Earlier this month, Abu Dhabi officially green-lighted construction of its first nuclear power plant, under the stewardship of the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), at the Braka site located just west of the Emirati capital. The historic construction marks the first nuclear power plant on the Arabian Peninsula and highlights how the oil-flush region has been forced to recalibrate its energy strategy in light of soaring demand for electricity. The move also acts as a soft hedge against the potential weaponization of Iran’s nuclear program, which is a primary security concern for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and its neighbors […]

Japan passed a law in June allowing the development of military space programs. In an email interview, Saadia M. Pekkanen, Job and Gertrud Tamaki professor at the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington, discussed the strategic trajectory of Japan’s space program.* WPR: What is the current scope of Japan’s space program, and what are its priority programs, both short-term and long-term? Saadia M. Pekkanen: Japan has sophisticated rocket and satellite capabilities that allow it to continue up the ladder in space technologies. It has advanced liquid and solid-fuel rockets, as well as multiple satellite programs. These […]

Ichiro Ozawa, who helped bring the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) to power three years ago, resigned from the party Monday over a proposed tax increase. In doing so, Ozawa and the 49 other members who followed him in the exodus weakened the parliamentary majority of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, who was trying to push through a bill that would double the national sales tax to 10 percent by 2015. Ian Neary, a professor of Japanese politics and director of the Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies at Oxford University, told Trend Lines that the cost of this latest round […]