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Abe’s Dream Constitution: End of the Security Dilemma or Something More?

This year marks the 70th anniversary of Japan’s post-war constitution, in effect since 1947. Rather than celebrate the success of this constitution, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shocked Japan and its neighboring countries by making a bold promise to revise Japan’s constitution. Abe chose the year 2020 as a goal for implementing the new …

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Caging the Russian Bear – are NATO and the EU playing a dangerous game?

This article is a part of The Perspective’s Open Mind Theme week. The aim of this week is to broaden perspectives and reveal new angles of subjects you may have thought were crystal clear. The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of The Perspective or the Association of Foreign Affairs …

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Three Little Baltic States and The Big Bad Wolf

It goes without saying that Russia’s disputed military actions in Crimea and eastern Ukraine have given Europe’s eastern states something of a scare. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have been especially uneasy about Moscow’s intentions and fear that they might be next. The Baltic States are in a sensitive geographical position, …

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Trump, Tillerson & ExxonMobil: Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy

A man with no government experience, Rex Tillerson is not your average choice for Secretary of State. But this isn’t your average President. Despite question marks over Tillerson’s diplomatic credentials, he is undeniably a shrewd operator. He was at the helm of the sixth largest company in the world, which …

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US Military Presence in Japan: a Paradox between Local and National Security

For many governments, finding a balance between different groups of interest is a difficult task. This is especially the case for Japanese government, which has to deal with American military presence in Okinawa. On the one hand, local residents want the Americans to go, as Americans are perceived to threaten …

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Fear & Loathing in the EU

Imagine you are Hunter S. Thompson, dug up from the grave to write one last novel on the current state of Europe. Now, of course, you are not prepared for this assignment – no doubt looking terribly pale and in need of an energy drink or 20 just to bring you back to life …

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2016: Year of the drama for North Korea

North Korea in 2016 has kept the world busy, with the recent hydrogen bomb and long-range ballistic missile testing, plus a satellite launch, depending on which Korea you ask. They have also broken several UN resolutions by this launch, which resulted in Japan (within minutes after the launch) had their defence ministry …

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Turkey’s role in the Middle East – The return of the Ottomans or just a merchant of death?

Since the beginning of the fighting in Syria in 2011, Turkey has been determined to remove the government of Bashar al-Assad. The explicit goal was to install a Sunni led government in Damascus. This in turn implied a departure from the “zero problems with neighbours” policy doctrine in Turkey, dating …

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Is the Syrian conflict ripe for peace?

The Syrian civil war began in 2011 after pro-democracy protesters took to the streets of Damascus. These dissenters were not met well by the Syrian regime, which responded with violence. The pro-democracy movement grew and the Syrian regime retaliated further by deploying the army to attack civilians. The current round …

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Politics in Outer Space – how Space Debris Removal Replaced Science Fiction

What weighs 2 300 tons, travels at an average speed of 27 000 km/h, and is becoming a growing concern for the international community? Answer: the space debris in the so called Low Earth Orbits. Dead satellites, old rocket boosters, pieces of destroyed spacecrafts and the like is what constitutes …

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