A sustainable South Korea should stick with nuclear

A fire drill is underway at the Weolseong Nuclear Power Complex in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province, on 28 October 2014. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Sanghyun Hong, University of Adelaide

Since the 1970s, nuclear power has provided cheap, stable and clean electricity that has fuelled South Korea’s rapid economic growth. Currently, 23 nuclear power plants with a total capacity of 21 gigawatts of electric energy are generating 27 per cent of South Korea’s total electricity needs. The wholesale price of nuclear power, US$52 per megawatt hour (MWh) in 2014, is still cheaper than coal (US$61/MWh) without any form of carbon pricing. Read more…

Northeast Asia must cast off the shackles of history

A group of Japanese lawmakers from various parties visits Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo on 22 April 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Tsuneo Akaha, MIIS

The 70th anniversary of the end of the World War II offers an opportunity for Northeast Asia to reflect on the lessons learnt from the past and to forge a vision for a peaceful and prosperous future.

The Northeast Asian countries should encourage domestic debate on the facts of history and their moral implications for today. Read more…

Rebuilding Nepal requires a long-term vision

Nepalese earthquake survivors build a makeshift shelter at a devastated area in Bungamati, Nepal, 14 May 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Sujeev Shakya, Nepal Economic Forum

It only lasted for 20 seconds, but the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that rocked Nepal at midday on 25 April 2015 has impacted the country on an unprecedented scale. More than 8000 Nepalese were killed. Twice as many were injured. Many people have been left homeless after their houses were destroyed. Others, scared of aftershocks, now sleep under the open sky. Read more…

Securing peace in southern Thailand

A burnt school building and stores after they were allegedly set on fire by suspected separatist militants in Thailand's restive southern province of Narathiwat on 12 May, 2014. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Rungrawee Chalermsripinyorat, ANU

On 10 April, a car bomb exploded in the underground car park of a shopping mall on the southern resort island of Samui in Thailand. The incident saw 10 people injured and damage to several cars. Police have issued arrest warrants for at least six individuals. How will this attack impact the stalled peace process in southern Thailand? Read more…

Forty years on, national reconciliation eludes Vietnam

A float depicting a tank that crashed through the gate of the presidential palace marking "the fall of Saigon" takes part in a parade celebrating the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, 30 April 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Toan Le, Monash University

There are certain dates that hold special significance to particular communities of people. For the Vietnamese population, and the many men and women who served in the Vietnam War, 30 April is an unforgettable date. In Vietnam, the day is celebrated as a national holiday, as it marks the liberation of the Vietnamese people from the yoke of colonial rule with the fall of Saigon in 1975. Read more…

Missing the peace in Muslim Mindanao

Filipino Muslims pray at a mosque prior to a rally for peace in Mindanao, in Manila, Philippines, 6 February 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Patricio Abinales, University of Hawaii

There is still no peace in Muslim Mindanao. A recent agreement to grant the region autonomy had support but is now in limbo after 44 policemen were killed in the region on 25 January 2015. So why has peace eluded Mindanao for so long? Read more…

Why US military bases divide Okinawa and mainland Japan

Protesters gather holding placards reading 'NO to the new base in Henoko!' during a demonstration against the construction of a new US military base in an environmentally sensitive part of the island in Nago city, Okinawa island on 28 April 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Shino Hateruma, Waseda University

Okinawa is trapped in a dilemma regarding US military bases in the prefecture. For the past 70 years, the bases have helped deter external attacks on Japan, including on Okinawa. But with over 25,000 US military personnel in Okinawa, and about 18 per cent of its land area being used by the US military, the presence of the bases endangers the lives and properties of the local people. Read more…