Nihon (or Nippon1) Koku (Land of the Rising Sun)
  • Barry Turner
Part of the The Statesman’s Yearbook book series (SYBK)


The present imperial family are the direct descendants of the house of Yamato which united the nation in about AD 200. From 1186 until 1867 successive families of the military Shoguns exercised temporal power. For centuries Japan followed a policy of national isolation. The 16th century marked the beginning of foreign trade but in the 17th century all exchange with Europeans and all trade, except with the Dutch, was proscribed. Not until 1859 was the country opened to foreign trade and residence. In 1867 the Emperor Meiji recovered the imperial power after the abdication on 14 Oct. 1867 of the fifteenth and last Tokugawa Shogun Keiko. In 1871 the feudal system (Hôken Seido) was abolished and in the early 1890s constitutional government was introduced by the Emperor. Japan’s victory over Russia in the war of 1904 prevented Russian expansion into Korea and consolidated Japan’s position as the strongest military power in Asia. Japan used the pretext of the Anglo-Japanese alliance to attack Chinese territory during the First World War. Bad feelings over the terms of the subsequent peace treaty led to continuing hostility between the two countries.


Prime Minister Democratic Party Proportional Representation Cash Holding Liberal Democratic Party 
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Further Reading

  1. Statistics Bureau of the Prime Minister’s Office: Statistical Year-Book (from 1949).— Statistical Abstract (from 1950).—Monthly Bulletin (from April 1950)Google Scholar
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  3. Ministry of International Trade: Foreign Trade of Japan (annual)Google Scholar
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  16. Jain, P. and Inoguchi, T., Japanese Politics Today. London, 1997CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Japan: an Illustrated Encyclopedia. London, 1993Google Scholar
  18. Johnson, C., Japan: Who Governs? The Rise of the Developmental State. New York, 1995Google Scholar
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  20. McClain, James, Japan: A Modern History. W. W. Norton, New York, 2001Google Scholar
  21. Nakano, M., The Policy-making Process in Contemporary Japan. London, 1996Google Scholar
  22. Okabe, M. (ed.) The Structure of the Japanese Economy: Changes on the Domestic and International Fronts. London, 1994Google Scholar
  23. Perren, R., Japanese Studies From Pre-History to 1990. Manchester Univ. Press, 1992Google Scholar
  24. Schirokauer, C., Brief History of Japanese Civilization. New York, 1993Google Scholar
  25. Woronoff, J., The Japanese Economic Crisis. 2nd ed. London, 1996CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. National statistical office: Statistics Bureau, Prime Minister’s Office, Tokyo.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry Turner

There are no affiliations available

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