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. 1868

    The Empire of Japan is proclaimed and the country enters a period of rapid industrialization and trading dominance over East Asia.

  3. 1895

    China cedes Taiwan to Japan and permits Japan to trade on the mainland after being defeated by Japan in a war lasting nine months.

  4. 1910

    After three years of fighting, Japan annexes Korea. Japan is now among the world's leading powers.

  5. 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.

  6. 1941

    Japan attacks a United States naval fleet in the pacific, prompting the US and their main allies to declare war on Japan.

  7. 1945

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

  8. 1952

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

  9. 1997

    Japan's economy enters a severe recession amidst the Asian financial crisis. 

  10. 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.

  11. 2008

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

  12. 2009

    Japan faces its worst economic crisis since World War II, after the economy shrank by over 3% in the final quarter of the year due to the steep fall in external demand. 

  13. 2011

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


BBC News