The Genron NPO held the Asia Peace Conference on January 21, 2020, as a gathering of eighteen diplomacy and national security experts from four countries - Japan, the U.S., China, and the Republic of Korea (ROK) - all of whom share the goal of achieving peace in Northeast Asia, a region of structural instability.
Northeast Asia is currently facing much structural friction and tension in numerous hotspots around the region. In spite of this, bilateral relationships are becoming less stable, there are no mechanisms in place for trust-building on issues of national security, and there is no framework for the holding of multilateral discussion.
The Asia Peace Conference was launched in order to lower the potential for conflict in Northeast Asia as it faces it current instability, and to improve crisis management mechanisms designed to reduce the number of unintended incidents that can occur. It is also designed to help build a multilateral framework for sustained peace in the region. This is the first time this type of non-governmental, multilateral approach has ever been attempted.
The first Asia Peace Conference opened in the morning of January 21, and while it was host to some extremely intense discussion, attendees also managed to agree on many issues.
First, all participants expressed a concern regarding the lack of national security trust-building mechanisms and multilateral discussion frameworks to deal with the region's structural friction, tension, instable bilateral relationships and numerous hotspots.
In addition, all agreed to utilize the conference as a forum in which to engage in trust-building dialogue, and to begin working to improve regional crisis management mechanisms and lay the groundwork for a framework aimed at a stable peace for the future.
The risk of unintended clashes continues to rise throughout the region, so to combat this, participants reached a consensus on the need for countries to engage in greater interaction than ever before, and to create a stronger and more authoritative bilateral mechanism to prevent disputes from arising. In addition, all agreed that the Asia Peace Conference can serve as a means of engaging in periodic review of the crisis management situation in the region, and through such efforts, eventually help to build a framework that can be shared throughout the region.
It was decided that the principles for peace in Northeast Asia should be anti-war, anti-hegemony, and governed by law, and an announcement was made that the second Asia Peace Conference will be held next year. To prepare, further bilateral discussions on how to achieve peace based in these ideas will be conducted by representatives from Japan with their counterparts from China, the ROK, and the U.S.
The participants agreed to make the Asia Peace Conference an annual event, with the next to be held in January 2021.