The dispute over the southernmost Kuril Islands—Etorofu/Iturup, Kunashiri/Kunashir, Shikotan and the Habomai Islands—have been a point of tension between Japan and Russia since their seizure by the Soviet Union in 1945. More than seventy years on, Russo-Japanese relations are still abnormal because of the enduring territorial dispute. Historical factors have largely prevented the issue from being settled. These include demography, mentalities, institutions, geography and economy, all of which incentivize hard-line policy positions over compromise. The first four factors promote continued deadlock, while economics in the form of petropolitics holds some hope for a solution.
Indonesia, one of the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters, is uniquely positioned to make substantial contributions to the fight against climate change. Despite its lackluster record on emissions, the country possesses vast potential to develop nearly every renewable energy source.
Human trafficking — a global scourge impacting an estimated 21 million people — generates close to $150 billion in annual profits. Now, the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, is using human trafficking and human smuggling, not only as a brutal terror tactic, but as a source of funding for its operations.