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Japan History Timeline

1900s continued
  • (1945) Japan surrendered, placed under U.S. military government, all military and naval forces were disbanded, Emperor Hirohito relinquished status
  • (1947) New constitution ratified, all adults became eligible to vote
  • (1951) Japan signed peace treaties with U.S. and other nations
  • (1952) Allied occupation of Japan ended, regained its independence
  • (1956) Liberal Democratic Party was formed
  • (1956) Japan became member of United Nations
  • (1964) Summer Olympics were held in Tokyo, first time games held in Asia
  • (1968) Japan introduced Corolla automobile in U.S.
  • (1970) World Expo held in Osaka, first Expo in Asia
  • (1972) Okinawa returned to Japanese, U.S. retained military base
  • (1982) Japanese auto maker, Honda, opened first plant in U.S.
  • (1989) Emperor Hirohito died, succeeded by Akihito
  • (1990) "Bubble Economy" burst, stock prices declined - erased trillions of dollars in wealth, land prices declined 80%
  • (1993) Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) ousted in elections, seven-party coalition took over
  • (1994) Coalition collapsed, new administration supported by LDP and Socialist took over
  • (1995) Earthquake struck central Japan, Kobe hit hardest, widespread damages, 6,500 people killed
  • (1995) Aum Shinrikyo, a religious sect, released deadly nerve gas on Tokyo underground railway, 12 killed, thousands injured
  • (1995) Mass protests demanding removal of U.S. forces from Okinawa broke out after U.S. servicemen raped local schoolgirl
  • (1997) Severe economic recession occurred
  • (1998) Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge (largest suspension bridge in world) opens, Shikoku linked with Honshu
  • (1998) LPD member, Keizo Obuchi, became prime minister
2000s
  • (2000) Prime Minister Obuchi suffered stroke, died six weeks later, replaced by Yoshiro Mori
  • (2001) Prime Minister Mori announced resignation as LDP leader and prime minister
  • (2001) Junichiro Koizumi became prime minister and LDP leader
  • (2001) Japan imposed import taxes on Chinese agricultural products; China retaliated by imposing taxes on Japanese vehicles, manufactured goods
  • (2001) First child born to Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako, a daughter, caused debate over male-only succession law
  • (2002) Prime Minister Koizumi became first Japanese leader to visit North Korea
  • (2002) Kim Jong-il, leader of North Korea, apologized for abducting Japanese citizens in 1970s and 1980s, confirmed eight dead
  • (2002) Five Japanese nationals kidnapped by North Korea returned home
  • (2003) Junichiro Koizumi reelected prime minister
  • (2004) Japan deployed non-combat soldiers to Iraq - first deployment since World War II
  • (2004) Earthquakes in the northern part of the country killed more than 30
  • (2004) Dispute arose over fate of Japanese citizens kidnapped by North Korea during Cold War. North Korea said any sanctions imposed by Japan were be treated as a declaration of war
  • (2005) Relations with China deteriorated, anti-Japanese protests took place in Chinese cities
  • (2005) Prime Minister Koizumi dissolved House of Representatives, called for new election
  • (2005) Prime Minister Koizumi won landslide victory in elections
  • (2006) Shinzo Abe succeeded Junichiro Koizumi as prime minister
  • (2006) Defense ministry creation approved
  • (2007) LDP suffered crushing defeat in elections
  • (2007) Prime Minister Shinzo Abe resigned, succeeded by Yasuo Fukuda
  • (2008) Upper house passed censure motion against Prime Minister Fukuda for handling of domestic issues, lower house backed confidence vote
  • (2008) China, Japan signed agreement for development of gas field in East China Sea
  • (2008) Prime Minister Fukuda resigned, Taro Aso appointed
  • (2009) Japan faced worst economic crisis since WWII
  • (2009) Opposition Democratic Party won election, ended more than 50 years of rule by the LDP
  • (2009) Yukio Hatoyama elected prime minister
  • (2009) City on Okinawa elected mayor opposed to hosting military base; Prime Minister Hatoyama claimed Japan had to rethink U.S. military bases
  • (2010) Prime Minister Hatoyama resigned after failing to close U.S. military base on Okinawa, succeeded by Naoto Kan
  • (2010) Ruling coalition lost in elections to upper house of parliament
  • (2010) Japan arrested Chinese boat captain in disputed waters in East China Sea, diplomatic tensions between the two countries rose as China demanded his release, anti-Japanese protests were held in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenyang
  • (2010) Faltering economy caused central bank to cut interest rates to almost zero in a stimulation effort
  • (2011) China overtook Japan as world's second largest economy
  • (2010) Faltering economy caused central bank to cut interest rates to almost zero in a stimulation effort

About Japan

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Japan prefectures & their capitals

Region Capital
Aichi Nagoya-shi
Akita Akita Shi
Aomori Aomori Shi
Chiba Chiba
Ehime Matsuyama
Fukui Fukui-shi
Fukuoka Fukuoka-shi
Fukushima Fukushima-shi
Gifu Gifu-shi
Gunma Maebashi-shi
Hiroshima Hiroshima-shi
Hokkaido Sapporo
Hyogo Kobe
Ibaraki Mito-shi
Ishikawa Kanazawa-shi
Iwate Morioka-shi
Kagawa Takamatsu-shi
Kagoshima Kagoshima-shi
Kanagawa Yokohama
Kochi Kochi-shi
Kumamoto Kumamoto
Kyoto Kyoto
Mie Tsu-shi
Miyagi Sendai-shi
Miyazaki Miyazaki-shi
Nagano Nagano-shi
Nagasaki Nagasaki-shi
Nara Nara-shi
Niigata Niigata-shi
Oita Oita
Okayama Okayama-shi
Okinawa Naha-shi
Osaka Osaka-shi
Saga Saga-shi
Saitama Saitama
Shiga Otsu-shi
Shimane Matsue-shi
Shizuoka Shizuoka-shi
Tochigi Utsunomiya-shi
Tokushima Tokushima-shi
Tokyo Tokyo
Tottori Tottori
Toyama Toyama-shi
Wakayama Wakayama-shi
Yamagata Yamagata-shi
Yamaguchi Yamaguchi-shi
Yamanashi Kofu-shi

Countries of Asia

This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.