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Modern Japan time line.

Japan's defeat in World War II caused great human and economic loss. The U.S. provided key financial and technical assistance after the war, but Japan's new democratic government played a central role in the nation's redevelopment. Today, Japan is the world's second-largest economy. Study the time line and answer the questions.



U.S. planes drop two atomic bombs, one on Hiroshima (August 6), and another on Nagasaki (August 9). More than 240,000 people, most of them civilians, are killed or injured. Japan surrenders and is placed under the control of a U.S. military government.


Japan's new constitution establishes a parliamentary democracy and pledges that the nation will not maintain a military force to wage war. Japan signs a peace treaty with the U.S. and other nations. In 1952, Japan regains its independence.


Japan's economy begins an 18-year period of rapid growth and industrial development. By the early 1970s, the nation has become the world's largest ship producer and a leading manufacturer of cars, steel, and high-tech electronic equipment.


The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is formed in 1955. The organization governs the country until 1993. Japan joins the United Nations in 1956. Four years later, Prime Minister Kishi Nobosuke signs a pact affirming Japan's alliance with the U.S. in the Cold War.


Japan establishes diplomatic relations with Communist China. An oil embargo (restriction) by several Middle Eastern countries greatly disrupts Japan's economy.


Japan becomes the world's largest provider of development aid. In 1902, the Japanese car company Honda opens its first factory in the U.S. By the decade's end, Japanese manufacturers struggle to sell their expensive, hightech products abroad.


Political scandals and a faltering economy result in the end of LDP leadership. A seven-party coalition takes power and its rule is marked by great political instability. The LDP returns to power in 1996.


Junichiro Koizumi becomes Prime Minister. Japan's economy gets a much-needed boost after co-hosting the Men's World Cup soccer tournament.


Japan provides economic support to the reconstruction of postwar Iraq. It also deploys some 1,000-noncombatant troops to Iraq. Some Japanese politicians consider the deployment unconstitutional.


Write your answers on a separate sheet of paper.

1. Japan was ruled by what kind of government after its surrender in World War II?

2. Why do you think Japan made a constitutional pledge to not maintain a military force to wage war?

3. What is the name of the political group that dominated Japan's politics after World War II?

4. What changes did Japan undergo during the 1980s?

5. How did co-hosting the 2002 World Cup help Japan's economy?

6. What do you think are some of the challenges of a coalition government, such as the one that ruled Japan in the early 1990s?

7. With whom did Japan sign an alliance pact during the Cold War?

8. What two factors led to the end of government rule by the LDP in 1993?

9. Why do you think some Japanese politicians considered the deployment of Japanese troops as unconstitutional?

10. Do you think countries should make a constitutional pledge to not maintain an army to wage war? Explain your answer.

Skill Master, p. T-6

1. a U.S. military government

2. World War II destroyed much of Japan. The nation also suffered a great loss of human life. This loss might have contributed to feelings of fear, guilt, and shame for the Japanese military aggression and influenced the nation to decide to never again provoke or participate in an armed conflict abroad.

3. Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)

4. Japan became the world's largest donor of international development aid. Honda, a Japanese carmaker, opened its first factory in the U.S. Japan's exports of high-tech products slowed.

5. Hosting the World Cup brought worldwide attention and more tourism to Japan. Tourists who spent money on food, goods, housing, services, and other items boosted Japan's economy, Advertising, endorsements, media rights, and other revenues associated with the tournament also fueled greater economic growth.

6. A coalition government is the union of several political groups. These groups might have competing interests, but agree to compromise in order to unite under one government. Such compromises are often difficult to honor and can lead to more conflict.

7. Japan sided with the U.S. during the Cold War.

8. Political scandals and a weak economy helped end LDP's leadership.

9. Despite the humanitarian scope of the deployment, Japan had made a constitutional pledge to not maintain a military force to wage war,

10. Answers will vary.
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Title Annotation:Skills Master
Publication:Junior Scholastic
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Mar 22, 2004
Previous Article:Ask mapman[TM].
Next Article:Knowledge Bowl #5.

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