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Japan's role in nuclear nonproliferation, Obama's stance in Israel, intellectual property rights, economics of peacemaking, Australia and the refugee crisis

A round-up of global commentary for the June 8, 2015, weekly magazine.

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    Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif (center l.), US Secretary of State John Kerry (center r.), and European Union High Representative Federica Mogherini (2nd r.) arrive to deliver statements after nuclear talks at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne Thursday, April 2, 2015. Iran and world powers reached a framework on curbing Iran's nuclear program at marathon talks in Switzerland on Thursday that will allow further negotiations toward a final agreement.
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The Japan Times / Tokyo
Japan should contribute more to stopping nuclear proliferation
“This year’s [United Nations] conference [on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty] was held at a time when dark clouds hang over efforts to reduce nuclear arms,” states an editorial. “Although the United States and Russia signed the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) in April 2010 ... the confrontation between the two powers in the Ukraine crisis has prevented them from making progress in efforts to cut nuclear weapons.... While Japan is the only country that suffered nuclear attacks, it continues to rely on the U.S. nuclear umbrella.... This nation should ... consider how it can fulfill its ... responsibility as the sole victim of atomic bombings ... to reduce and eventually eradicate the dangers posed by nuclear weapons.”

The Jerusalem Post / Jerusalem
President Obama, stop blaming Israel for conflict in the Middle East
“For Jews and for Israelis there were a number of truly moving messages relayed by US President Barack Obama via The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg in a wide-ranging interview last [month],” states an editorial. “Unfortunately, the US president also placed the onus for the perpetuation of the ‘status quo’ in the West Bank and Gaza exclusively on Israel. He did not acknowledge that, no matter how much Israelis want to make peace, it takes the cooperation of both sides. And Palestinians have been severely deficient when it comes to basic goodwill.... Obama failed to acknowledge that it is Arab and Palestinian rejectionism that perpetuates the status quo, not a lack of willingness to compromise on the part of Israelis.”

China Daily / Beijing
Washington too high-handed toward intellectual property rights
“Faced with [the] increasing number of cases involving US trade secrets, Washington should first establish bilateral collaboration with other countries to crack down on illegal use of technologies developed in the US, or visa versa...,” writes Shen Dingli, international studies professor at Fudan University in Shanghai. “China and the US both are committed to protecting each other’s indigenous technological innovations through unilateral as well as bilateral cooperation.... Washington’s latest high-handed attitude toward disputes over [intellectual property rights] with Chinese nationals will ... neither help reactivate the suspended bilateral working group on cybersecurity nor boost bilateral academic interaction between the two sides.”

Today’s Zaman / Istanbul, Turkey
Economic alliances key to peacemaking
“As conflict destroys local economic linkages and unravels well-established supply chains, it is also demolishing the very foundation on which a peaceful and prosperous social order can be built...,” write coauthors Adeel Malik of the Economies of Muslim Societies at the University of Oxford, and Bassem Awadallah, former Jordanian minister of finance. “In today’s turbulent Middle East, economic cooperation is no longer a matter of choice; it has become a necessity. The well-recognized relationship between economic cooperation and political stability will be crucial for charting a way out of the current quagmire. Ignoring it is a recipe for continued violence and fragmentation.”

The Age / Melbourne, Australia
Australia’s need for a global outlook on refugee crisis
“Rather than encourage other countries to ape Australia’s punitive approach [toward refugees], it’s time to talk seriously about a regional framework that reconciles treating people humanely with putting smugglers and traffickers out of business,” writes political editor Michael Gordon. “Prime Minister [Tony Abbott] did not have to immediately join the United States and announce a willingness to help resettle those who are found to be refugees or assist in the repatriation of those whose protection claims are rejected. But he did have the opportunity to signal Australia’s willingness to explore all the issues, from the immediate challenge of rescuing those who face death at sea to addressing the reasons why people fled their homelands. Instead, his only message was for the domestic political audience and the people smugglers.”

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