My Home, Your Nuclear Playground
Weekly Newsletters

My Home, Your Nuclear Playground



31 August 2023

This week, in honor of the International Day Against Nuclear Tests, we share a video by Bedi Racule on the legacy of nuclear testing in Bikini Atoll and what the consequences of nuclear tests look like on a personal level.

In addition, C. Uday Bhaskar considers the role that film can play in instigating positive change in nuclear issues and Kyoko Hatakeyama argues the need for confidence building measures as relations between China and Japan grow increasingly tense.

We also welcome Vijay Naidu to our network and highlight member activities and analysis on Australia’s foreign and defence policies, why Singapore should persist with its convening role, what the success of the Chandrayaan-3 means for India’s positioning in geopolitics, and more.

APLN warmly welcomes the latest member of our senior network:

  • Dr. Vijay Naidu (Fiji), Adjunct Professor in the disciplines of Development Studies and Governance in the School of Law and Social Sciences at the University of the South Pacific (USP).

See profiles of APLN’s newest members

See You Soon, Lagoon

In this video, Bedi Racule‘s poem, “See You Soon, Lagoon,” comes to life as she paints a beautiful and sad picture of the relationship between a woman from Bikini Atoll and her beloved lagoon, destroyed by the United States’ nuclear testing regime.

The woman in the poem mourns the loss of her ocean home and patiently waits for justice, the same way that many in the Pacific Islands do to this day. The video is a reminder of a shameful nuclear legacy in the Pacific and sends a powerful message: nuclear justice for Pacific Islands nations is long overdue.

This video is the third installment in a series produced by the winners of APLN’s 2022 Pacific Islands Creative Competition on “Nuclear Weapons and the Climate Crisis.” The purpose of the video series is to showcase each winner, their stories, and the detrimental impact that nuclear weapons policies, practices, and climate change have had on their respective communities.

Watch the video

In a new report, Kyoko Hatakeyama, Professor of International Relations at the University of Niigata Prefecture, considers the increasingly tense Sino-Japanese relationship in the East China Sea and details how confidence building measures (CBMs) can lower the risk of large-scale military conflict and promote cooperation between the two Asian nations. She analyzes an existing China-Japan CBM, the 2018 Maritime and Air Communication Mechanism, and identifies where it could improve to become a more effective mechanism for crisis avoidance.

Read the special report

Cinematic catalysts: Can ‘Oppenheimer’ shape nuclear policy?

The release of Oppenheimer has set the media and public ablaze with op-eds, editorials, and discussions about the dawn of the atomic age. In this week’s APLN column in the Korea Times, C. Uday Bhaskar reflects on how to harness this excitement to create meaningful change.

Bhaskar considers another film that influenced nuclear policies — 1983’s “The Day After,” whose depiction of a catastrophic nuclear war between the United States and the USSR left a lasting impression on President Ronald Reagan. Bhaskar concludes that while Oppenheimer may not have an impact on today’s nuclear policy, it has the power to ignite important conversations about the danger of nuclear weapons and inspire a new generation to push for change.

Read the Korea Times Column

APLN has over 140 members from 22 countries in the Asia-Pacific.
Each week we feature their latest contributions
to global and regional security debates.

See all member activities

Upcoming Event: Nuclear Risks in the Indo-Pacific

Join Asialink Chair and former Australian Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Peter Varghese AO in conversation with the Hon. Gareth Evans, former Minister of Foreign Affairs for Australia, about the current standing of Australian nuclear diplomacy and the nuclear environment in the Indo-Pacific.

The speakers will provide an overview of the history of nuclear armed states, current global nuclear risks, and implications for Australia as a country of the region and what, if anything it might be able to do to help manage these risks.

Sign up for the event





A compelling voice for rethinking Australia’s national security

Gareth Evans, former Minister of Foreign Affairs for Australia, reviewed Sam Roggeveen’s new book The Echidna Strategy for The Interpreter. While he does not agree with all of Roggeveen’s points, Evans praises the book’s meticulous analysis of the national interests, capacity, and will of the United States, Australia, and China.

It isn’t always smooth sailing, but here’s why Singapore should persist with its dialogue convenor role

Sarah Teo, Assistant Professor in the Regional Security Architecture Programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), wrote for Today Online where she highlighted Singapore’s crucial role in facilitating dialogue among countries amid unstable major power relations and an increasingly uncertain environment for smaller states.

Australia, US, China and the Pacific: Cooperation or Competition

John Tilemann, APLN Senior Associate Fellow, published a report with the New Zealand Centre for Global Studies on the rise of China as a global superpower, conflicting perspectives in the age of tension, and the nuclear threat landscape in the Asia-Pacific.

At Par With China, Better Than Russia – How Chandrayaan-3 May Be Seen in the World

Shyam Saran, former Indian Foreign Secretary, wrote in The Indian Express about how the success of India’s Chandrayaan-3 moon rover boosts India’s profile and standing among its BRICS partners and enhances the influence of the BRICS itself as a grouping of economically and technologically capable states who are now peers among the constituency of developing countries.

Will India become an ally of the US?

Kishore Mahbubani, Distinguished Fellow at the Asia Research Institute, was interviewed by the Global Times for their “1 Minute Insights” series. In the short clip, Mahbubani explains that while India and the United States will cooperate in many areas, India’s primary desire is to emerge as an independent pole in a multipolar world.

Gender audit encourages dialogue at University of Kashmir workshop

Meenakshi Gopinath, Director of WISCOMP, hosted a two-day workshop on ‘Gender Audit Training’ in a joint effort with the Centre for Women’s Studies and Research at the University of Kashmir. Dr. Gopinath said WISCOMP’s aim is to promote women to positions of leadership in all aspects of life including peace, security and international affairs.

BRICS development bank to play bigger role in Global South

Chen Dongxiao, President of the Shanghai Institute of International Studies, spoke with China Daily and said the oversimplified and confrontational narratives in the international community undermine global cooperation and development. He argued that multilateral banks, like the NDB, should play a bigger role to help achieve sustainable development goals, especially among developing countries, and approach financing from a global perspective.

Growth and Incoherence: BRICS 2023 Summit in South Africa

Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan, Director of the Centre for Security, Strategy and Technology (CSST) at the Observer Research Foundation, wrote for The Diplomat on how the recent BRICS Summit in Johannesburg revealed the internal discord amongst the BRICS countries. She raised concerns that the planned expansion of the grouping in 2024 would introduce more divergent interests with no centralizing theme. 

Pakistani senator addresses BRICS seminar in Johannesburg

Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Senator from Islamabad Capital Territory, became the first Pakistani official to address the summit of BRICS, a group of major emerging economies, in Johannesburg.

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