Japan

Exploring the Path Towards a Nuclear-free World

This past February, the Second Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons was held in Nayarit, Mexico, as a follow-up to the first such conference held last year in Oslo, Norway. The conclusion reached by this conference, on the basis of scientific research, was that “no State or international organisation has the capacity to address or provide the short and long term humanitarian assistance and protection needed in case of a nuclear weapon explosion.”

Energies Clash in Tokyo Election

Tokyo, one of the largest and most energy-guzzling cities in the world, is set to hold elections for a new governor Feb. 9. Analysts say it could prove crucial in stopping the Japanese government from restarting some nuclear reactors this year.

Asia: The Ghosts of 1914

On the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I, Europe is at peace. There are no major border disputes. The countries form a unified economic bloc instead of a patchwork of jostling alliances.

When the Suicide Pilots Said Goodbye

They were known as the Kamikaze who swooped down on enemy ships with their bomb-laden planes – with the pilots inside. A museum here is now planning to register the last letters of Japan’s famed World War II suicide bombers as a Unesco Memory of the World document. The museum is calling these records “symbolic” of the country’s commitment to peace.

Japan Cuts Some Distance From Its Military Days

In a move that promises to further raise geopolitical tensions in the region, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a high-profile visit to the Yasukuni Shrine associated with 14 Class-A war criminals and dedicated to 2.5 million soldiers from the Japanese Imperial era.

Many More Snakes Than Ladders for U.S. Policy in 2014

If U.S. President Barack Obama conceived his foreign policy prospects for 2014 as a popular child’s board game, the snakes he will have to jump over significantly outnumber the ladders that can propel him to success.

Japan Bails Out on CO2 Emissions Target

Japan announced Friday that it will renege on its carbon emissions pledge, likely ending any hope global warming can be kept to 2.0 degrees C.

Not Fukushima Again

Two and a half years ago, Ayako Oga, now 30, found herself helpless as an earthquake and the tsunami it triggered hit Japan and crippled four reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. She and her husband were forced to abandon their village Ookuma Machi, barely five kilometres away.

Fukushima Fallout Hits Farmers

Life for Yoshihiro Watanabe and his wife Mutsuko, mushroom and rice farmers from Fukushima, has changed drastically since the disastrous meltdowns in the Dai Ichi nuclear plant that was hit by a massive tsunami after a 9.0 strong earthquake struck on Mar. 11, 2011.

Japan’s Uneven Conservation Efforts

Efforts to protect the critically endangered Iriomote wildcat, a spotted, shy, feral creature native to the tiny Iriomote Island that forms part of the Okinawa Prefecture in southern Japan, are becoming a highly respected model of conservation here, where the government’s uneven track record in protecting imperiled species has frustrated wildlife activists for decades.

A New Bretton Woods, to Prevent Future Crises?

Almost five years have passed since the global financial crisis, and the world economy is still reeling from its consequences. The main reason for this is the continued stagnation in developed countries, which is adversely affecting economic dynamism in other regions.

Agriculture Leans on Japanese Women

Yukako Harada, an energetic 29-year-old, is part of a small but determined band of women farmers working hard to revitalise Japan’s moribund agricultural sector, which is feeling the crunch of an ageing population and a flood of cheap imports.

U.N. Downplays Health Effects of Nuclear Radiation

The United Nations has come under criticism from medical experts and members of civil society for what these critics consider inaccurate statements about the effects of lingering radioactivity on local populations.

Greeting Whales, Not Eating Them

After a two-year break, Iceland has resumed its hunting of fin whales. But environmental campaigners outside of Iceland are doing their best to stop it.

Behind the Climate Finance Headlines

Developed countries report that they delivered more than 33 billion dollars in Fast Start Finance (known as FSF), beyond the pledges they made at COP 15 in Copenhagen in 2009. Recent analysis suggests that the funding delivered may have exceeded 38 billion dollars.  But that is not the whole story.

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