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.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER: Click to see the meanings of 2-letter acronym and abbreviation of JA in general and in geography as Japan in particular.
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 prize.
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 purposes.
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.
According to Countryaah reports, the population of Japan in 2008 was 128,542,242, ranking number 10 in the world. The population growth rate was 0.030% yearly, and the population density was 352.6007 people per km2.