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2014 International Sea Lines of Communication Academic Conference, R.O.C.
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History Of The International SLOC Group

Reference:The International SLOC Group

The antecedents of the Group lie in a conference held in Taipei in 1979. The purpose of that conference was to promote understanding and cooperation among the nations of northeast Asia, and scholars from Taipei, Japan, South Korea and the United States attended. A paper presented by Vice Admiral Kenichi Kitamura (JMSDF) stressed the importance of cooperation in protecting the sea lines of communication (SLOCs) in the Western Pacific, and there developed a consensus among the leaders of the delegations attending that there should be future conferences to pursue the important issue of preserving security of the SLOCs.

The subject of SLOC defense came up again at a four nation parliamentary conference on Asian and Western Pacific security, held in Washington DC in January 1980; at this conference, Dr Han Lih-wu from Taipei repeated his earlier proposal to have SLOC study groups formed in each of the four nations. The other senior delegates: the Hon. Shin Kanemaru of Japan, the Hon Min Kwan Shik of South Korea, and Ambassador U Alexis Johnson and General Richard G Stilwell of the United States, enthusiastically agreed; with Shik committing the Asian Institute of Public Policy in Seoul and Kanemaru committing the Center for Strategic Studies in Tokyo to the project.

Discussions and plans began in late 1980 and early 1981 to host an international SLOC conference in 1981, preferably in the United States; the conference was held in San Francisco in September 1982. At the conclusion of the inaugural conference, the Japanese delegates agreed to hold the second conference in Tokyo in 1983. For the 1983 conference, Japan proposed that participation be expanded from the original four nations to include Australia and the countries of Southeast Asia (and from ASEAN, representatives from Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand attended). Subsequent conferences were held in Singapore (1985), Taipei (1986), Seoul (1987), and Melbourne (1988). At the Singapore conference, there were attendees for the first time from New Zealand, Indonesia and the Philippines. At the Taipei conference, nations represented included Jordan, Palau and Saudi Arabia, and at the Seoul conference, a representative from India attended. Canada attends regularly and a representative from the United Kingdom occasionally. China has been invited to attend several conferences but has yet to accept. Conferences have been held on a roughly biennial basis in various locations throughout the Asia-Pacific region: San Francisco (1982), Tokyo (1983), Singapore (1985), Taipei (1986), Seoul (1987), Melbourne (1988), Washington (1990), Bali (1993), Kuala Lumpur (1994), Taipei (1996), Tokyo (1997), Seoul (1999), Canberra (2001), Honolulu (2004), Taipei (2006), and New Delhi (2011). They are hosted in most cases by a research institute or centre in the host nation.

The International SLOC Group is now transitioning to its third generation of participants with a renewed focus on research and publication.

2014 International Sea Lines of Communication Academic Conference, R.O.C.