Japan: History

  1. 1853

    A U.S. fleet forces Japan to open its market to foreign influence, ending 200 years of self-imposed isolation.

  2. 1895

    China cedes Taiwan to Japan and permits Japan to trade in China.

  3. 1910

    Japan annexes Korea after three years of fighting with Russia.

  4. 1919

    Japan is awarded territorial gains in the Pacific by the Treaty of Versailles.

  5. 1920s

    Extreme nationalism takes hold in Japan, with an emphasis on preserving traditional Japanese values and rejecting "Western" influence.

  6. 1936

    Japan signs an anti-communist agreement with Nazi Germany and signs a similar agreement with Italy in 1937.

  7. 1937

    Japan declares war on China, invading the country and capturing Shanghai, Beijing, and Nanjing. Japan occupies China until the end of World War II.

  8. 1945

    Hiroshima and Nagasaki are devastated by atomic bombs dropped by the United States. Emperor Hirohito and Japan surrender.

  9. 1952

    Japan regains its independence after being controlled by the US military government since 1945.

  10. 1956

    Japan joins the United Nations.

  11. 2001

    A trade dispute with China occurs after Japan imposes import tariffs on Chinese agricultural products. China retaliates with import taxes on Japanese manufactured goods.

  12. 2008

    A deal is reached with China for the joint development of a gas field in the East China Sea.

  13. 2011

    Japan is overtaken by China as the world's second-largest economy.


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