In 1603, a Tokugawa shogunate (military dictatorship) ushered in a long period of isolation from foreign influence in order to secure its power. For more than two centuries this policy enabled Japan to enjoy stability and a flowering of its indigenous culture.

Following the Treaty of Kanagawa with the US in 1854, Japan opened its ports and began to intensively modernize and industrialize. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Japan became a regional power that was able to defeat the forces of both China and Russia. It occupied Korea, Formosa (Taiwan), and southern Sakhalin Island.

In 1931-32 Japan occupied Manchuria, and in 1937 it launched a full-scale invasion of China. Japan attacked US forces in 1941 – triggering America’s entry into World War II – and soon occupied much of East and Southeast Asia.

After its defeat in World War II, Japan recovered to become an economic power and a staunch ally of the US. While the emperor retains his throne as a symbol of national unity, elected politicians – with heavy input from bureaucrats and business executives – wield actual decision-making power.

The economy experienced a major slowdown starting in the 1990s following three decades of unprecedented growth, but Japan still remains a major economic power, both in Asia and globally. In January 2009, Japan assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2009-10 term.

Japan Sent Rare Warning to Residents to Shelter From North Korean Missile
Bloomberg Daybreak Asia. Live from New York and Hong Kong, bringing you the essential stories from the close of the U.S. markets to the open of trading across Asia. Live market coverage co-anchored ...
Posted: October 3, 2022, 4:14 pm
Swallows star Murakami makes home run history
After 20 homerless days, Munetaka Murakami has made history. On Monday, Murakami, a 22-year-old third baseman playing for the Tokyo Yakult Swallows, slugged his 56th home run of the year. With the ...
Posted: October 3, 2022, 10:01 am
Munetaka Murakami breaks NPB home run record for Japanese-born players in final game of regular season
Yankees slugger Aaron Judge is not the only player to make a run at single-season home run history in 2022. Monday in Japan, Munetaka Murakami of the Tokyo Yakult Swallows swatted his 56th home run of ...
Posted: October 3, 2022, 8:07 am
How a promise helped a Belfast doctor survive a World War II Japanese POW camp
The TG4 documentary “Litir Ghrá ón Dara Cogadh Domhanda” tells the inspiring story of how a young Belfast doctor, Frank Murray, survived a Japanese POW camp during WWII and kept a promise to his ...
Posted: October 3, 2022, 3:05 am
Joanna Shelton: Back to Japan
I’ll travel to Japan with University of Montana’s Mansfield Center, my first trip there since 2018. I first visited Japan in 1980 as a young U.S.
Posted: October 2, 2022, 6:00 am
Japanese Wrestling Legend Antonio Inoki Dead At 79
Antonio Inoki, one of the most influential figures in the history of Japanese professional wrestling, passed away on Saturday at the age of 79.
Posted: September 30, 2022, 7:49 pm
San Francisco Japanese tea garden's iconic 107-year-old pagoda restored
Following a two-year restoration project, the Japanese Tea Garden's towering red pagoda in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park has been officially revived to its full glory, 107 years after its ...
Posted: September 30, 2022, 11:33 am
History Overshadows Japan-South Korea Rapprochement
But there is more to this history on Japan’s side as well. Japan’s efforts to deal with the past got off to a bad start soon after World War II. The U.S. occupation forces quickly absolved ...
Posted: September 29, 2022, 10:04 am
Grading Japan’s New High School History Course
If more teachers take on the compulsory topic for the next academic year, as well as electives on exploring Japanese and world history, forward-thinking practices will spread, along with this new ...
Posted: September 28, 2022, 7:08 pm
Abe's militaristic funeral captures Japan's tense mood
For all the heated arguments ahead of the controversial state funeral of assassinated former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe — both for and against — it was the images of ...
Posted: September 27, 2022, 6:07 pm
History of Japan's intervention in currency markets
TOKYO, Sept 22 (Reuters) - Japan intervened in the currency market on Thursday for the first time since 1998 to shore up the battered yen, in the wake of the central bank's decision to maintain ...
Posted: September 22, 2022, 4:03 am