Taking advantage of the occasion of the 41st Policy Plenary Meeting of the Council on East Asian Community (CEAC), which was held on July 22nd at the conference room of the Japan Forum on International Relations, the 1st CEAC-ISAC Joint Study Meeting cosponsored by CEAC and the International Academic Society for Asian Community (ISAC) was held. The topic of the Joint Study Meeting was "The East Asian Community-Building Entering its Second Stage." The Meeting was attended by 17 members of CEAC and 12 members of ISAC. Prof. SHINDO Eiichi, President of ISAC made a keynote report, which was followed by an active exchange of views among members of both CEAC and ISAC. The gist of Prof. Shindo's keynote report is as follows.
ASEAN has ever led the process of regional integration in East Asia taking its position in the driver's seat. For the past decade, however, the leading roles of the regional integration have been shifting gradually from "ASEAN+3" to "3+ASEAN", and also from "ASEAN-led model" to "Japan-China-ROK cooperated model" through the movements such as those of deepening of the Chiang Mai Initiative and of regularizing the meeting of Japan-China-ROK Summits. Hence, it could be said that the East Asian community building processes have entered the second stage.
The movements of regional integration in East Asia have been promoted by the emergence of common threats or risks as well as common interests which were brought about by the Information Technology Revolution in globalization. As for the common threats, the expansion of non-traditional security risks could be pointed out such as financial risk, environmental pollution, poverty and food crisis. Regarding the common interests, on the other hand, the growing economic interdependencies in the region have made East Asian countries require the enlargement and deepening of the free trade mechanism.
The reason why the East Asia community building processes have entered the second stage could be pointed out by the facts that each government of Japan, China and ROK has placed their diplomatic priorities on furthering the East Asian integration processes, and also that ASEAN moved towards the more active reinforcement of regional integration for the "ASEAN Community" through their closer cooperation with the Northeast Asian trilateral parties. Furthermore, the movements towards regional integration have progressed at those several levels such as the adoption of The Second Joint Statement on Regional Cooperation in East Asia at the ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Summit in 2007, the foundation of APT Cooperation Fund in 2008. Hence it could be properly said that the East Asian community building processes have been stepping into its second stage.
The last ASEAN Foreign Ministerial Meeting in Hanoi decided that they will invite the United States and Russia to participate as regular members of East Asia Summit (EAS). Any regional integration processes would tend to face with the difficulties soon or later if they lose their regional identity and interests based on their common risks. So far the regional integration process in East Asia has developed mainly in the socio-economic, trade and investment fields. However, the further regional integration could be accomplished only through a "Janus-faced double truck approach", namely from the views not only of socio-economic but also of military-security sides. All in all, the hegemonic military order with heavily financial capitalism would have to be replaced with the regional order based on sustainable development and production system for further integration in East Asia.