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The tug of war

As the EU prepares to crank up its defence research programme, Eleni Courea examines a parallel push towards dual-use research in Japan.

If you want peace, prepare for war, a Roman general once said, and the idea has pervaded military thinking ever since. Now, in a remarkable turnaround in the EU vision and despite the Nobel peace prize proudly displayed in the Justus Lipsius Building in Brussels, the union is recasting itself as a proponent of that approach.

The launch of a proposal for a €5.5-billion European defence fund on 7 June, with €500 million a year earmarked for defence research after 2020, signals the change.

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