• 东北亚的未来和平
  • Зүүн хойд Азийн энх тайван ирээдүй
  • 東北アジアにおける未来の平和
  • 동북아시아의 미래평화

Virtual dialogue series with Northeast Asian youth

Northeast Asia

Participants had diverse visions of the region. Some saw increased conflicts and fragmentation in the future due to frozen territorial disputes reactivated by present or new interests. Others imagined a cooperative Northeast Asia, with an overarching regional organization - like ASEAN and the European Union - with increased cooperation and shrinking traditional boundaries, symbolized by common school textbooks contributing to creating a shared identity. Participants insisted that attachment to their national sovereignty by Northeast Asian countries could be an obstacle in the way of increased regional cooperation. Regional convergence was rather based on a functional approach for more connectivity than on emotional “cultural” or identity-based ties.

Participants voiced interest in the role of education to build a shared narrative of Northeast Asian history, the EU was quoted as a source of inspiration. In addition to regional textbooks, youth highlighted the role of media, the development of movies and literature around regional issues or increased academic research and exchanges. Participants converged in their aspiration to pass along a shared identity for future generations, a topic worth exploring further during the next steps of the project. A stronger regional sense of belonging could be fostered through references to common values, such as filial piety (opposed to western individualism) or responsibility towards past and future generations.

Another subtopic concerned intra-regional communication in the region such as social media and citizen-based news channels. Participants discussed the future potential and impact of new communication platforms: it can strengthen dialogue as well as increasing division both within societies and generations.

Relations between generations

Participants expressed hope for increased communication and better interactions between generations in a desired future where dialogue has replaced blaming older generations for the consequences of their actions, especially on climate change. Participants believed that the respective roles and responsibilities of diverse generations would lead to positive policy changes.

In a context where, according to youth, high expectations are placed on them by the older generations, participants expressed hope that new technologies would help take care of older generations in the future. This would allow the notion of ‘care’ to evolve, as care services for older generations would become an opportunity for different generations to spend time with one another. Young people would thus become a driving force in dealing with the future, a notion regularly emphasized by the fear that the current generation would be blamed for leaving the concerns of today unsolved. However, some warned of the continuation of current systems which could exacerbate care systems for capitalistic and market-centric ends.


Participants were eager to explore how education in the region could become increasingly supranational, including through new technologies, paving the way for self-learning systems. Sophisticated translation systems were envisaged as a way of fostering transnational understanding and collective data sharing. Some imagined the creation of an “East Asia Union” responsible for designing textbooks and joint curricula; others the creation of a new school subject of cultural education, to deconstruct existing myths and “nationally focused” education systems. Participants emphasized the value of life-long learning, driven by curiosity as opposed to utilitarian ends. Finally, they shared the fear that education might be monopolized by privileged people in the future, instead of contributing to achieving social justice.

Employment and family

The economic situation in their respective countries and their career prospects ranked high in youth preoccupations. They raised concerns on the implications of an ageing society on the labour market while deploring the insufficient role played by private companies in addressing social issues and promoting social equity. They also hoped for more “child-friendly” societies in the future, with better childcare and work-life balance. As the role of families was explored, some imagined a shift towards cohabitation and single households, or even to family models defined by choice or friendships. Interestingly, participants insisted on the need to care for children of the future (even if not their own), hoping that today’s generation would be regarded as having rebuilt the world post-pandemic. Others imagined an increase in ethnically heterogeneous families prompted by migration into Northeast Asia.