GPM Roundup: Japanese Defense Spending, The Global Water Crisis, and Booming Farmland.

Japan Slips into the Asian Arms Race
Japan’s Defense Ministry has indicated that it will ask for $2.1 billion in funding from a government stimulus package, a request that comes on the heels of a $1.1 billion budget increase that was announced last year. The increase marks the first time in 10 years that the Japanese government has boosted its defense budget, and it stands as further proof of deepening tensions throughout the Asia Pacific region.

Canada and the Global Water Crisis: A GPM Interview
In this exclusive interview with the Geopoliticalmonitor, FLOW Program Manager Nancy Goucher provides an overview of the pressing water issues facing Canada and the wider world, such as aquifer depletion, farming pressures, mass migration, and climate change.

Farmland has two important attributes that set it apart from most other investments. The first is obvious: its inelastic demand. Humans need food to survive, it’s just a question of what food they eat. Second are the various political and environmental factors that continue to whittle away at an already-finite supply of global farmland: factors like climate change, urbanization, farmland degradation, and erosion. According to the WWF, one-third of the world’s arable land has been destroyed since 1960 by erosion and other types of degradation. Though we’ve heard it all before that ‘they aren’t making any more land,’ it turns out that we are also good at ruining what little we have.

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