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KYODO (Japan)

SENDAI – Kenichi Yamamoto, 63, was driving through Tagajo prefecture, in northeastern Japan, when the March 11, 2011 tsunami struck. The former Toyota employee, a science and engineering professor at Ishinomaki University, narrowly escaped death. "His car immediately started filling with water, tipping it 45 degrees. He barely managed to escape by breaking one of the vehicle's windows by hand," reports Kyodo news agency.

After speaking with 16 other drivers who had also survived the tsunami by breaking their cars' windows, he began to think about designing a car that would be able to float "for long periods." Many of the survivors reported their cars flooding and sinking almost immediately after being struck by the giant wave.

Yamamoto's research team will conduct experiments by sinking cars in a pond, to see which components remain functional underwater and how to improve airtightness.

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Russia

How The War In Ukraine Could Overturn Everyone's Plans For The Arctic

Russia owns 60% of Arctic coastline and half of the region's population. In recent history, NATO has not been overly concerned with the defense of the Arctic region because the U.S. military has been focused on the Middle East. This is all changing since Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Photo of employees walking through frozen installations at the Utrenneye field in Murmansk Region, Russia.

At the Utrenneye field in Murmansk Region, Russia.

Kateryna Mola

-Analysis-

KYIV — As important as the Arctic is for studying climate control and ecology, various states have eyes on it for another reason: resources. Climate change has made the Arctic more accessible for mining, and much of that area is in the Russian Arctic. In order to exploit these potential natural resources, Russia turned to foreign investors and foreign technology, from both the West and China. The war in Ukraine is throwing all of that into question.

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Russia's invasion of Ukraine will have a profoundly devastating impact on the development of Russian Arctic infrastructure, as well as shipping routes through the Arctic. Western companies have left or are about to leave the market, and counter-sanctions threaten those who still cooperate with the Russians.

Given that Russia does not produce the sophisticated equipment to operate in such a complex region and soon will not even be able to repair the equipment it possesses, we can expect Russia's activity in the Arctic to slow down.

Yet, Vladimir Putin has continued to emphasize the Arctic as a priority region, and extended invitations to cooperate to both India and China.

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