Japan Fast Facts | CNN



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This is Japan, a country of islands off the east coast of mainland Asia.

(From the CIA World Fact Book)
Zone: 377,915 square km

Population: 124,214,766 (2022 estimate)

Average age: 48.6 years (2020 estimate)

Capital: Tokyo

Ethnic groups: Japanese 97.9%, Chinese 0.6%, Korean 0.4%, other 1.1%

Religion: Shintoism 70.5%, Buddhism 67.2%, Christianity 1.5%, other 5.9% (Many practice Shintoism and Buddhism)

Unemployment: 2.36% (2019 estimate)

Japan is a parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarchy.

Four large islands: Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu, cover about 98% of the country’s land area.

Japanese society dates back to the Jomon period around 300 Ka.

After the post-World War II economic boom, Japan has been in stagnation and deflation since the 1990s.

1185-mid 1800 – Japan is governed by a feudal system of shoguns (military commanders); The emperors of Japan were idolaters.

1868 – The Meiji Restoration, when Japan returned to direct imperial rule beginning around 660 AD.

1868-1890 – Japan’s modernization, the formation of political parties, the national assembly, the cabinet and the constitution.

1894-1895 – China and Japan fight a nine-month war. Japan wins, China gives up Taiwan.

1904 – Russia and Japan go to war. By 1905 the war is over, Japan has won.

1914-1918 – During the First World War, Japan joins the Allies and at the end of the war wins the territories of the Pacific Ocean.

July 1937 – Japan invades China. The conflict continues into World War II, ending in 1945 with the defeat of Japan.

December 7, 1941 – Japan attacks Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, hoping to destroy the US Pacific Fleet.

[August61945-[1945ekoabuztuaren6a-The first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.

[August91945-[1945ekoabuztuaren9a- A second atomic bomb is dropped on Nagasaki.

[August141945-[1945ekoabuztuaren14a-VJ day Japan agrees to end the war.

[September21945-[1945ekoirailaren2a- Japan signs formal surrender aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.

[1945-1952-[1945-1952-The Japanese Occupation. The country is under the control of the Allies, the United States, Great Britain, China and the Soviet Union.

1956 – It joins the United Nations.

1964 – The Summer Olympics are organized in Tokyo.

1972 – The Winter Olympics are held in Sapporo, Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan.

January 7, 1989 – Akihito will become emperor after Hirohito’s death.

1993 – Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono issues a statement acknowledging Japan’s responsibility before and during World War II and extending “his sincere apologies and regrets.”

January 1995 – An earthquake of magnitude 6.9 has occurred in Kobe, killing 5,502 people and injuring 36,896.

March 1995 – A religious cult spreads sarin, a nerve gas, in the Tokyo subway. Twelve people have died and more than 5,000 are sick.

1998 – Nagano hosts the Winter Olympics.

2002 – It organizes the World Cup together with South Korea.

2006 – Parliament has approved the first defense ministry since the Second World War.

March 11, 2011 – A magnitude 9.1 earthquake struck 231 kilometers northeast of Tokyo. The earthquake causes a tsunami with 30 meter waves that damage several nuclear reactors in the area. The total number of confirmed deaths and disappearances is over 22,000 (almost 20,000 dead and 2,500 missing). (Source: Japan Fire and Disaster Management Agency)

April 2012 – Shintaro Ishihara, the governor of Tokyo, has launched an online appeal fund to buy a group of islands in the East China Sea claimed by Japan, China and Taiwan. The islands, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, are at the heart of a bitter diplomatic dispute between Japan and China.

September 7, 2013 – Tokyo has been chosen by the International Olympic Committee to host the 2020 Summer Games.

July 1, 2014 – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announces that his Cabinet has approved a constitutionally liberal defense policy, allowing Japan to participate in the defense of its allies. Previously, the Japan Self-Defense Forces (SDF) could only operate if Japan itself was directly threatened.

December 14, 2014 – In Japan’s parliamentary elections, exit polls show Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party winning. The win gives Abe four more years to implement policies aimed at reviving Japan’s economy by flooding the market with cash, encouraging corporations to create more jobs and boosting government spending.

September 19, 2015 – Japan’s upper house of parliament has approved controversial bills allowing the country’s military to engage in combat overseas in limited circumstances – a major shift after seven decades of pacifism. The 148-90 vote is the final hurdle for the measures, which will take roughly six months to go into effect.

December 28, 2015 – Japan and South Korea have announced that they have reached an agreement on the issue of “comfort women”, a term used to describe sex slaves used by the Japanese military during World War II. Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said his government would donate ¥1 trillion ($8.3 million) to a fund to help those who suffered.

June 9, 2017 – Japan’s Parliament has passed a historic bill that would allow Emperor Akihito to become the first Japanese monarch to abdicate in 200 years.

December 1, 2017 – Abe announces that Emperor Akihito will abdicate on April 30, 2019. Crown Prince Naruhito, who has already taken over some of his father’s duties, will take over on May 1, 2019, becoming the 126th emperor to ascend the Chrysanthemum Throne of Japan.

July 2018 – At least 220 people have died as heavy rains trigger floods and landslides across southwestern Japan (source: Japan Fire and Disaster Management Agency). It is one of the deadliest natural disasters to hit the country since the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

April 30, 2019 – Emperor Akihito formally abdicates in a ceremony in Tokyo. Akihito will now be known as Emperor Emeritus. The next day, Crown Prince Naruhito ascends the throne of Chrysanthemum. Naruhito’s ascension marks the beginning of the “Reiwa” era.

July 18, 2019 – At least 34 people have died after a man set fire to a famous animation studio in Kyoto. The suspect, Shinji Aoba, is injured in the attack. This is the worst mass killing in the country in almost 20 years.

July 22, 2019 – Abe has claimed victory in Japan’s national election, with polls showing his party has won the most seats in the upper house of Parliament.

November 23, 2019 – Pope Francis begins a four-day tour of Japan. This trip is only the second visit of the pope to Japan and the first in almost four decades.

March 24, 2020 – Abe and the IOC agree to postpone the Olympic Games to 2021, due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. It has also been announced that the event will be renamed Tokyo 2020, despite the delay.

July 29, 2020 – A Japanese court recognizes dozens of victims of radioactive “black rain” as survivors of the Hiroshima atomic bombing, paving the way for medical benefits just days before the 75th anniversary of the attack.

August 28, 2020 – Abe has resigned as prime minister, citing health reasons.

September 16, 2020 – Yoshihide Suga is elected Prime Minister after a vote in the country’s parliament.

October 4, 2021 – Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) leader Kishida will take over as the country’s new prime minister.

July 8, 2022 – Abe Naran has died after being shot at a campaign speech.

September 22, 2022 – Marking a major policy shift, Kishida has announced that Japan is unwinding its Covid-19 travel restrictions and opening its doors to mass tourism. “We will raise the ceiling on people entering Japan, lift the ban on individual travel and lift the ban on visa-free travel.”