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.

Families' escape from Japanese internment camp began historic resettlement saga
February will mark the 81st anniversary of a presidential order that changed the life trajectory of tens of thousands of Japanese Americans living on the West Coast, as well as for a small group of ...
Posted: January 26, 2023, 4:06 pm
As Global Regulators Grow Wary of Crypto, Japan Embraces Web3
With tight regulations already in place that helped insulate FTX Japan and its investors from heavy losses suffered elsewhere in the world, Japan is working on policy and guidelines for stablecoins, ...
Posted: January 26, 2023, 12:53 pm
Japan Embraces Web3 As Global Regulators Grow Wary of Crypto
While many other countries are standing still and shrugging their shoulders in the face of the cold wind, Japan is positioned to play a unique ...
Posted: January 26, 2023, 12:53 pm
Japan-inspired mansion in San Fernando Valley fetches $18M
Onin, created by architect Eran Gispan and designer Jae Omar, ranks as second-highest residential sale in Encino history.
Posted: January 26, 2023, 11:45 am
Japanese rocket launches radar spy satellite
IIA rocket launched a radar reconnaissance satellite to orbit for the Japanese government on Wednesday evening (Jan. 25).
Posted: January 26, 2023, 7:00 am
10 Japan Only Games That Deserve Localizations
From fighting games to JRPGs, there are many games deserving of localization that have never made their way out of Japan.
Posted: January 26, 2023, 6:31 am
A Battle With Japan During WWII Was the Largest in US Naval History
Naval battles are a thing of the past. The last massive engagement of two fleets was The Battle of Leyte Gulf between the U.S. Navy and Japanese Imperial Fleet. It is also the largest naval battle in ...
Posted: January 26, 2023, 6:00 am
Amid a Feverish Market for Her Prismatic Paintings, Japanese Art Dynamo Etsu Egami Is Keeping a Cool Head
Etsu Egami at work in her studio. Courtesy of the artist. It’s only a few weeks into 2023, but Etsu Egami can already confirm that it has been a great year. The 28-year-old artist just returned home ...
Posted: January 26, 2023, 2:54 am
Japan's Suzuki to invest $35 bln through 2030 in EVs
Suzuki Motor Corp will invest 4.5 trillion yen ($34.8 billion) through fiscal 2030 in research, development and capital spending to make battery electric vehicles (EVs), it said on Thursday.
Posted: January 26, 2023, 1:17 am
Milestones in Toyota's history under Akio Toyoda
Akio Toyoda, president and chief executive of Japan's Toyota Motor Corp for nearly 14 years, will resign from the top job in April to become chairman, handing over the reins to the company's top ...
Posted: January 26, 2023, 12:57 am
The Jōkyū War and the Migration of Surnames from Eastern to Western Japan
Morioka Hiroshi, a scholar who specializes in surname research, notes that while there are many instances of surname migration in Japanese history, the Jōkyū War triggered a mass exodus whose ...
Posted: January 19, 2023, 6:09 pm