The Japan Times editors selected these world stories as the most important of 2015.

1 Paris terrorist attacks: Islamic State gunman and suicide bombers kill 130 people and injure scores throughout the French capital in November in attacks that send shock waves across Europe and the globe, showing the terrorist group’s increased reach.

2 Climate deal reached: In marathon negotiations, officials from 196 developed and developing countries reach a deal in December to limit their emissions to relatively safe levels of 2 degrees Celsius, with an aspiration of 1.5 degrees Celsius and regular reviews.

3 Syria refugee crisis: The bloody 4-year-old conflict in Syria spurs a massive surge in refugees and asylum seekers as scores risk their lives by embarking on a perilous trek across the Mediterranean into Europe.

4 South China Sea dispute: China’s massive land-reclamation projects in the disputed South China Sea prompt the United States Navy to conduct a so-called freedom of navigation operation around one of the man-made islets in the waters in October.

5 Russian intervention in Syria: Following a formal request by Damascus for help combating so-called extremists in the Syrian civil war, Russia begins airstrikes in the country in late September against militant groups opposed to the regime of President Bashar Assad.

6 Nepal earthquake: A huge 7.8-magnitude earthquake strikes an area near Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, in April, killing more than 8,800 and injuring almost three times as many in one of the mountainous country’s most deadly temblors ever recorded.

7 Iran nuclear deal: Iran and a group of world powers reach a deal on a framework for curbing Tehran’s nuclear program in return for the lifting of international sanctions against the country.

8 San Bernardino, California, mass shooting: A radicalized husband and wife duo gun down 14 people in a December attack in San Bernardino, California, after pledging allegiance to the Islamic State group. The attack — the deadliest mass shooting since the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting — highlights the issue of gun rights and America’s attempts to grapple with gun violence.

9 Islamic State’s war on history: The Islamic State group ransacks museums, looting scores of ancient artifacts while also blowing up archaeological sites it has labeled as “idolatrous” in both Syria and Iraq.

10 NASA finds evidence of water on Mars: New findings from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter provide the strongest evidence yet that liquid water flows intermittently on present-day Mars.


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