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Japan History

Think Tanks
Wikipedia.Legendary Emperor Jimmu (神武天皇, Jinmu-tennō)
A Paleolithic culture from around 30,000 BC constitutes the first known habitation of the islands of Japan.[16] This was followed from around 14,500 BC (the start of the Jōmon period) by a Mesolithic to Neolithic semi-sedentary hunter-gatherer culture characterized by pit dwelling and rudimentary agriculture.[17] Clay vessels from the period are among the oldest surviving examples of pottery.[18] From around 1000 BC, Yayoi people began to enter the archipelago from Kyushu, intermingling with the Jōmon;[19] the Yayoi period saw the introduction of practices including wet-rice farming,[20] a new style of pottery,[21] and metallurgy from China and Korea.[22] According to legend, Emperor Jimmu (grandson of Amaterasu) founded a kingdom in central Japan in 660 BC, beginning a continuous imperial line.[23]

Japan first appears in written history in the Chinese Book of Han, completed in 111 AD. Buddhism was introduced to Japan from Baekje (a Korean kingdom) in 552, but the development of Japanese Buddhism was primarily influenced by China.[24] Despite early resistance, Buddhism was promoted by the ruling class, including figures like Prince Shōtoku, and gained widespread acceptance beginning in the Asuka period (592–710).[25]

The far-reaching Taika Reforms in 645 nationalized all land in Japan, to be distributed equally among cultivators, and ordered the compilation of a household registry as the basis for a new system of taxation.[26] The Jinshin War of 672, a bloody conflict between Prince Ōama and his nephew Prince Ōtomo, became a major catalyst for further administrative reforms.[27] These reforms culminated with the promulgation of the Taihō Code, which consolidated existing statutes and established the structure of the central and subordinate local governments.[26] These legal reforms created the ritsuryō state, a system of Chinese-style centralized government that remained in place for half a millennium.[27]

The Nara period (710–784) marked the emergence of a Japanese state centered on the Imperial Court in Heijō-kyō (modern Nara). The period is characterized by the appearance of a nascent literary culture with the completion of the Kojiki (712) and Nihon Shoki (720), as well as the development of Buddhist-inspired artwork and architecture.[28][29] A smallpox epidemic in 735–737 is believed to have killed as much as one-third of Japan's population.[29][30] In 784, Emperor Kanmu moved the capital, settling on Heian-kyō (modern-day Kyoto) in 794.[29] This marked the beginning of the Heian period (794–1185), during which a distinctly indigenous Japanese culture emerged. Murasaki Shikibu's The Tale of Genji and the lyrics of Japan's national anthem ""Kimigayo"" were written during this time.[31]

Feudal era
Samurai warriors battling Mongols during the Mongol invasions of Japan, depicted in the Mōko Shūrai Ekotoba
Japan's feudal era was characterized by the emergence and dominance of a ruling class of warriors, the samurai.[32] In 1185, following the defeat of the Taira clan in the Genpei War, samurai Minamoto no Yoritomo established a military government at Kamakura.[33] After Yoritomo's death, the Hōjō clan came to power as regents for the shōgun.[29] The Zen school of Buddhism was introduced from China in the Kamakura period (1185–1333) and became popular among the samurai class.[34] The Kamakura shogunate repelled Mongol invasions in 1274 and 1281 but was eventually overthrown by Emperor Go-Daigo.[29] Go-Daigo was defeated by Ashikaga Takauji in 1336, beginning the Muromachi period (1336–1573).[35] The succeeding Ashikaga shogunate failed to control the feudal warlords (daimyō) and a civil war began in 1467, opening the century-long Sengoku period (""Warring States"").[36]

During the 16th century, Portuguese traders and Jesuit missionaries reached Japan for the first time, initiating direct commercial and cultural exchange between Japan and the West.[29][37] Oda Nobunaga used European technology and firearms to conquer many other daimyō;[38] his consolidation of power began what was known as the Azuchi–Momoyama period.[39] After the death of Nobunaga in 1582, his successor Toyotomi Hideyoshi unified the nation in the early 1590s and launched two unsuccessful invasions of Korea in 1592 and 1597.[29]

Tokugawa Ieyasu served as regent for Hideyoshi's son Toyotomi Hideyori and used his position to gain political and military support.[40] When open war broke out, Ieyasu defeated rival clans in the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600. He was appointed shōgun by Emperor Go-Yōzei in 1603 and established the Tokugawa shogunate at Edo (modern Tokyo).[41] The shogunate enacted measures including buke shohatto, as a code of conduct to control the autonomous daimyō,[42] and in 1639 the isolationist sakoku (""closed country"") policy that spanned the two and a half centuries of tenuous political unity known as the Edo period (1603–1868).[41][43] Modern Japan's economic growth began in this period, resulting in roads and water transportation routes, as well as financial instruments such as futures contracts, banking and insurance of the Osaka rice brokers.[44] The study of Western sciences (rangaku) continued through contact with the Dutch enclave in Nagasaki.[41] The Edo period gave rise to kokugaku (""national studies""), the study of Japan by the Japanese.[45]

Modern era
Emperor Meiji (明治天皇, Meiji-tennō); 1852–1912)
In 1854, Commodore Matthew Perry and the ""Black Ships"" of the United States Navy forced the opening of Japan to the outside world with the Convention of Kanagawa.[41] Subsequent similar treaties with other Western countries brought economic and political crises.[41] The resignation of the shōgun led to the Boshin War and the establishment of a centralized state nominally unified under the emperor (the Meiji Restoration).[46] Adopting Western political, judicial, and military institutions, the Cabinet organized the Privy Council, introduced the Meiji Constitution, and assembled the Imperial Diet.[47] During the Meiji period (1868–1912), the Empire of Japan emerged as the most developed nation in Asia and as an industrialized world power that pursued military conflict to expand its sphere of influence.[48][49][50] After victories in the First Sino-Japanese War (1894–1895) and the Russo-Japanese War (1904–1905), Japan gained control of Taiwan, Korea and the southern half of Sakhalin.[51][47] The Japanese population doubled from 35 million in 1873 to 70 million by 1935, with a significant shift to urbanization.[52][53]

The early 20th century saw a period of Taishō democracy (1912–1926) overshadowed by increasing expansionism and militarization.[54][55] World War I allowed Japan, which joined the side of the victorious Allies, to capture German possessions in the Pacific and in China.[55] The 1920s saw a political shift towards statism, a period of lawlessness following the 1923 Great Tokyo Earthquake, the passing of laws against political dissent, and a series of attempted coups.[53][56][57] This process accelerated during the 1930s, spawning a number of radical nationalist groups that shared a hostility to liberal democracy and a dedication to expansion in Asia. In 1931, Japan invaded and occupied Manchuria; following international condemnation of the occupation, it resigned from the League of Nations two years later.[58] In 1936, Japan signed the Anti-Comintern Pact with Nazi Germany; the 1940 Tripartite Pact made it one of the Axis Powers.[53]

Japan's imperial ambitions ended on September 2, 1945, with the country's surrender to the Allies.
The Empire of Japan invaded other parts of China in 1937, precipitating the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945).[59] In 1940, the Empire invaded French Indochina, after which the United States placed an oil embargo on Japan.[53][60] On December 7–8, 1941, Japanese forces carried out surprise attacks on Pearl Harbor, as well as on British forces in Malaya, Singapore, and Hong Kong, among others, beginning World War II in the Pacific.[61] Throughout areas occupied by Japan during the war, numerous abuses were committed against local inhabitants, with many forced into sexual slavery.[62] After Allied victories during the next four years, which culminated in the Soviet invasion of Manchuria and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, Japan agreed to an unconditional surrender.[63] The war cost Japan its colonies and millions of lives.[53] The Allies (led by the United States) repatriated millions of Japanese settlers from their former colonies and military camps throughout Asia, largely eliminating the Japanese empire and its influence over the territories it conquered.[64][65] The Allies convened the International Military Tribunal for the Far East to prosecute Japanese leaders for war crimes.[65]

In 1947, Japan adopted a new constitution emphasizing liberal democratic practices.[65] The Allied occupation ended with the Treaty of San Francisco in 1952,[66] and Japan was granted membership in the United Nations in 1956.[65] A period of record growth propelled Japan to become the second-largest economy in the world;[65] this ended in the mid-1990s after the popping of an asset price bubble, beginning the ""Lost Decade"".[67] On March 11, 2011, Japan suffered one of the largest earthquakes in its recorded history, triggering the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.[68] On May 1, 2019, after the historic abdication of Emperor Akihito, his son Naruhito became Emperor, beginning the Reiwa era.[69]"
The official Publications  the Government of Japan
The 15th Japan-China Energy Conservation and Environment Forum Held (Summary of the Results)
December 27, 2021

1. Summarized results of the forum
The 15th Japan-China Energy Conservation and Environment Forum was held on December 26 (Sun.), 2021. Due to the impact of COVID-19, it was held online this year, the same as last year. The event was attended by some 700 stakeholders from both the public and private sectors, including: Minister Hagiuda, Mr. Yamaguchi Tsuyoshi (Minister of the Environment), and Mr. Muneoka Shoji (Chairman of the Japan-China Economic Association), and other officials as representatives of Japan; and Chairman He Lifeng of the NDRC, H.E. Mr. Ren Hongbin (Vice Minister of Commerce), H.E. Mr. Kong Xuanyou (Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China), and other officials as representatives of China.

Memorandums for establishment of 11 new cooperation projects were exchanged at the forum (see the Appendix). With these exchanges, the number of such projects has come to 413 since the inauguration of the forum in 2006.

At the plenary session, Minister Hagiuda stated that this forum should focus on ""diverse paths to becoming carbon neutral and Japan-China cooperation"" and explained Japan's efforts toward carbon neutrality. At the same time, he expressed the importance of Japan-China cooperation toward solving common issues, such as facilitation of smooth energy transition. He also presented the concrete progress of Japan-China cooperation in the fields of hydrogen and energy conservation, and expressed his hope for further expansion.

Furthermore, the forum provided four sessions titled improvement of energy efficiency (energy conservation),introduction of electrified and smarter vehicles, hydrogen and clean electricity, and Japan-China long-term trading (water environment management and sludge disposal), and representatives of the public sectors, major companies and other organizations from Japan and China exchanged views at the sessions.

The Prime Minister in Action
Global Warming Prevention Headquarters
September 3, 2021

On September 3, 2021, the Prime Minister held the 47th meeting of the Global Warming Prevention Headquarters at the Prime Minister’s Office.

At the meeting, the participants engaged in discussions on the draft Plan for Global Warming Countermeasures and the draft Long-Term Strategy under the Paris Agreement and other matters.

Following the discussion, the Prime Minister said,
 “Today, we compiled government drafts of our Plan for Global Warming Countermeasures and our Long-Term Strategy under the Paris Agreement, among others.
As shown in torrential rains, record heat waves, and other weather events, climate change has become a global issue. Facing this squarely and regarding global warming countermeasures as what will serve as a catalyst for new investments and innovation, rather than restrictions on economic activities – with this mindset, we decided on the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. In addition, we made the decision to seek a 46 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by fiscal year 2030 and continue to strive in the challenge to aim at the goal of cutting emissions by 50 percent.
Concrete measures to realize these goals and our course of action have been compiled in our Plan for Global Warming Countermeasures and our long-term strategy.
The first is the principle of giving the highest priority to renewable energy. We will accelerate the adoption of renewable energy by designating promotion zones across the country, among other measures.
The second is thorough energy saving. For instance, we will expand the scope of housing and other buildings that are required to meet energy-saving standards.
The third is decarbonization of local communities and transformation of lifestyles. We will discover preceding examples in local communities to encourage positive action toward decarbonization in food, clothing, and housing as well as transportation.
From now, we will work to have the Government take a decision in the autumn, after hearing the views of members of the public. The COP26 (26th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) will convene from the end of October. We will demonstrate Japan’s concrete actions to the world, and we will involve emerging powers as we lead the world toward decarbonization and sustainable growth.