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|History of Japan|
Mount Fuji and Tokyo Skytree
The Heisei period(Japanese:平成時代 Hepburn:Heisei jidai) is the current era in Japan. The Heisei period started on 8 January 1989, the day after the death of the Emperor Hirohito, when his son, Akihito, acceded to the throne as the 125th Emperor. In accordance with Japanese customs, Hirohito was posthumously renamed "Emperor Shōwa" on 31 January 1989.
Japanese is an East Asian language spoken by about 128 million people, primarily in Japan, where it is the national language. It is a member of the Japonic language family, and its relation to other languages, such as Korean, is debated. Japanese has been grouped with language families such as Ainu, Austroasiatic, and the now-discredited Altaic, but none of these proposals has gained widespread acceptance.
Hepburn romanization is a system for the romanization of Japanese that uses the Latin alphabet to write the Japanese language. It is used by most foreigners learning to spell Japanese in the Latin alphabet and by the Japanese for romanizing personal names, geographical locations, and other information such as train tables, road signs, and official communications with foreign countries. Largely based on English writing conventions, consonants closely correspond to the English pronunciation and vowels approximate the Italian pronunciation.
The Japanese era name, also known as gengō (元号), is the first of the two elements that identify years in the Japanese era calendar scheme. The second element, a number, counts the years since the era began; as in many other systems, there is no year zero. For example, the first year of the Heisei period was 1989 CE, or "Heisei 1", so the year 2019 CE in this scheme is "Heisei 31".
Thus, 1989 corresponds to Shōwa 64 until 7 January, and Heisei 1(平成元年Heisei gannen, gannen means "first year") from 8 January. To convert a Gregorian calendar year (1989–2019) to Heisei, 1988 needs to be subtracted from the year in question (e.g. 2019 in Heisei: 2019-1988=31; so 2019=Heisei 31).
The Shōwa period, or Shōwa era, refers to the period of Japanese history corresponding to the reign of the Shōwa Emperor, Hirohito, from December 25, 1926 until his death on January 7, 1989.
The Gregorian calendar is the most widely used civil calendar in the world. It is named after Pope Gregory XIII, who introduced it in October 1582. The calendar spaces leap years to make the average year 365.2425 days long, approximating the 365.2422-day tropical year that is determined by the Earth's revolution around the Sun. The rule for leap years is:
Every year that is exactly divisible by four is a leap year, except for years that are exactly divisible by 100, but these centurial years are leap years if they are exactly divisible by 400. For example, the years 1700, 1800, and 1900 are not leap years, but the year 2000 is.
The Heisei period will likely end on 30 April 2019 (Heisei 31), the date on which Emperor Akihito is expected to abdicate the Chrysanthemum Throne.
Abdication is the act of formally relinquishing monarchical authority. Abdications have played various roles in the succession procedures of monarchies. While some cultures have viewed abdication as an extreme abandonment of duty, in other societies, abdication was a regular event, and helped maintain stability during political succession.
The Chrysanthemum Throne is the throne of the Emperor of Japan. The term also can refer to very specific seating, such as the takamikura (高御座) throne in the Shishin-den at Kyoto Imperial Palace.
On 7 January 1989, at 07:55 AM JST, the Grand Steward of Japan's Imperial Household Agency, Shōichi Fujimori, announced Emperor Hirohito's death at 6:33 AM JST, and revealed details about his cancer for the first time. Shortly after the death of the Emperor, Keizō Obuchi, then Chief Cabinet Secretary and later Prime Minister of Japan, announced the end of the Shōwa era, and heralded the new era name "Heisei" for the new Emperor, and explained its meaning.
Japan Standard Time or JST is the standard timezone in Japan, 9 hours ahead of UTC. There is no daylight saving time, though its introduction has been debated several times. During World War II, it was often called Tokyo Standard Time.
The Imperial Household Agency is an agency of the government of Japan in charge of state matters concerning the Imperial Family, and also keeping of the Privy Seal and State Seal of Japan. From around the 8th century AD up to the Second World War, it was named the Imperial Household Ministry.
Keizō Obuchi was a Japanese politician who served in the House of Representatives for twelve terms and ultimately as the 54th Prime Minister of Japan from 30 July 1998 to 5 April 2000. His political career ended when he suffered a serious and ultimately fatal stroke.
According to Obuchi, the name "Heisei" was taken from two Chinese history and philosophy books, namely Records of the Grand Historian (史記 Shǐjì) and the Book of Documents (書経 Shūjīng). In the Shǐjì, the sentence "内平外成" (nèi píng wài chéng; Kanbun: 内平かに外成る Uchi tairaka ni soto naru) appears in a section honoring the wise rule of the legendary Chinese Emperor Shun. In the Shūjīng, the sentence "地平天成" (dì píng tiān chéng; Kanbun: 地平かに天成る Chi tairaka ni ten naru, "peace on the heaven and earth") appears. By combining both meanings, Heisei is intended to mean "peace everywhere". The Heisei era went into effect immediately upon the day after Emperor Akihito's succession to the throne on 7 January 1989.
Chinese classic texts or canonical texts refers to the Chinese texts which originated before the imperial unification by the Qin dynasty in 221 BC, particularly the "Four Books and Five Classics" of the Neo-Confucian tradition, themselves a customary abridgment of the "Thirteen Classics". All of these pre-Qin texts were written in classical Chinese. All three canons are collectively known as the classics.
The Records of the Grand Historian, also known by its Chinese name Shiji, is a monumental history of ancient China and the world finished around 94 BC by the Han dynasty official Sima Qian after having been started by his father, Sima Tan, Grand Astrologer to the imperial court. The work covers the world as it was then known to the Chinese and a 2500-year period from the age of the legendary Yellow Emperor to the reign of Emperor Wu of Han in the author's own time.
The Book of Documents or Classic of History, also known as the Shangshu, is one of the Five Classics of ancient Chinese literature. It is a collection of rhetorical prose attributed to figures of ancient China, and served as the foundation of Chinese political philosophy for over 2,000 years.
In August 2016, Emperor Akihito gave a televised address to the nation, in which he expressed concern that his age would one day stop him from fulfilling his official duties. This was an implication of his wish to retire.The Japanese Diet passed a law in June 2017 to allow the throne to pass to Akihito's son, Naruhito. After meeting with members of the Imperial House Council, Prime Minister Shinzō Abe announced that 30 April 2019 would be the date set for Akihito's abdication. The Era of Naruhito's reign will begin the next day.
The National Diet is Japan's bicameral legislature. It is composed of a lower house called the House of Representatives, and an upper house, called the House of Councillors. Both houses of the Diet are directly elected under parallel voting systems. In addition to passing laws, the Diet is formally responsible for selecting the Prime Minister. The Diet was first convened as the Imperial Diet in 1889 as a result of adopting the Meiji Constitution. The Diet took its current form in 1947 upon the adoption of the post-war constitution, which considers it the highest organ of state power. The National Diet Building is in Nagatachō, Chiyoda, Tokyo.
Naruhito, Crown Prince of Japan is the elder son of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, which makes him the heir apparent to the Chrysanthemum Throne.
The Prime Minister is the head of government and chief executive of Japan. The Prime Minister is appointed by the Emperor of Japan after being designated by the National Diet and must enjoy the confidence of the House of Representatives to remain in office. He is the chairman of the Cabinet and appoints and dismisses the other Ministers of State. The literal translation of the Japanese name for the office is Minister for the Comprehensive Administration of the Cabinet.
1989 marked the culmination of one of the most rapid economic growth spurts in Japanese history. With a dramatically strengthened yen after the 1985 Plaza Accord, the Bank of Japan kept interest rates low, sparking an investment boom that drove Tokyo property values up 60 percent within that year. Shortly before New Year's Day, the Nikkei 225 reached its record high of 39,000. By 1992, it had fallen to 15,000, signifying the end of Japan's famed "bubble economy". Subsequently, Japan experienced the "Lost Decade", which actually consisted of more than ten years of price deflation and largely stagnant GDP as Japan's banks struggled to resolve their bad debts and companies in other sectors struggled to restructure.
The Recruit scandal of 1988 had already eroded public confidence in the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which had controlled the Japanese government for 38 years. In 1993, the LDP was ousted by a coalition led by Morihiro Hosokawa. However, the coalition collapsed as parties had gathered only to overthrow LDP, and lacked a unified position on almost every social issue. The LDP returned to the government in 1994, when it helped to elect Japan Socialist (later Social Democrat) Tomiichi Murayama as prime minister.
In 1995, there was a large 6.8 earthquake in Kobe, Hyōgo and sarin gas terrorist attacks were carried out on the Tokyo Metro by the doomsday cult Aum Shinrikyo. Failure of the Japanese government to react to these events promptly led to the formation of non-government organisations which have been playing an increasingly important role in Japanese politics since.
During this period, Japan reemerged as a military power. In 1991, Japan pledged billions of U.S. dollars for the Gulf War, but constitutional arguments prevented a participation in actual war, leading Iran to criticise Japan for just pledging money and did not appreciate the way Japan co-operated in the Gulf War. However, after the war, Japanese minesweepers were sent as a part of the reconstruction effort. Following the Iraq War, in 2003, Prime Minister Junichirō Koizumi's Cabinet approved a plan to send about 1,000 soldiers of the Japan Self-Defense Forces to help in Iraq's reconstruction, the biggest overseas troop deployment since World War II without the sanction of the UN.
On 23 October 2004, the Heisei 16 Niigata Prefecture Earthquakes rocked the Hokuriku region, killing 52 and injuring hundreds (see 2004 Chūetsu earthquake).
After an election defeat, Prime Minister Shinzō Abe resigned suddenly, and in Autumn 2007 Yasuo Fukuda became Prime Minister. Fukuda in turn resigned on September 2008 citing political failings, and Tarō Asō was selected by his party.
In August 2009, for the first time, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) won 308 seats in the lower house election, which ended 50 years of political domination by the LDP. As a result of the election, Tarō Asō resigned as leader of the LDP, and Yukio Hatoyama, president of DPJ became Prime Minister on 16 September 2009. However, DPJ soon became mired in party financing scandals, particularly involving aides close to Ichirō Ozawa. Naoto Kan was chosen by the DPJ as the next Prime Minister, but he soon lost a working majority in the House of Councillors election, and the 2010 Senkaku boat collision incident caused increased tension between Japan and China. The 2009–2010 Toyota vehicle recalls also took place during this time.
In 2011, a sumo tournament was cancelled for the first time in 65 years over a match fixing scandal.
On 11 March 2011, Japan suffered the strongest recorded earthquake in its history, affecting places in the northeast of Honshū, including the Tokyo area. meters (32.5 feet) flooded inland areas several kilometers from shore, causing a large number of considerable fires. The epicenter of the quake lay so close to coastal villages and towns that thousands could not flee in time, despite a tsunami warning system. At the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and three other nuclear power plants,serious problems occurred with the cooling systems, ultimately leading to the most serious case of radioactive contamination since the Chernobyl disaster (see Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster), as well as ongoing electric power shortages. Following the earthquake, for the first time, the Emperor addressed the nation in a pre-recorded television broadcast.The quake's magnitude of 9.0 approached that of the severe 2004 megathrust earthquake. A tsunami with waves of up to 10
In August 2011, Kan resigned, and Yoshihiko Noda became Prime Minister. Later that year Olympus Corporation admitted major accounting irregularities. (See Tobashi scheme.) Noda pushed for Japan to consider joining the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership, but was defeated in an election in 2012, being replaced by Shinzō Abe.
Abe sought to end deflation, but Japan entered recession again in 2014 largely due to a rise in sales tax to 8%. Abe called an election in December, and promised to delay further sales tax hikes to 2018. He won the election.
In September 2015, after much controversy and debate, the National Diet gave final approval to legislation expanding the Japanese military's role overseas.
In 2018, extraordinarily heavy rainfall in Western Japan led to many deaths in Hiroshima and Okayama. Also, an earthquake struck Hokkaido, killing 41 and causing a region-wide blackout.
The politics of Japan are conducted in a framework of a multi-party bicameral parliamentary representative democratic constitutional monarchy whereby the Emperor is the ceremonial head of state and the Prime Minister is the head of government and the head of the Cabinet, which directs the executive branch.
Sadakazu Tanigaki is a Japanese politician who served as Minister of Finance from 2003 to 2006 in the cabinet of Jun'ichirō Koizumi. He also served as Minister of Construction and Transport in the cabinet of Yasuo Fukuda and served his ninth term as a member of the House of Representatives, representing Kyoto's Fifth District. He was elected as President of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) on 28 September 2009, following the party's massive defeat in the 2009 general election. He was replaced by Shinzō Abe on 26 September 2012. He was only the second LDP leader who was not simultaneously Prime Minister of Japan.
There have been several controversies regarding the role and the status of the Emperor of Japan. This is due in part to the variety of roles the Emperor has historically filled, as well as the competition for power with other parts of Japanese society at several points in history.
Yasuo Fukuda was the 58th Prime Minister of Japan, serving from 2007 to 2008. He was previously the longest-serving Chief Cabinet Secretary in Japanese history, serving for three and a half years (2000–2004) under Prime Ministers Yoshirō Mori and Junichiro Koizumi.
Events in the year 1989 in Japan. In the history of Japan, it marks the final year of the Shōwa period, Shōwa 64, upon the death of Emperor Shōwa on January 7, and the beginning of the Heisei period, Heisei 1, from January 8 under the reign of his son the current reigning emperor. Thus, 1989 corresponds to the transition between Shōwa and Heisei In the Japanese calendar.
The 10 yen coin is one denomination of Japanese yen.
Yoshihiko Noda is a Japanese politician who was Prime Minister of Japan from 2011 to 2012. He was a member of the Democratic Party, and a member of the House of Representatives in the Diet. He was named to succeed Naoto Kan as a result of a runoff vote against Banri Kaieda in his party, and was formally appointed by the Emperor on 2 September 2011.
A general election for the Japanese House of Representatives was held on August 30, 2009. The opposition Democratic Party (DPJ) defeated the ruling coalition in a sweeping victory, winning 221 of the 300 electoral districts and receiving 42.4% of the proportional block votes for another 87 seats, a total of 308 seats to only 119 for the LDP.
A general election was held in Japan on 16 December 2012. Voters gave the Liberal Democratic Party a landslide victory, ejecting the Democratic Party from power after three years. It was the fourth worst defeat suffered by a ruling party in Japanese history.
Akihito is the current Emperor of Japan. He succeeded to the Chrysanthemum Throne upon the death of his father Emperor Shōwa (Hirohito) on 7 January 1989. According to Japan's traditional order of succession, he is the 125th member of the world's oldest reigning dynasty. The Japanese government announced in December 2017 that Akihito would abdicate on 30 April 2019 due to his age and declining health.
Hyogo 11th district is a constituency of the House of Representatives in the Diet of Japan. It is located in Southwestern Hyōgo and is based on the 1995 borders of the city of Himeji; the former towns of Ieshima, Yumesaki, Kōdera and Yasutomi that merged into Himeji in 2006 are part of the 12th district. As of September 2015, 387,509 eligible voters were registered in the district.
Events in the year 2012 in Japan.
Yamaguchi 4th district is a single-member electoral district for the House of Representatives, the lower house of the National Diet of Japan. It is located in Western Yamaguchi and consists of the cities of Shimonoseki and Nagato. As of September 2011, 266,456 voters were registered in the district, giving its voters well above average vote weight. Unlike many prefectures where the capital is also the most populous city, Yamaguchi's major city is Shimonoseki, located at the western tip of Honshū and part of the Fukuoka-Kitakyūshū metropolitan area.
Yamaguchi 1st district is a single-member electoral district for the House of Representatives, the lower house of the National Diet of Japan. It is located in Yamaguchi and covers the prefectural capital Yamaguchi, parts of the city of Shūnan and the city of Hōfu. As of September 2012, 359,151 eligible voters were resident in the district.
The 48th general election of members of the House of Representatives took place on 22 October 2017. Voting took place in all Representatives constituencies of Japan – 289 single-member districts and eleven proportional blocks – in order to appoint all 465 members of the House of Representatives, the lower house of the then 707-member bicameral National Diet of Japan. Incumbent Prime Minister Shinzō Abe's governing coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and Komeito retained their seats in light of what was perceived as weak opposition, winning his fourth term in office and holding on to the two-thirds supermajority in order to revise the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution.
Prefectural elections for the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly were held on 2 July 2017. The 127 members were elected in forty-two electoral districts, seven returning single members elected by first-past-the-post, and thirty-five returning multiple members under single non-transferable vote. Four districts had their magnitude adjusted in this election to match population changes.
The Kan Cabinet was the cabinet governing Japan from June 2010 to September 2011 under the leadership of Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who came into power after winning the DPJ presidential election in June 2010. The Kan Cabinet oversaw the response to the aftermath of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami and the scaling-down of Japan's nuclear energy dependence following the nuclear disaster at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Emperor Akihito of Japan is set to abdicate on 30 April 2019, which will make him the first Japanese Emperor to do so in over two centuries. This marks the end of the Heisei period, and will precipitate numerous festivities leading up to the accession of his successor, Crown Prince Naruhito. The enthronement ceremony will likely happen on 22 October 2019. Akihito's younger son, Prince Fumihito, is expected to become his brother's heir presumptive.
Events in the year 2019 in Japan.
| Era |
8 January 1989 – present
| Periods of Japanese history |
8 January 1989 – present