other major regional powers. Japan has recently been experiencing a resurgence in economic dynamism and political confidence, but faces significant longterm internal and external challenges. In the past several years Russia, too, has enjoyed a partial economic recovery (thanks to higher energy prices) and is attempting to reassert itself as a regional—if not a global—power. Finally, the current American focus on the Middle East, and recent setbacks to U.S. policy there, have led to uncertainties about...


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