Northeast Asia

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A map of a part of Northeast Asia (not showing most of the Russian Far East.)

Northeast Asia and Northeastern Asia refers to the northeastern subregion of Asia.


Contrary to popular belief, the term "Northeast Asia" is a fairly new one. It was only introduced into academia during the 1930s by an American historian and political scientist by the name of Robert Kerner. Under Kerner's definition, "Northeast Asia" included the Mongolian Plateau, the Manchurian Plain, the Korean Peninsula, and the mountainous regions of Eastern Siberia, stretching from Lake Baikal in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east.[1]


The definition of Northeast Asia (though often used interchangeably with East Asia, but not always necessarily a one-to-one correspondence) is not static, but often changes according to the context in which it is discussed.

In geopolitics, the Council on Foreign Relations defines Northeast Asia as Japan, North Korea, and South Korea.[2] China and Russia are often included in geopolitical discussion of the region to the extent their interests and policies interact with those of Japan and Koreas. The Sea of Japan, the Yellow Sea, and sometimes the East China Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk are included in discussions of the region.

In common usage, however, the term Northeast Asia typically includes China.[3][4] In this form, the core countries constituting Northeast Asia are China, Japan, North Korea, and South Korea.[5]

The Economic Research Institute for Northeast Asia defines the region as consisting of "China, Japan, the Koreas, Mongolia, and eastern regions of the Russian Federation."[6] The World Bank refers to the "three major Northeast Asian economies, i.e. China, Japan, and South Korea", and also acknowledges a broader definition that embraces China (including Hong Kong, Macau), Taiwan, Mongolia, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, and the Russian Far East and Siberia.[7]

In biogeography, Northeast Asia generally refers to roughly the area spanning Japan, the Korean Peninsula, Northeast China, and the Russian Far East between Lake Baikal in Central Siberia and the Pacific Ocean. For broader spectrum of Northeast Asia, see.[8]


Northeast Asia is one of the most important economic regions of the world. It is also one of the major political centres and has significant influence on the international affairs.


Northeast Asia is mainly covered with temperate forest and grassland. There is a vast contrast with temperatures between summer and winter. It is also a mountainous area.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Narangoa 2014, p. 2.
  2. ^ "Northeast Asia." Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved on August 10, 2009.
  3. ^ "Northeast Asia dominates patent filing growth." Retrieved on August 8, 2001.
  4. ^ "Paper: Economic Integration in Northeast Asia." Retrieved on August 8, 2011.
  5. ^ Gilbet Rozman (2004), Northeast asia's stunted regionalism: bilateral distrust in the shadow of globalization. Cambridge University Press, pp. 3-4
  6. ^ Economic Research Institute for Northeast Asia (1999). Japan and Russia in Northeast Asia: Partners in the 21st Century. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 248. 
  7. ^ Aminian, Nathalie; Fung, K.C.; Ng, Francis. "Integration of Markets vs. Integration by Agreements" (PDF). Policy Research Working Paper. World Bank. 
  8. ^


Narangoa, Li (2014). Historical Atlas of Northeast Asia, 1590-2010: Korea, Manchuria, Mongolia, Eastern Siberia. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 9780231160704. 

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