Far East, in the most restricted sense, region comprising the countries of E Asia, namely China, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Mongolia, and Taiwan, and the easternmost portion of Russian Siberia (see Russian Far East). In a more extended sense, the term includes the countries of Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar, Brunei, and Indonesia. Historically, it denotes those portions of the Asian continent and archipelagoes farthest from the 19th cent. W European maritime powers.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.