Japan. In November, happy residents of the Japanese city
of Obama celebrated the victory in the US presidential
election. But otherwise, the mood was printed in Japan towards
the end of 2008. The international financial crisis also
became dramatic for Japan, who, however, boasted of learning
from his banking crisis of 1989-90 and avoided immediate
crashes. The country even offered to lend $ 100 billion to
the IMF as a contribution to solving what Prime Minister
Taro Aso described as "the financial crisis of the century".
Despite two stimulus packages during the fall, it was
officially reported in November that Japan, the world's second
largest economy, has suffered a recession - negative growth.
For the second quarter, it was reported to be 0.9 percent
and for the third 0.1 percent.
The roller coaster on the US stock exchange was reflected
on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, where Nikkei's share index fell
by a quarter during the fall.
Countryaah reports, Yen's increased strength hampered exports. In October,
the Japanese currency reached its highest level of 13 years
against the dollar.
Japan's top management also rocked in 2008. The 72-year-old Yasuo Fukuda, who succeeded Shinzo Abe as prime minister as
late as September 2007, became unpopular after implementing
an expensive health care reform for the country's growing
crowd of old people. Fukuda looked compelled to retire after
only a year. Another veteran of the Liberal Democratic
Party, Taro Aso, succeeded him. The 67-year-old "hawk" Aso
is considered more charismatic. He swallows manga series,
opposes female consecration, and has criticized China's
complaint about Japan's brutality in the 1937-45 war. Despite
this, Aso initially maintained good relations with China. A
conflict-heavy woman was strangled in October: Japan's Air Force
Chief Toshio Tamogami was fired after claiming in an essay
that Japan was not an invader of the war.
On May 6-10, Chinese President Hu Jintao Japan visited
Protests against China's supremacy in Tibet partially
characterized the visit, which was nevertheless seen as an
advancement in relations.
Japan was criticized for human rights violations after
hanging 15 death sentences, an increase from nine in 2007.
In October, Japan was able to celebrate great Nobel
successes. Three Japanese, Yoichiro Nambu, Makoto Kobayashi
and Toshihide Maskawa, received the physics prize and a
fourth, Osamu Shimomura, received a share of the chemistry
In the spring, Japanese vessels chased elections around
Antarctica, employed by vessels from Greenpeace and Sea
Shepherd. As a result, the prey was smaller than the target
- 551 folding whales against the planned 850. Japan is accused
of depleting the electoral population, but claims that the
hunt is limited and only carried out for scientific
A scandal in national sports sumo shook Japan in February. A
17-year-old junior wrestler was beaten to death, according
to the father for wanting to leave his stable. Four
activists in the stable were later arrested.
At the Beijing Olympics in August, Japan took 25 medals,
most as usual in judo, but six went to wrestlers and five to
swimmers. And now Japan is wholeheartedly investing in
arranging the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Despite Abe's declaration of his commitment to conduct an
expansionary economic policy, economic growth in 2014
continued to be negative. In April 2014, the government
raised the Japanese VAT from 5 to 8%, promising that it
would be raised to 10% by the end of 2015. Naturally, the
increase in VAT slowed consumption and sent the Japanese
economy into recession. Abe then abandoned the increase to
10% to be completed in 2015. Instead, he raised the military
budget and reduced Japan's development assistance.
Abe first met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in
November 2014 during an APEC summit in Beijing. He later
told reporters that he had proposed to Xi the establishment
of a Beijing-Tokyo hotline to better deal with security
crises and clashes between the two countries, further
stating that "a first step" had been taken towards improving
the the situation of two countries.
In December 2014, Parliament passed a new state secrecy
law, which imposed a penalty of 10 years and fines of up to
$ 10 million. Yen to state officials and journalists who
provided "confidential information". This restriction on
freedom of expression was strongly criticized by both
journalists and human rights organizations and caused the
government's popularity to plummet.
In continuation of the security policy reorientation in
2014, in the summer of 2015, the Abe government passed a law
establishing Japanese "self-defense forces" to be deployed
in war operations abroad. The resolution was not only met
with strong protests from abroad, but also strong protests
from the opposition and survivors of the nuclear bombs over
Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The 86-year-old Sumiteru Taniguchi
declared on August 9 at a memorial ceremony at the Nagasaki
Atomic Monument that the Armaments Act brought Japan back to
the 30s and 40s wartime. Hundreds of thousands demonstrated
against the resolution, but Parliament passed the laws of
war nonetheless. Later that year, Parliament passed an
unprecedented military budget of $ 5,100 billion. Yen. After
the US throughout the period after 2.
In December 2015, Japan signed agreements on economic and
military cooperation with India.
After the fall in mandate figures in 2014, the largest
opposition party, Japan's Democratic Party in March 2016
joined forces with Japan's Renewal Party and formed the
Democratic Party. However, that party exploded shortly
before the 2017 election. In September, Tokyo Mayor Yuriko
Koike broke out and formed the Party of Hope (Kibō no Tō).
The remnants of the Democratic Party broke out a week later
and formed the Constitutional Democratic Party (CDP). Prime
Minister Abe was not late in taking advantage of the breakup
in the opposition. He postponed elections on October 22,
2017, and although the Hope Party in particular had made
great progress, it lost 7 seats. The ruling LDP lost 6
seats, but still had 284 and thus a comfortable majority in
the 465-seat parliament. The Communist Party went back 9
seats to 12. The Japanese electoral system is based on
constituencies, not proportionality. That was the
explanation that although JCP received more votes than CDP,
CDP received more than 4 times as many seats.
With the result of the election, Abe could continue on
the Prime Minister's post and thus continue with plans to
amend Section 9 of the Constitution and pave the way for a
more aggressive Japanese security policy based on the use of
military force. Something §9 had otherwise banned.
Japan's Muslim minority is closely monitored by police.
This also applies to supposed Muslims. In May 2016, the
Supreme Court dismissed a case against the police for
general mass surveillance of this religious group. By 2010,
114 internal Tokyo police documents had been posted online.
They contained personal and financial information about
Muslims who were referred to as "terrorists". The Supreme
Court said in its ruling that the victims had their privacy
violated by the disclosure, but the court did not question
the very principle of mass surveillance.
On Okinawa, there were renewed protests and clashes after
the US resumed construction on the Takae military base.
Japan continues to impose the death penalty and to
execute the sentences. In 2016, 2 people were executed by
hanging. That brought the number of executions to 17 since
Prime Minister Abe was deployed in 2012.