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Japan

Yearbook 2001

2001 JapanJapan. The year began badly for the scandal-plagued government when new Finance Minister Fukushiro Nukaga was forced to resign in January, accused of bribery. According to Countryaah, the pressure also on Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori to resign increased as he continued to play golf in February despite reports of a severe collision in Hawaii between Japanese school trawler Ehime Maru and a US nuclear submarine. The accident, in which nine Japanese died, resurrected US hostile sentiments in Japan when it appeared to have been caused by nonchalance in the submarine.

In March, Mori announced that the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) would be able to appoint a new leader - a way to indirectly step down as LDP's dominance in parliament and coalition government also turns the party leader into government.

With "change" as a motto, reformist Junichiro Koizumi, 59, won big in the party leadership election April 24. Already his first government showed innovation by accommodating five women - more than ever before. The Foreign Minister became outspoken Makiko Tanaka, daughter of late LDP Nestor Kakuei Tanaka. The popular Koizumi's promises of reform to break Japan's stagnation were successful in the July 29 general election, with the LDP taking over half of the 121 seats (out of a total of 247) that were at stake.

Foreign policy tore up old wounds to neighboring peoples once again in April by approving a new history textbook, criticized for estimating the Japanese occupation army's abuses abroad during the Second World War. The military's brutal use of tens of thousands of foreign women as sex slaves is completely destroyed by the authors. In South Korea, upset people tried to storm Japan's embassy. China and North Korea also protested sharply. After the storm of criticism, the disputed book was rejected by almost all Japanese school districts.

The same bitter brawl returned in August, when Prime Minister Koizumi, despite neighboring countries' protests, visited the shrine of Yasukuni in Tokyo, a memorial to over 2.5 million Japanese war victims - among them a thousand convicted war criminals. In an effort to win support from the right, during his campaign to become an LDP leader, Koizumi had promised to honor the victims with a visit. But the visit also offended Japan, and Koizumi moved it from August 15 - the anniversary of the surrender in 1945 - to two days earlier did not stop the criticism.

A larger national gathering and joy aroused the news on December 1 that just before his 38th birthday, Crown Princess Masako gave birth to a daughter - her and Crown Prince Naruhito's first child after eight years of marriage. The descent accelerated the debate about a constitutional change so that even a woman should be able to take the emperor's seat, a thought most Japanese were said to be positive about.

Despite the government's crisis measures, Japan's economy remained weak with high unemployment - about 5%. Another trial hit the country when Asia's first case of mad cow disease (BSE) was discovered on September 10 in an animal herd in the Chiba area near Tokyo.

2001 Japan

In accordance with his party's statutes, Koizumi had to leave the post of prime minister in the middle of his second term, and at the same time he had to leave the post of party chairman. At the LDP's internal elections, Shinzo Abe was then elected. He was considered more conservative than his predecessor. He took over both positions in September 2006.

The country's second-largest nuclear reactor was shut down in March 2006. This move was followed by a court order granting local residents in the area around the plant that it would not be able to withstand earthquakes and therefore risked leaking radioactivity if the area was to be hit by earthquakes.

Former President Alberto Fujimori was detained in Chile at the request of the government of Peru. In July 2007, therefore, he ran for election to the Japanese parliament in a desperate attempt to gain parliamentary immunity, thus avoiding extradition to Peru. He headed the New People's Party, which he himself founded in 2005. Fujimori was not elected, but presented himself to the electorate as "the last samurai" and declared that he would fight to preserve Japan's traditional values, as per. he is in the process of losing.

In May 2007, Agriculture Minister Toshikatsu Matsuoka committed suicide amid a financial scandal in which he himself was involved. Both records were taken over by Yasuo Fukuda. Fukuda's first political project was to renew the Japanese terror laws, which is the basis of the country's military presence in Afghanistan and that Japanese oil tankers are required to supply oil to North American warships in action.

In June 2008, Fukuda lost a vote of confidence in the Japanese upper house controlled by the opposition. It was the first time since World War II and Japan's new constitution that the House of Commons had expressed distrust of a sitting government. The background was Fukuda's handling of a number of domestic policy issues, first and foremost a very unpopular health care system. A few days later, he won a vote of confidence in the House of Commons, where the LDP has a solid majority.

However, Fukuda's days were about to be spoken. The unpopular health care system caused his popularity to fall below 30%, and he unexpectedly withdrew from the Prime Minister's post in early September. He was followed by LDP's Taro Aso, who only sat for 1 year. Political observers had expected Aso to quickly dissolve the House of Commons and print elections, but he rejected this, citing the global financial crisis that was mounting. Only after the adoption of a supplementary budget in May 2009 and several lost supplementary elections did the election considerations begin to take shape again. In July, the LDP lost a local elections in Tokyo with a bang, and only then did Aso dissolve the parliament and postpone elections in August. The LDP made its worst choice since 1955 and lost 155 seats in the Under House while the victor, Japan's Democratic Party (JDP) advanced 169 seats, gaining 47.4% of the vote. The party's chairman, Yukio Hatoyama, could therefore form a JDP-led government with himself as prime minister.

JDP wanted to conduct a different policy than LDP and the new prime minister was initially high in the opinion polls. JDP wanted to channel funds from the costly public infrastructure projects LDP had prioritized for tax cuts and subsidies for homeowners and tenants. At the same time, JDP wanted to reduce relations with the United States and orient itself more towards Asia. However, the fulfillment of the promises took longer than the JDP had expected, and Japan faced strong opposition from the United States, as it would orient itself more towards Asia and among other things. shut down US bases in the country. Especially the base in Okinawa was extremely unpopular, as the North American soldiers frequently raped Japanese women from the area. Hatoyama pulled Japan's soldiers out of Afghanistan, but in order to satisfy Washington, the country had to conclude a $ 5 billion aid agreement with Afghanistan. US $. After a South Korean ship crashed off North Korea on May 28, 2010, Hatoyama signed an agreement with the United States not to close the Okinawa base anyway. This breach of promise made his popularity plummet, and 5 days later resigned as prime minister. He was followed by the post of JDP's Naoto Kan.

In 2010, Japan was passed by China as the world's second largest economy - surpassed only by the United States.

 

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