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The flag of
Japan is white with a large red disk (representing the sun
without rays) in the center.
Now for a brief word from our
3 ft x 5 ft
Flag of Japan
History of Japan
In 1603, after decades of civil warfare, the Tokugawa
shogunate (a military-led, dynastic government) ushered
in a long period of relative political stability and
isolation from foreign influence. For more than two
centuries this policy enabled Japan to enjoy a flowering
of its indigenous culture. Japan opened its ports after
signing the Treaty of Kanagawa with the US in 1854 and
began to intensively modernize and industrialize. During
the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Japan became a
regional power that was able to defeat the forces of
both China and Russia. It occupied Korea, Formosa
(Taiwan), and southern Sakhalin Island. In 1931-32 Japan
occupied Manchuria, and in 1937 it launched a full-scale
invasion of China. Japan attacked US forces in 1941 -
triggering America's entry into World War II - and soon
occupied much of East and Southeast Asia. After its
defeat in World War II, Japan recovered to become an
economic power and an ally of the US. While the emperor
retains his throne as a symbol of national unity,
elected politicians hold actual decision-making power.
Following three decades of unprecedented growth, Japan's
economy experienced a major slowdown starting in the
1990s, but the country remains an economic power. In
March 2011, Japan's strongest-ever earthquake, and an
accompanying tsunami, devastated the northeast part of
Honshu island, killed thousands, and damaged several
nuclear power plants. The catastrophe hobbled the
country's economy and its energy infrastructure, and
tested its ability to deal with humanitarian disasters.
Prime Minister Shinzo ABE was reelected to office in
December 2012, and has since embarked on ambitious
economic and security reforms to improve Japan's economy
and bolster the country's international standing.