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Economic and Environmental Risks in Abe’s Energy Investments in Russia

In 2019, Japan’s involvement in the Russian energy sector increased significantly, most notably with the purchase by a Japanese consortium of a 10% stake in Russia’s Arctic LNG-2 project. The Abe administration evidently hopes that these new investments will bring benefits, both in terms of energy economics, and as a means of furthering Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ambition to settle Japan’s territorial dispute with Russia. In both respects, the Japanese leadership risks disappointment.

Healthcare Worker Shortage a Silent Crisis

The World Health Organization estimates that there will be a shortage of 18 million healthcare workers by 2030. This equates to a 20% gap in the global capacity to provide healthcare services. Japan, which is already grappling with an aging society and its attendant problems, is at the forefront of this crisis.

Silent Autumns: Pesticides Push Japan’s Iconic Red Dragonfly to Extinction

The mesmerizing sight of the aki-akane, meaning ‘autumn red’ dragonfly, is a traditional symbol of autumn in Japan’s rice farming landscape. However, the species has been rapidly disappearing in recent years and has now nearly vanished over most of Japan. The reason, according to scientists, is the increased use in rice farming of a class of broad-spectrum insecticides that have been the subject of bans in the European Union and China.