COUNTRYAAH, Japan completed during the year the foreign
policy turnaround that began in 2014, which means that for
the first time since World War II, Japanese troops can be
deployed in combat abroad under certain circumstances.
Legislative changes that make this possible were adopted by
Parliament's lower house in July and by the upper house in
September. This means a reinterpretation of a constitutional
provision that prohibited the Japanese military from acting
abroad. Over time, exceptions have been made for
humanitarian efforts and participation in certain
peacekeeping operations. What the government calls
"collective self-defense" should be applicable, for example,
in a situation when an American ship is attacked or if a
North Korean nuclear missile is fired against the United
States. Then Japanese forces should be deployed to protect
The legislative changes have been driven by Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe, despite strong opposition among a large
part of the public, who often harbor pacifist views.
However, according to Abe, Japan should not go to war. The
efforts, if implemented, should be kept to a minimum and
only put in place if the resulting situation cannot be
This defense policy reorientation has been welcomed by
the US but has received strong criticism from the Chinese
side. However, in March, before the legislative amendments
were approved in Parliament, Japan and China held a
high-level meeting on security issues, the first of this
kind since 2011. The agenda included, among other things,
how communication between the countries should be improved
regarding the disputed Senkaku Islands (in Chinese Diaoyu
Islands) in the East China Sea. Incidents in the vicinity of
the islands are constantly occurring and have, on some
occasions, run the risk of armed intervention. In April,
Japan and the United States came up with new guidelines for
the countries' military cooperation that allows Japan to
participate more actively, in line with Prime Minister Abe's
In January, elections were held for the party leader post
in the Democratic Party (DPJ), the country's currently the
second largest party. Former Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada
was appointed to succeed Banri Kaieda, who resigned after
the December 2014 elections.
Japan defeated China in the war of 1894-95 and regained
Korea under its control. The Japanese victory in the
Japanese-Russian War of 1904-05 enabled Tokyo to annex the
southern part of the Sachalin Peninsula. Korea was annexed
in 1910, and Japan has since entered World War I as
Britain's allies, with whom in 1902 a treaty was signed. The
war enabled Japan to acquire some of the German possessions
in eastern Asia, including the Chinese area of Kiaochow.
In 1915, Japan forced China to accept its increasing
influence, expanded with new concessions in Manchuria and
Inner Mongolia. In 1918, Hara Takashi was at the head of the
first government, supported by a majority in parliament.
In 1921-22, Japan signed an agreement with the United
States on the restriction of fleets. It replaced the
agreement with England and established a form of power
equilibrium in the Pacific. A new agreement was later signed
at the Naval Conference in London, but the Japanese officers
felt that the government was overthrowing national security.
The international economic crisis of the 1930s was used
by militaristic Japanese to attack the civilian government
and to suggest that the country's problems could only be
solved through military conquest of new markets and raw
material suppliers. It was against this background that in
1931 Japanese officers occupied Manchuria - without the
permission of the Japanese government. Unable to bring the
officers under control, in February 1932 the government
reluctantly accepted the formation of the puppet state of
Manchukuo. Three months later, political leaders had to hand
over the government power to the militarists who retained it
until 1945. In 1940, Japan invaded Indochina to make its way
to Southeast Asia. The United States and England again
responded with a total embargo of Japanese goods.
The first condition for Japan's incredible economic
growth from the late 19th century until World War II was
that the country avoided being colonized by the West. In
this context, it was of great importance that the country
was poor in commodities and a small market compared to China
a little further to the west. The West, therefore, had no
immediate interest in colonizing Japan. The second condition
was that it colonized others. During this process, the
country inevitably collided with other imperialist countries
operating in the area: England, France, the Netherlands and
the United States. These started an economic boycott of
Japan, and that was the backdrop for the December 1941
attack on Pearl Harbor and the subsequent attacks on the
Philippines, Hong Kong and Malaysia. The Japanese leadership
hardly had any illusions about winning this war; It
preferred being beaten to war rather than being strangled
financially. There is little doubt that this attitude
towards war is related to the ancient Samurai spirit (bushide).
It goes against Western rationality, which states that one
should not go to war unless the "balance of power" is in
Japan capitulated on August 14, 1945 after the United
States on August 6 and 9 had thrown nuclear bombs over the
cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The country remained
occupied by North American troops 1945-52, ruled by the
Allied Command, SCAP under the command of General Douglas
MacArthur. SCAP forced Japan to abandon the Meiji
institution, abandon the claim of the emperor's divinity,
transfer government power to parliament, which would also
appoint a prime minister and establish an independent legal
Japanese - Tokyo
Toʹkyo, Tōkyō, until 1868 Edo, the capital of Japan and the
center of the world's largest metropolitan and industrial region; 581 km2,
9. 6 million residents (2018). The city comprises 23 districts; its center is on
the river plain west of Arakawa's outflow in the northwest of Tokyo Bay. It also
encompasses a more hilly area west of it as well as large port areas extracted
from the sea in the Gulf of Tokyo.
Tokyo Prefecture, 2,168 km2, 13. 8 million residents (2018), also
encompasses parts of the highlands in the west and has more than 15 residential
and industrial suburbs with over 100,000 residents
The Tokyo (Keihin) region, approximately 10,000 km2 (within a
radius of 50 km from central Tokyo), more than 37 million residents, encompasses
the entire Gulf of Tokyo, and it also includes parts of Kanagawa, Saitama and
Chiba prefectures. The region has more than 50 cities with more than 100,000
Central Tokyo has been increasingly officeized, and thus the number of
residents has been reduced. In the prefecture of Tokyo, too, there is a
stagnation in the population increase, and population growth is now taking place
in more peripheral parts of the region.
Every day, approximately 3 million people commute to workplaces in central
Tokyo, and 40 percent of them have more than three hours of travel per day.
During the latter part of the 1990s, a very extensive expansion took place in
the Gulf of Tokyo. There, a new center for high-tech industry is being built, as
well as a conference center and large recreational facilities. The bridges and
tunnels link the areas to existing parts of the Tokyo region. The extension of
the infrastructure also includes a bridge and tunnel connection across the bay.
The city of Tokyo is among other things. The Tokyo Stock Exchange is the
world's leading financial center, along with New York, and is home to the vast
majority of Japanese major corporations and banks. The city is also the
country's dominant center for education, publishing and the graphic industry.
Tokyo plays the same role in terms of wholesale and retail trade.
The major industries were relocated from central Tokyo in the 1970s, and the
metal and machinery industries are now mainly located in the port area and on
new land in the Gulf of Tokyo. Next to the graphic industry, the most important
industries are those that manufacture optical and electronic products (including
cameras) and pharmaceuticals. As a result of very high land prices in the city
center, companies in these industries are also moving research and manufacturing
to new areas.
Remaining in the center are mainly the large companies' head offices,
financial and insurance companies, specialty shops and entertainment facilities.
Tokyo prefecture accounts for more than 10 percent of the country's industrial
Tokyo's first metro line was opened in 1925; now 13 lines are in operation.
The subway network comprises 290 km of double tracks. During the worst of the
rush hour, there are special "infeers", which ensure that the cargo space is
utilized to the maximum and that the doors are closed. In addition to this
subway (the world's largest passenger number), the city also has more than 30
commuter trains, all of which pass through central Tokyo
A poison gas attack in the metro in 1995 exposed the vulnerability of this
advanced transport system and the dependence of urban society on it.