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 Tokushima
Latest Blogs from Tokushima
- December 21st 2012 Beautiful Shikoku between Naoshima and Koyasan!
by Words: 758 Photos: 33
- November 24th 2012 Temples & Gorges
by Words: 1252 Photos: 16
- July 20th 2011 Goodbye
by Words: 746 Photos: 3
- July 8th 2011 The Japanese Country Twang
by Words: 545 Photos: 3
- June 29th 2011 Letters from UwaJima (and elsewhere in Shikoku)
by Words: 1109 Photos: 15
- June 9th 2011 Beating 'em Up and Breaking it Down
by Words: 441 Photos: 0
- May 20th 2011 Meditation
by Words: 561 Photos: 0
- April 12th 2011 Hanami, the Cherry Blossom Festival
by Words: 734 Photos: 15
- March 29th 2011 Treasure Island: JET Style
by Words: 493 Photos: 4
- March 25th 2011 Nuclear Power
by Words: 164 Photos: 0
- March 22nd 2011 Disaster
by Words: 460 Photos: 0
- February 18th 2011 Sayonara, Students!
by Words: 469 Photos: 0
- January 24th 2011 The Arts
by Words: 501 Photos: 3
- December 6th 2010 Special Xmas
by Words: 525 Photos: 6
- November 26th 2010 Congratulations, Outer Space, Help!, Nothing
by Words: 260 Photos: 0
- November 16th 2010 And you thought my cheerleading days were over...
by Words: 368 Photos: 4
- October 4th 2010 I Love Festivals!
by Words: 542 Photos: 5
- September 24th 2010 Osaka Weekend
by Words: 467 Photos: 3
- September 17th 2010 The Wa
by Words: 410 Photos: 0
- September 6th 2010 The Job Begins...
by Words: 353 Photos: 0