Japan. During the year, Japan’s economy improved slightly and the country retained its place in the world as the second largest economy, after the United States. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi chose to release the Japanese right for the fourth year in a row by visiting the Yasukuni Temple in Tokyo on January 1, honoring Japanese war criminals. North and South Korea and China, which were invaded by Japan during the war, protested. In April, a Japanese court found that the visit violated the country’s constitution. Koizumi maintained his right to visit the temple as a private person.
According to CountryAAH, the total population in Japan is 126,476,472 people in 2020. Koizumi faced some problems during the year due to its unrelenting allegiance to the United States. He refused to take home the 550 soldiers he sent to Iraq despite the fact that four Japanese were kidnapped by Islamists. Three were released unharmed, the fourth, the young backpack tourist Shosei Koda, executed by the kidnappers. On the contrary, in December, the Prime Minister decided to extend the mandate of the Japanese force, despite the fact that over 60% of the Japanese opposed this. His popularity dropped to the bottom level 37%, against 80% when elected. In the election to Parliament’s first chamber in July, Koizumi suffered a moderate defeat. He did not win as many mandates as he envisioned, but could still retain control thanks to the government coalition with the New Komeito Party. Japan also demonstrated his allegiance to the United States by pledging half a billion dollars to help the US rebuild Iraq.
In July, former chess world champion Bobby Fischer in Japan was arrested for extradition to the United States, where he is wanted for playing chess in former Yugoslavia in 1992 despite the US blockade. Iceland, where he won the World Cup match against Boris Spasskij in 1972, Fischer offered a refuge. Yet at the turn of the year, however, he remained in Japan
The Southeast Asian cooperation organization ASEAN decided in November to invite China and Japan to negotiations on a colossal Asian free trade zone – a powerful counterbalance to the EU and the US. Japan showed a willingness to play a larger military role.
In October, a military panel suggested that Japan should be able to attack robotic bases for defense purposes – which is banned by the pacifist constitution. The motivation is concern for North Korea’s robotic ramps. In December, China and North Korea were identified as worrying about security in the government’s defense report.
On September 22, Koizumi called for a UN Security Council reform. Japan, Germany, India and Brazil want to join the Council. Japan has a powerful argument: the country accounts for 20% of the UN budget.
Japan won the Asian Cup in August with a 3-1 victory against China in Beijing. About 50,000 furious Chinese demonstrated against the Japanese victory. But despite the hostility of the war, trade relations increased significantly – China is now Japan’s second largest trading partner, after the United States. In December, the temperature dropped again between the countries when Japan granted a visa to Taiwan’s president, 81-year-old Li Denghui, for a visit to Japan over the New Year.
The romance got its go during the year, when the court announced the 35-year-old empress’s daughter Sayoko’s engagement with a 39-year-old youth friend.
The December 26 tsunami in Southeast Asia claimed at least 24 Japanese lives. However, the giant waves spared Japan’s beaches.
2011 Tsunami and nuclear disaster
On March 11, 2011, Japan was hit by the worst earthquake in the previous 100 years. With an epicenter 70km east of the Oshika Peninsula in northern Japan and at a depth of 32km and a strength of 9.0 on the Richter scale, the quake caused enormous devastation in the northern part of the kingdom. A tsunami with waves of more than 40m elevation penetrated up to 10km inland. The northernmost island, Honshu was moved 2.4m to the east and the earth’s axis of rotation was displaced by 10-25 cm. The trembling clamor to cost over 30,000 people’s lives; nearly 130,000 buildings were completely destroyed; 254,000 buildings half destroyed; and 691,000 buildings partially destroyed. But the biggest disaster was the destruction of the nuclear power plant in Fukushima. The nuclear reactors were built to withstand earthquakes, but could not withstand both earthquakes and tsunamis, thus confirming the nuclear power’s assertion that not all accidents can be foreseen. The tsunami flooded the plant’s basements, where emergency power plants for cooling the works were located. They collapsed and the consequence was an immediate total meltdown in 3 of the plant’s reactors.
All over the Western world, nuclear power users got busy dimming the disaster. In Denmark, the contemporary “nuclear power expert” of the 1970s, Poul Ølgård was given unlimited talk time for several weeks on the Danish Radio, where he could first tell that there was no problem because the works had many security systems and therefore could not reach anything wrong ; that the innermost enclosure could then not be strengthened; then it didn’t matter that many millions of strong radioactive water poured into the Pacific because there was plenty of water to dilute the pollution. The fact was that 3 of the plant’s reactors immediately melted down due to the lack of cooling. Ie that the fuel rods melted through both the inner and outer casing and into the subsoil. By this time, the building structures had already partially broken away. In a desperate attempt to cool the reactors, Japanese authorities injected millions of gallons of water into the reactors – which subsequently transported large amounts of radioactivity into the Pacific Ocean. Ølgård was right that the Pacific Ocean is large, but Japan is one of the world’s largest fish-eating nations, and radioactivity is concentrated up through the food chain to end, among other things. the Japanese fish. However, it was not fish that was initially discarded, but rather large quantities of food produced on land. The water was also contaminated, and at one point there were considerations to evacuate Tokyo. However, the authorities “restricted” themselves to evacuating everyone from a zone within a 30km radius of Fukushima. In the same way that Gorbachov’s Soviet Union ignored and suppressed the truth of the scale of the accident Chernobyl in 1986, the Japanese authorities ignored and suppressed the magnitude of the Fukushima accident. However, the government ultimately went so far as to declare a moratorium on the development of nuclear power in the country, and in Germany, the bourgeois government declared that, in the light of the accident, it wished to liquidate nuclear power in the country. At the beginning of the 21st century, the nuclear industry had breathed mormer air as the public forgot about Chernobyl. In Denmark, led by the party Left, who wanted to build nuclear power plants in Denmark. The Fukushima accident again placed these plans in the grave.
The earthquake ultimately cost Prime Minister Naoto Kan his political life. In September 2011, he was replaced at the post by Yoshihiko Noda. Noda was significantly more right-wing than its predecessor. He placed more emphasis on a close relationship with the United States; in May 2012, he restarted the country’s nuclear reactors despite overwhelming popular resistance; in June he received parliamentary support to raise the VAT from 5 to 10%. Again, despite widespread popular resistance. One commenter noted that he was the best prime minister the right-wing opposition in the LDP could wish for – he led their politics.