Far East

Far East
Far east1.png
Location of the Far East, geographically defined
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese遠東
Simplified Chinese远东
Literal meaningFar East
Burmese name
Burmeseအရှေ့ဖျား ဒေသ
IPA[ʔəʃḛbjá dèθa̰]
Vietnamese name
Vietnamese alphabetViễn Đông
Chữ Hán
Thai name
Tawan-oak klai
Korean name
Mongolian name
Mongolian CyrillicAls Dornod
Japanese name
Malay name
Malayتيمور جاوء
Timur Jauh
Indonesian name
IndonesianTimur Jauh
Filipino name
TagalogSilanganan (poetic)
Malayong Silangan (literal)
Portuguese name
PortugueseExtremo Oriente
Russian name
RussianДальний Восток
IPA: [ˈdalʲnʲɪj vɐˈstok]
RomanizationDál'niy Vostók

The Far East is a geographical term in English that usually refers to East Asia (including Northeast Asia), the Russian Far East (part of North Asia), and Southeast Asia.[1] South Asia is sometimes also included for economic and cultural reasons.[2] The term "Far East" came into use in European geopolitical discourse in the 12th century, denoting the Far East as the "farthest" of the three "easts", beyond the Near East and the Middle East. Likewise, in Qing Dynasty of the 19th and early 20th centuries the term "Tàixī (泰西)" – i.e. anything further west than the Arab world – was used to refer to the Western countries.

Since the 1960s, East Asia has become the most common term for the region in international mass media outlets.[3][4]


Prior to the colonial era, "Far East" referred to anything further east than the Middle East. In the 16th century, King John III of Portugal called India a "rich and interesting country in the Far East[5] (Extremo Oriente)." The term was popularized during the period of the British Empire as a blanket term for lands to the east of British India.

In pre-World War I European geopolitics, the Near East referred to the relatively nearby lands of the Ottoman Empire, the Middle East denoted northwestern South Asia and Central Asia, and the Far East meant countries along the western Pacific Ocean and eastern Indian Ocean. Many European languages have analogous terms, such as the French (Extrême-Orient), Spanish (Lejano Oriente), Portuguese (Extremo Oriente), German (Ferner Osten), Italian (Estremo Oriente), Polish (Daleki Wschód), Norwegian (Det fjerne Østen) and Dutch (Verre Oosten).