Background: In 1603, a Tokugawa shogunate (military dictatorship) ushered in a long period of isolation from foreign influence in order to secure its power. For 250 years this policy enabled Japan to enjoy stability and a flowering of its indigenous culture. Following the Treaty of Kanagawa with the United States 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 1933 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, actual power rests in networks of powerful politicians, bureaucrats, and business executives. 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 2005, Japan began a two-year term as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.
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Blogs from Shimizu
Latest Blogs from Shimizu
- May 1st 2011 Good friends and good food： 美味しい食べ物を食べて、いい友達を作って！
by Words: 786 Photos: 21
- March 11th 2008 A fun day out for MEK
by Words: 119 Photos: 50
- October 21st 2007 More Family in Japan
by Words: 590 Photos: 23
- July 12th 2007 Tanabata Festival
by Words: 402 Photos: 14
- April 30th 2007 A sneak peak into my fridge these days....
by Words: 78 Photos: 8
- April 23rd 2007 Being sick in a foreign country...
by Words: 731 Photos: 0
- April 19th 2007 Links to a few funny Japanese news articles...
by Words: 151 Photos: 0
- April 15th 2007 My first visitor :)
by Words: 673 Photos: 27
- April 7th 2007 Did I speak too soon?
by Words: 346 Photos: 0
- April 6th 2007 Love short days!
by Words: 1092 Photos: 0
- March 23rd 2007 Let there be internet ;)
by Words: 406 Photos: 6
- March 1st 2007 A couple of my new discoveries...
by Words: 1014 Photos: 1
- February 21st 2007 Continuning to get settled...
by Words: 196 Photos: 9
- February 3rd 2007 Onamiyaki
by Words: 96 Photos: 2
- January 30th 2007 The mountain is out!!!
by Words: 613 Photos: 15
- April 24th 2006 Strawberry fields forever. And Shimizu Port. And Mt Fuji
by Words: 139 Photos: 14