During 2012, power transitions or presidential elections occurred in North Korea, South Korea, China, Japan and the US.  More than one year on, the new leaders have failed to improve the environment for the coming decade.  Particularly in Japan, South Korea and the US, domestic political considerations and differing party views of roles and interests play large and sometimes defining roles in setting policy.  As US President Barak Obama began his second and last term and Chinese President Xi Jinping began his decade of leadership, South Koreans chose a new president and Japanese elected a new government.  It has been over two years since Kim Jung Un rose to power in North Korea after the death of his father, Kim Jung Il.

Along with trends in diplomacy and the clash of real interests, there has been a failure by leaders that has led to a rise in violence and instability in recent years in East Asia.  The need for visionary, skillful and realistic leadership is an urgent topic for discussion.  The role of political dynamics and political actors will be a central theme of AsiaEast in coming months and years.  Our discussions will address such themes directly and responsibly, and will feature extensive discussions with political figures and analysts.