Timeline - Chronology of Japan

500 BC
The Yayoi period, starting around 500 BC, saw the introduction of practices like wet-rice farming, a new style of pottery and metallurgy, introduced from China and Korea.

300 BC
Around 300 BC, the Yayoi people began to enter the Japanese islands, intermingling with the Jōmon.

300 BC
Japanese sculpture, largely of wood, and Japanese painting are among the oldest of the Japanese arts, with early figurative paintings dating back to at least 300 BC.

230, 2016
As of 2016, Japan's public debt was estimated at more than 230 percent of its annual gross domestic product, the largest of any nation in the world.

400, 499
Confucianism entered Japan from China around the 5th century A.

500, 599
Buddhism first arrived in Japan in the 6th century; it was introduced in the year 538 or 552 from the kingdom of Baekje in Korea.

Japan in years

Japan in years

592, 710
Despite early resistance, Buddhism was promoted by the ruling class and gained widespread acceptance beginning in the Asuka period (592–710).

700, 799
The earliest works of Japanese literature include the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki chronicles and the Man'yōshū poetry anthology, all from the 8th century and written in Chinese characters.

710, 784
The Nara period (710–784) marked an emergence of the centralized Japanese state centered on the Imperial Court in Heijō-kyō (modern Nara).

735, 737
The smallpox epidemic of 735–737 is believed to have killed as much as one-third of Japan's population.

794, 1185
This marked the beginning of the Heian period (794–1185), during which a distinctly indigenous Japanese culture emerged, noted for its art, poetry and prose.

Japan in decades

Japan in decades

800, 899, 900, 999
Many instruments, such as the koto, were introduced in the 9th and 10th centuries.

1000, 1099
Pure Land Buddhism (Jōdo-shū, Jōdo Shinshū) became greatly popular in the latter half of the 11th century.

1100, 1199, 1868
From the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive feudal military shōguns who ruled in the name of the Emperor.

1100, 1199
It began in the 12th century.

1185
In 1185, following the defeat of the Taira clan in the Genpei War, sung in the epic Tale of Heike, samurai Minamoto no Yoritomo was appointed shōgun by Emperor Go-Toba, and Yoritomo established a base of power in Kamakura.

Japan in centuries

Japan in centuries

1185, 1333
The Zen school of Buddhism was introduced from China in the Kamakura period (1185–1333) and became popular among the samurai class.

1274, 1281
The Kamakura shogunate repelled Mongol invasions in 1274 and 1281, but was eventually overthrown by Emperor Go-Daigo.

1300, 1399
The accompanied recitative of the Noh drama dates from the 14th century and the popular folk music, with the guitar-like shamisen, from the sixteenth.

1336
Emperor Go-Daigo was himself defeated by Ashikaga Takauji in 1336.

1336, 1573
This was the start of the Muromachi period (1336–1573).

King of Na gold seal faces

Reproduced from WIKI

King of Na gold seal faces

1467
On the other hand, the succeeding Ashikaga shogunate failed to control the feudal warlords (daimyōs) and a civil war (the Ōnin War) began in 1467, opening the century-long Sengoku period ("Warring States").

1500, 1599
The old Malay word for Japan, Japun or Japang, was borrowed from a southern coastal Chinese dialect, probably Fukienese or Ningpo – and this Malay word was encountered by Portuguese traders in Southeast Asia in the 16th century.

1500, 1599
This evolved to Higashiyama Culture, and prospered until the 16th century.

1500, 1599
During the 16th century, traders and Jesuit missionaries from Portugal reached Japan for the first time, initiating direct commercial and cultural exchange between Japan and the West.

1500, 1599
Today, fewer than 1% to 2.3% are Christians, most of them living in the western part of the country, where the missionaries' activities were greatest during the 16th century.

Emperor Jimmu

Reproduced from WIKI

Emperor Jimmu

1500, 1599
Indigenous ideas of loyalty and honour have been held since the 16th century.

1549
Christianity was first introduced into Japan by Jesuit missions starting in 1549.

1565, 1577
The first record of this name in English is in a book published in 1577 and spelled Giapan, in a translation of a 1565 letter written by a Portuguese Jesuit Luís Fróis.

1573, 1603
His consolidation of power began what was known as the Azuchi–Momoyama period (1573–1603).

1582, 1590, 1592, 1597
After Nobunaga was assassinated in 1582 by Akechi Mitsuhide, his successor Toyotomi Hideyoshi unified the nation in 1590 and launched two unsuccessful invasions of Korea in 1592 and 1597.

M%C5%8Dko Sh%C5%ABrai Ekotoba 2

Reproduced from WIKI

M%C5%8Dko Sh%C5%ABrai Ekotoba 2

1600, 1699, 1853
Japan entered into a long period of isolation in the early 17th century, which was ended in 1853 when a United States fleet pressured Japan to open to the West.

1600
When open war broke out, Ieyasu defeated rival clans in the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600.

1603
Tokugawa Ieyasu was appointed shōgun by Emperor Go-Yōzei in 1603 and established the Tokugawa shogunate in Edo (modern Tokyo).

1603, 1868
The shogunate enacted measures including buke shohatto, as a code of conduct to control the autonomous daimyōs; and in 1639 the isolationist sakoku ("closed country") policy that spanned the two and a half centuries of tenuous political unity known as the Edo period (1603–1868).

1800, 1899
However, since the late 19th century the judicial system has been largely based on the civil law of Europe, notably Germany.

Meiji emperor color

Reproduced from WIKI

Meiji emperor color

1800, 1899
Other minority religions include Hinduism, Sikhism and Judaism, Bahá'í Faith, and since the mid-19th century numerous new religious movements have emerged in Japan.

1800, 1899
Since the 19th century, however, Japan has incorporated much of Western, modern, and post-modern architecture into construction and design, and is today a leader in cutting-edge architectural design and technology.

1800, 1899
The interaction between Japanese and European art has been significant: for example ukiyo-e prints, which began to be exported in the 19th century in the movement known as Japonism, had a significant influence on the development of modern art in the West, most notably on post-Impressionism.

1800, 1899
Western classical music, introduced in the late 19th century, now forms an integral part of Japanese culture.

1800, 1899
Western philosophy has had its major impact in Japan only since the middle of the 19th century.

Umezu

Reproduced from WIKI

Umezu

1800, 1809
Beer has been brewed in Japan since the late 1800s, and is produced in many regions by companies including Asahi Breweries, Kirin Brewery, and Sapporo Brewery – claiming to be the oldest named brand of beer in Japan.

31 March 1854
On March 31, 1854, Commodore Matthew Perry and the "Black Ships" of the United States Navy forced the opening of Japan to the outside World with the Convention of Kanagawa.

1868
Plunging itself through an active process of Westernization during the Meiji Restoration in 1868, Japan adopted Western political, judicial and military institutions and Western cultural influences integrated with its traditional culture for modern industrialization.

1868
During the Meiji period from 1868, Japan expanded economically with the embrace of the market economy.

1868
The first was the Kami and Buddhas Separation Act of 1868, which formally separated Buddhism from Shinto and Buddhist temples from Shinto shrines, breaking an association between the two which had lasted well over a thousand years.

Satellite View of Japan 1999

Reproduced from WIKI

Satellite View of Japan 1999

1872
Primary schools, secondary schools and universities were introduced in 1872 as a result of the Meiji Restoration.

1873, 1935
Japan's Population grew from 35 million in 1873 to 70 million in 1935.

1894, 1895, 1904, 1905
After victories in the First Sino-Japanese War (1894–1895) and the Russo-Japanese War (1904–1905), Japan gained control of Taiwan, Korea and the southern half of Sakhalin.

1896
For example, in 1896, the Japanese government established a civil code based on a draft of the German Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch; with the code remaining in effect with post–World War II modifications.

1897
Japan has one of the oldest and largest film industries in the world; movies have been produced in Japan since 1897.

Cherry blossoms at Yoshinoyama 01

Reproduced from WIKI

Cherry blossoms at Yoshinoyama 01

1900, 1999
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, victories in the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War and World War I allowed Japan to expand its empire during a period of increasing militarism.

1900, 1912, 1920, 1926, 1929, 1999
The early 20th century saw a period of Taishō democracy (1912–1926), but the 1920s saw a fragile democracy buckle under a political shift towards statism, the passing of laws against political dissent and a series of attempted coups.

1900, 1999
People usually sat on cushions or otherwise on the floor, traditionally; chairs and high tables were not widely used until the 20th century.

1900, 1999
Japanese comics, known as manga, developed in the 20th century and have become popular worldwide.

1910, 1945
Between 1910 and 1945, the Japanese government rebuilt Korean infrastructure.

Kongobuji Koyasan07n3200

Reproduced from WIKI

Kongobuji Koyasan07n3200

1923
The 1923 Tokyo earthquake killed over 140,000 people.

1930, 1939
This process accelerated during the 1930s, spawning a number of new Radical Nationalist groups which shared a hostility to liberal democracy and a dedication to expansion in Asia.

1931, 1933
In 1931 Japan invaded and occupied Manchuria and following international condemnation of this occupation, it quit the League of Nations in 1933.

1936, 1940
In 1936, Japan signed the Anti-Comintern Pact with Germany and the 1940 Tripartite Pact made it one of the Axis Powers.

1936
Japan's top professional league, now known as Nippon Professional Baseball, was established in 1936 and is widely considered to be the highest level of professional baseball in the world outside of the North American Major Leagues.

Jigokudani hotspring in Nagano Japan 001

Reproduced from WIKI

Jigokudani hotspring in Nagano Japan 001

1937, 1941, 1945
The Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937 expanded into part of World War II in 1941, which came to an end in 1945 following the Japanese surrender.

1937, 1945
The Empire of Japan invaded other parts of China in 1937, precipitating the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945).

1940
In 1940, the Empire invaded French Indochina, after which the United States placed an oil embargo on Japan.

December 1941
On December 7–8, 1941, Japanese forces carried out surprise attacks on Pearl Harbor, British forces in Malaya, Singapore and Hong Kong and declared war on the United States and the British Empire, bringing the United States and the United Kingdom into World War II in the Pacific.

15 August 1945
After Allied victories across the Pacific during the next four years, which culminated in the Soviet invasion of Manchuria and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, Japan agreed to an unconditional surrender on August 15.

Emperor Akihito cropped 2 Barack Obama Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko 20140424 1

Reproduced from WIKI

Emperor Akihito cropped 2 Barack Obama Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko 20140424 1

1945
Japan contests Russia's control of the Southern Kuril Islands (including Etorofu, Kunashiri, Shikotan, and the Habomai group) which were occupied by the Soviet Union in 1945.

1945
The Korean Peninsula once again became independent with the surrender of Japan and the Axis at the end of WWII in 1945.

3 May 1946
The Allies also convened the International Military Tribunal for the Far East on May 3, 1946, to prosecute some senior generals for war crimes.

1947
In 1947, Japan adopted a new constitution emphasizing liberal democratic practices.

1947
Since 1947, compulsory education in Japan comprises elementary and junior high school, which together last for nine years (from age 6 to age 15).

Shinzo Abe %282017%29

Reproduced from WIKI

Shinzo Abe %282017%29

3 May 1947
Since adopting its revised constitution on May 3, 1947, during the occupation by the SCAP, the sovereign state of Japan has maintained a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy with an Emperor and an elected legislature called the National Diet.

1948
Japan is the number one importer of Korean music (K-pop), television (K-dramas), and films, but this was only made possible after the South Korean government lifted the 30-year ban on cultural exchange with Japan that had been in place since 1948.

1948
Public holidays in Japan are regulated by the Public Holiday Law (国民の祝日に関する法律, Kokumin no Shukujitsu ni Kansuru Hōritsu) of 1948.

1949
Hideki Yukawa, educated at Kyoto University, was awarded the prize in physics in 1949.

1950, 1959, 1960, 1969
In the period of rapid economic growth after World War II, environmental policies were downplayed by the government and industrial corporations; as a result, environmental pollution was widespread in the 1950s and 1960s.

thumbnail

Reproduced from WIKI

thumbnail

1950, 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000, 2005
Japan captured 4,074,580 metric tons of fish in 2005, down from 4,987,703 tons in 2000, 9,558,615 tons in 1990, 9,864,422 tons in 1980, 8,520,397 tons in 1970, 5,583,796 tons in 1960 and 2,881,855 tons in 1950.

1952, 1956
The Allied occupation ended with the Treaty of San Francisco in 1952 and Japan was granted membership in the United Nations in 1956.

1955, 1993, 1994, 2009, 2012
The LDP has enjoyed near-continuous electoral success since 1955, except for brief periods between 1993 and 1994 and from 2009 to 2012.

1956, 2009, 2010
A member state of the United Nations since 1956, Japan has served as a non-permanent Security Council member for a total of 20 years, most recently for 2009 and 2010.

December 1956
Japan has diplomatic relations with nearly all independent nations and has been an active member of the United Nations since December 1956.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange - main room 3

Reproduced from WIKI

The Tokyo Stock Exchange - main room 3

1957
The village of Ogata in Akita, Japan, was established on land reclaimed from Lake Hachirogata starting in 1957.

1960, 1969, 1970, 1979, 1980, 1989, 1990, 1999
The period of overall real economic growth from the 1960s to the 1980s has been called the Japanese post-war economic miracle: it averaged 7.5 percent in the 1960s and 1970s, and 3.2 percent in the 1980s and early 1990s.

1964, 1972, 1998
Japan hosted the Summer Olympics in Tokyo in 1964 and the Winter Olympics in Sapporo in 1972 and Nagano in 1998.

1965
Shin'ichirō Tomonaga followed in 1965.

1967, 1998
The country gained the hosting rights for the official Women's Volleyball World Championship on five occasions (1967, 1998, 2006, 2010, 2018), more than any other nation.

Ginza-WAKO at night

Reproduced from WIKI

Ginza-WAKO at night

1968, 1994
Japan has two Nobel Prize-winning authors – Yasunari Kawabata (1968) and Kenzaburō Ōe (1994).

1970
Responding to rising concern about the problem, the government introduced several environmental protection laws in 1970.

1973
The oil crisis in 1973 also encouraged the efficient use of energy because of Japan's lack of natural resources.

1973
Solid-state physicist Leo Esaki, educated at the University of Tokyo, received the prize in 1973.

1973
Since 1973, all elderly persons have been covered by government-sponsored insurance.

Toyota Plant Ohira Sendai

Reproduced from WIKI

Toyota Plant Ohira Sendai

1977
By 1977, the amount of land reclaimed totaled 172.03 km2 (66.42 sq mi).

1978
Japan became a major exporter of video games during the golden age of arcade video games, an era that began with the release of Taito's Space Invaders in 1978 and ended around the mid-1980s.

1980, 1989
Offshore fisheries accounted for an average of 50% of the nation's total fish catches in the late 1980s although they experienced repeated ups and downs during that period.

1980, 1989
Japanese-made video game consoles have been popular since the 1980s.

1981, 1987
Kenichi Fukui of Kyoto University shared the 1981 prize in chemistry, and Susumu Tonegawa, also educated at Kyoto University, became Japan's first laureate in physiology or medicine in 1987.

Chuurei-tou Fujiyoshida 17025277650 c59733d6ba o

Reproduced from WIKI

Chuurei-tou Fujiyoshida 17025277650 c59733d6ba o

1981, 2002, 2004
Japan was a venue of the Intercontinental Cup from 1981 to 2004 and co-hosted the 2002 FIFA World Cup with South Korea.

1987
Since privatisation in 1987, dozens of Japanese railway companies compete in regional and local passenger transportation markets; major companies include seven JR enterprises, Kintetsu, Seibu Railway and Keio Corporation.

1989, 2018
The Isahaya Bay reclamation project (諫早湾干拓事業) in Isahaya, Nagasaki started in 1989 and a total of 35 km2 (14 sq mi) has been reclaimed as of 2018.

1990, 1999
Since the 1990s, the Korean Wave has created a large fanbase in East Asia.

1990, 1999
Growth slowed in the 1990s during the "Lost Decade" due to after-effects of the Japanese asset price bubble and government policies intended to wring speculative excesses from the stock and real estate markets.

KyotoFushimiInariLarge

Reproduced from WIKI

KyotoFushimiInariLarge

1992
Since the establishment of the Japan Professional Football League in 1992, association football has also gained a wide following.

1993
A 1993 survey by the Cultural Affairs Agency found that more Japanese had sung karaoke that year than had participated in traditional pursuits such as flower arranging (ikebana) or tea ceremonies.

11 March 2011, 1995
More recent major quakes are the 1995 Great Hanshin earthquake and the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake, a 9.1-magnitude quake which hit Japan on March 11, 2011, and triggered a large tsunami.

1996
In 1996, Japan ranked fourth in the world in tonnage of fish caught.

1996
Nagasaki Prefecture has the highest percentage of Christians: about 5.1% in 1996.

Castle Himeji sakura01 adjusted

Reproduced from WIKI

Castle Himeji sakura01 adjusted

1997
As the host and signatory of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, Japan is under treaty obligation to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions and to take other steps to curb climate change.

June 1999
According to a survey conducted by the Japanese Newspaper Association in June 1999, 85.4 per cent of men and 75 per cent of women read a newspaper every day.

2000
Efforts to revive economic growth were unsuccessful and further hampered by the global slowdown in 2000.

2000, 2013
Japan leads the world in robotics production and use, possessing more than 20% (300,000 of 1.3 million) of the world's industrial robots as of 2013 – though its share was historically even higher, representing one-half of all industrial robots worldwide in 2000.

2000, 2001
Japanese chemists took prizes in 2000 and 2001: first Hideki Shirakawa (Tokyo Institute of Technology) and then Ryōji Noyori (Kyoto University).

HTV-6 grappled by the International Space Station%27s robotic arm %282%29

Reproduced from WIKI

HTV-6 grappled by the International Space Station%27s robotic arm %282%29

2000
Beginning in 2000, Japan implemented the Happy Monday System, which moved a number of national holidays to Monday in order to obtain a long weekend.

2000, 2009
Japan's dominance within the industry would continue for the next two decades, until Microsoft's Xbox consoles began challenging Sony and Nintendo in the 2000s.

2002
In 2002, Masatoshi Koshiba (University of Tokyo) and Koichi Tanaka (Tohoku University) won in physics and chemistry, respectively.

2003
In 2003, the total aquaculture production was predicted at 1,301,437 tonnes.

2003
In 2003, there were about 134,700 non-Latin American Western (not including more than 33,000 American military personnel and their dependents stationed throughout the country) and 345,500 Latin American expatriates, 274,700 of whom were Brazilians (said to be primarily Japanese descendants, or nikkeijin, along with their spouses), the largest community of Westerners.

2017 Toyota Camry TRD

Reproduced from WIKI

2017 Toyota Camry TRD

2005
Japan's exports amounted to US$4,210 per capita in 2005.

2005
The economy recovered after 2005; GDP growth for that year was 2.8 percent, surpassing the growth rates of the US and European Union during the same period.

29 April 2006, 4 May 2006
In 2006, the country decided to add Shōwa Day, a new national holiday, in place of Greenery Day on April 29, and to move Greenery Day to May 4.

2007
Some 20 million people, around 17 per cent of the population, were below the poverty line in 2007.

2007
As of 2007, there are 32,036 Christian priests and pastors in Japan.

Kibo PM and ELM-PS

Reproduced from WIKI

Kibo PM and ELM-PS

2007
These changes took effect in 2007.

March 2007, October 2008
Japan signed a security pact with Australia in March 2007 and with India in October 2008.

14 September 2007
On September 14, 2007, it launched lunar explorer SELENE (Selenological and Engineering Explorer) on a H-IIA (Model H2A2022) carrier rocket from Tanegashima Space Center.

4 October 2007
It entered a lunar orbit on October 4, flying at an altitude of about 100 km (62 mi).

2008, 2018
In 2018 Japan executed 15 people, the highest annual total since 2008.

Japan Airlines%2C Boeing 787-9 JA861J NRT %2819455285040%29

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Japan Airlines%2C Boeing 787-9 JA861J NRT %2819455285040%29

2008, 2020
In 2008, the Japanese government has set up Japan Tourism Agency and set the initial goal to increase foreign visitors to 20 million in 2020.

2008
It is a participant in the International Space Station: the Japanese Experiment Module (Kibo) was added to the station during Space Shuttle assembly flights in 2008.

2008
Makoto Kobayashi, Toshihide Masukawa and Yoichiro Nambu, who was an American citizen when awarded, shared the physics prize and Osamu Shimomura also won the chemistry prize in 2008.

March 2011, 2009
The large budget deficits and government debt since the 2009 global recession and followed by the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 caused the rating downgrade.

2009
In 2009, the Yomiuri Shimbun published a modern list of famous sights under the name Heisei Hyakkei (the Hundred Views of the Heisei period).

Kashiwazaki-Kariwa 04780017 %288388173865%29

Reproduced from WIKI

Kashiwazaki-Kariwa 04780017 %288388173865%29

2009
In 2009, the number of suicides exceeded 30,000 for the twelfth successive year.

2009
As of 2009, out of Japan's $20 billion gaming market, $6 billion of that amount is generated from arcades, which represent the largest sector of the Japanese video game market, followed by home console games and mobile games at $3.5 billion and $2 billion, respectively.

11 June 2009
The probe's mission was ended when it was deliberately crashed by JAXA into the Moon on June 11, 2009.

2010
Japan later achieved rapid growth to become the second-largest economy in the world, until surpassed by China in 2010.

2010
In 2010, Japan's total fisheries production was 4,762,469 fish.

Tokuyama Dam under involved construction

Reproduced from WIKI

Tokuyama Dam under involved construction

2010
In 2010, the 2.4 million arrivals made up 27% of the tourists visiting Japan.

2010
In 2010, 90.7% of the total Japanese population lived in cities.

2010, 2015
Japan has the second longest overall life expectancy at birth of any country in the world: 83.5 years for persons born in the period 2010–2015.

2010
The Pew Research Center estimated that there were 185,000 Muslims in Japan in 2010.

20 May 2010, 9 December 2015
The space probe Akatsuki was launched May 20, 2010, and achieved orbit around Venus on December 9, 2015.

Bjs48 02 Ainu

Reproduced from WIKI

Bjs48 02 Ainu

December 2010
New military guidelines, announced in December 2010, will direct the JSDF away from its Cold War focus on the former Soviet Union to a focus on China, especially regarding the territorial dispute over the Senkaku Islands.

June 2015, 2011
As of June 2015, more than 40 coal-fired power plants are planned or under construction in Japan, following the switching-off of Japan's nuclear fleet following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

2011
Chinese travelers are the highest spenders in Japan by country, spending an estimated 196.4 billion yen (US$2.4 billion) in 2011, or almost a quarter of total expenditure by foreign visitors, according to data from the Japan Tourism Agency.

2011
As of 2011, 46.1% of energy in Japan was produced from petroleum, 21.3% from coal, 21.4% from natural gas, 4.0% from nuclear power and 3.3% from hydropower.

2011
Nuclear power produced 9.2 percent of Japan's electricity, as of 2011, down from 24.9 percent the previous year.

Skyscrapers of Shinjuku 2009 January %28revised%29

Reproduced from WIKI

Skyscrapers of Shinjuku 2009 January %28revised%29

2011
In 2011, Japan's population dropped for a fifth year, falling by 204,000 people to 126.24 million people.

2011
Japan is the most successful Asian Rugby Union country, winning the Asian Five Nations a record 6 times and winning the newly formed IRB Pacific Nations Cup in 2011.

2011
Also, Japan recently won the FIFA Women's World Cup in 2011.

11 March 2011
On March 11, 2011, Japan suffered one of the largest earthquakes in its recorded history; this triggered the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, one of the worst disasters in the history of nuclear power.

March 2011, May 2012
However, by May 2012 all of the country's nuclear power plants had been taken offline because of ongoing public opposition following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in March 2011, though government officials continued to try to sway public opinion in favor of returning at least some of Japan's 50 nuclear reactors to service.

Skyline of Minato Mirai 21%2C Yokohama%2C 20150201

Reproduced from WIKI

Skyline of Minato Mirai 21%2C Yokohama%2C 20150201

March 2011
This decline was made worse by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, which killed nearly 16,000 people.

August 2011
In August 2011, Moody's rating has cut Japan's long-term sovereign debt rating one notch from Aa3 to Aa2 inline with the size of the country's deficit and borrowing level.

26 December 2012
Following the LDP's landslide victory in the 2012 general election, Shinzō Abe replaced Yoshihiko Noda as the Prime Minister on December 26, 2012.

2012, 2050
In 2012, about 24.1 percent of the population was over 65, and the proportion is projected to rise to almost 40 percent by 2050.

2012
According to the UNHCR, in 2012 Japan accepted just 18 refugees for resettlement, while the United States took in 76,000.

Meieki from Heiwa Park Aqua Tower

Reproduced from WIKI

Meieki from Heiwa Park Aqua Tower

April 2012
As of April 2012, Japan has approximately 1,215,000 kilometres (755,000 miles) of roads made up of 1,022,000 kilometres (635,000 miles) of city, town and village roads, 129,000 kilometres (80,000 miles) of prefectural roads, 55,000 kilometres (34,000 miles) of general national highways and 8,050 kilometres (5,000 miles) of national expressways.

2013
It has the 15th highest natural disaster risk as measured in the 2013 World Risk Index.

2013
Foreign visitors to Japan doubled in last decade and reached 10 million people for the first time in 2013, led by increase of Asian visitors.

2014
It is the world's fifth largest donor of official development assistance, donating US$9.2 billion in 2014.

2014
As of 2014, Japan's main export markets were the United States (20.2 percent), China (17.5 percent), South Korea (7.1 percent), Hong Kong (5.6 percent) and Thailand (4.5 percent).

Itsukushima Gate

Reproduced from WIKI

Itsukushima Gate

2014, 2016
Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura, who is an American citizen when awarded, shared the physics prize in 2014 and the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Yoshinori Ohsumi in 2016.

2014
In 2014, foreign-born non-naturalized workers made up only 1.5% of the total population.

2014
In 2014, the country ranked fourth for the percentage of 25- to 64-year-olds that have attained tertiary education with 48 percent.

11 August 2014
In 2014, the House of Councillors decided to add Mountain Day (山の日, Yama no Hi) to the Japanese calendar on August 11, after lobbying by the Japanese Alpine Club.

2014
In 2014, Japan's consumer video game market grossed $9.6 billion, with $5.8 billion coming from mobile gaming.

Phoenix Hall%2C Byodo-in%2C November 2016 -01

Reproduced from WIKI

Phoenix Hall%2C Byodo-in%2C November 2016 -01

1 January 2014, 11 February 2014, 20 March 2014, 21 March 2014, 29 April 2014, 3 May 2014, 4 May 2014, 5 May 2014, 11 August 2014, 23 September 2014, 24 September 2014, 3 November 2014, 23 November 2014, 23 December 2014
The national holidays in Japan are New Year's Day on January 1, Coming of Age Day on Second Monday of January, National Foundation Day on February 11, Vernal Equinox Day on March 20 or 21, Shōwa Day on April 29, Constitution Memorial Day on May 3, Greenery Day on May 4, Children's Day on May 5, Marine Day on Third Monday of July, Mountain Day on August 11, Respect for the Aged Day on Third Monday of September, Autumnal Equinox on September 23 or 24, Health and Sports Day on Second Monday of October, Culture Day on November 3, Labour Thanksgiving Day on November 23, and The Emperor's Birthday on December 23.

May 2014
In May 2014, Prime Minister Shinzō Abe said Japan wanted to shed the passiveness it has maintained since the end of World War II and take more responsibility for regional security.

November 2014, 2015
As of November 2014, two reactors at Sendai are likely to restart in early 2015.

2015
Although it has officially renounced its right to declare war, Japan maintains a modern military with the world's eighth-largest military budget, used for self-defense and peacekeeping roles; it ranked as the world's fourth most-powerful military in 2015.

2015
A Credit Suisse survey published in 2015 ranked Japan as the world's fourth most-powerful military behind the United States, Russia and China.

The Great Wave off Kanagawa

Reproduced from WIKI

The Great Wave off Kanagawa

2015
Japan's main import markets as of 2015 were China (24.8 percent), the United States (10.5 percent), Australia (5.4 percent) and South Korea (4.1 percent).

2015, 2016
It is ranked sixth in the Global Competitiveness Report for 2015–2016.

2015
Japan Post Holdings, one of the country's largest providers of savings and insurance services, was slated for privatization by 2015.

2015, 2016
Japan attracted 19.73 million international tourists in 2015 and increased by 21.8% to attract 24.03 million international tourists in 2016.

2015
For inbound tourism, Japan was ranked 16th in the world in 2015.

150504 Ritsurin Park Takamatsu Kagawa pref Japan01s3

Reproduced from WIKI

150504 Ritsurin Park Takamatsu Kagawa pref Japan01s3

2015
In 2015, Japan's public spending on education amounted to just 3.5 percent of its GDP, below the OECD average of 4.7%.

2015
According to the 2015 NHK survey on television viewing in Japan, 79 percent of Japanese watch television every day.

December 2015
Despite their historical tensions, in December 2015, Japan agreed to settle the comfort women dispute with South Korea by issuing a formal apology, taking responsibility for the issue and paying money to the surviving comfort women.

2016
As of 2016, Japan's labor force consisted of some 65.9 million workers.

2016, 2020, 2030
In 2016, having met the 20 million target, the government has revised up its target to 40 million by 2020 and to 60 million by 2030.

Akiba-Sofmap-1st-Store-In-Akihabara

Reproduced from WIKI

Akiba-Sofmap-1st-Store-In-Akihabara

2016
In 2016, 24,039,053 foreign tourists visited Japan.

2016
It is part of the Greater Tokyo Area, the biggest metropolitan area in the world with 38,140,000 people (2016).

April 2016
Starting in April 2016, various schools began the academic year with elementary school and junior high school integrated into one nine-year compulsory schooling program, in hopes to mitigate bullying and truancy; MEXT plans for this approach to be adopted nationwide in the coming years.

2017
In 2017, Japan had the fifth largest diplomatic network in the world.

2017, 2020
Most recently, South Korean President Moon Jae-in met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the 2017 G-20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany to discuss the future of their relationship and specifically how to cooperate on finding solutions for North Korean aggression in the region.

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Reproduced from WIKI

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2017
In 2017, 28,690,900 foreign tourists visited Japan.

November 2017
As of November 2017, it holds 283 seats in the lower house and 125 seats in the upper house.

2018
As of 2018, Japan's territory is 377,973.89 km2 (145,936.53 sq mi).

2018
Japan ranks 20th in the 2018 Environmental Performance Index, which measures a nation's commitment to environmental sustainability.

2018
Japan ranks 34th of 190 countries in the 2018 ease of doing business index and has one of the smallest tax revenues of the developed world.

Genji emaki 01003 001

Reproduced from WIKI

Genji emaki 01003 001

2018, 2030
Japan's plans in space exploration include: developing the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter to be launched in 2018; and building a moon base by 2030.

2018
The capital city Tokyo has a population of 13.8 million (2018).

23 July 2018
The highest temperature ever measured in Japan 41.1 °C (106.0 °F) was recorded on July 23, 2018.

15 September 2018
On September 15, 2018, for the first time, 1 in 5 persons in Japan is 70 or older according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. 26.18 million people are 70 or older and accounted for 20.7 percent of the population.

2019
Japan will host the 2019 IRB Rugby World Cup.

Kitaro Nishidain in Feb. 1943

Reproduced from WIKI

Kitaro Nishidain in Feb. 1943

2020
The Japanese government hopes to receive 40 million foreign tourists every year by 2020.

2020
Tokyo will host the 2020 Summer Olympics, making Tokyo the first Asian city to host the Olympics twice.

2050
Japan's population is expected to drop to 95 million by 2050; demographers and government planners are currently in a heated debate over how to cope with this problem.