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These oil crises led to a shift in the economy and to the creation of high-technology industries, most notably electric and electronic appliances. The yen declined in value in the early s, causing Japanese exports to become cheaper in overseas markets and leading to huge trade surpluses with the United States and other leading trading partners, who began to demand that Japan voluntarily limit certain exports and remove the barriers to Japan's domestic market.
During — 87, the yen appreciated in value against the dollar and, by , the dollar had hit a post-World War II low, but Japan continued to register substantial trade surpluses. Political stability, maintained since the s by the majority LDP, began to unravel in the s, following the retirement from politics of Prime Minister Eisaku Sato in Sato's successor, Kakuei Tanaka , was forced to resign in December amid charges of using his office for personal gain in the Lockheed Corporation bribery scandal.
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Fukuda was defeated in intraparty elections by Masayoshi Ohira in When Ohira died in June , he was succeeded by Zenko Suzuki. Suzuki stepped down as prime minister in November and was replaced by controversial and outspoken Yasuhiro Nakasone. Noboru Takeshita became prime minister in November Policy regarding military force has been a major political issue in the postwar years.
According to Article Nine of the constitution, Japan renounced the belligerency of the state but soon developed a Self-Defense Force with US encouragement.
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The Diet parliament approved a bill allowing the deployment of troops abroad for international peacekeeping in with troops participating with the United Nations in Cambodia , Israel, Iraq , Sudan , Indonesia, and other states. Emperor Hirohito died of cancer on 7 January , at the age of He was succeeded by the Crown Prince Akihito, who was enthroned as the Heisei emperor in a formal ceremony in November The sense of entering a new era brought increased controversy over the assessment of Japan's role in the earlier part of the century, particularly during World War II.
Some denied that Japan had committed atrocities during the war and there were attempts to further soften the wording of school textbooks.
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In the same month, the government removed the requirement for fingerprinting of people of Korean descent living in Japan. However, many minorities in Japan, Chinese and Koreans included, claimed that they still experienced social and economic discrimination in Japan well after the war. The s ended with a major scandal involving illegal stock trading and influence peddling by the Recruit Cosmos Company.
Between the summer of and the closing of the case in May , the scandal led to the implication and resignations of prominent business people and politicians in top government positions, among them then-finance minister Kiichi Miyazawa, and the former prime minister, Yashuhiro Nakasone.
Scandals continued into the s with stock rebates for politicians in and then in , contributions to politicians from a trucking company linked to organized crime became public knowledge.
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The economy entered a period of major stagnation and distress in the early s. By the end of , Japan was in the midst of its worst economic downturn in at least 20 years.
This also led to a debt crisis that resulted in many banks becoming unsustainable causing a massive consolidation. Although the long-term economic prospects for Japan were good, it was further retarded by the impact of the Asian financial crisis of — In , the Japanese economy witnessed its most serious recession with a negative growth rate of 1. As of there were only four national banks in Japan. Against the background of scandals and an economic recession, the political landscape began a major change. Taking responsibility for political problems caused by the Recruit scandal, Noboru Takeshita resigned as prime minister in April , to be succeeded in May by Sosuke Uno, who abruptly resigned when a sex scandal became public amidst the LDP loss of its majority in the upper house of the Diet.
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The next prime minister, Toshiki Kaifu, served his term from August to October , but the LDP did not support him for a second term. Instead, Kiichi Miyazawa became prime minister in November When the lower house gave Miyazawa a vote of no confidence in June for abandoning electoral reform bills, Miyazawa dissolved the lower house and called for elections. In the election for the seats of the House of Representatives on 18 July , the LDP, for the first time since its own formation in , failed to secure the seats needed for a majority.
Hosokawa, too, was tainted by questions regarding personal finances and stepped down as prime minister to be replaced by Tsutomu Hata Shinseito in April Just as Hata took office, the Socialist Party left the governing coalition, leaving the prime minister as the head of a minority government for the first time in four decades.
Hata soon resigned and, in a surprise move, the LDP and the Socialist Party, traditionally opponents, allied to form a new coalition, which also included the Sakigake. The coalition selected as prime minister, Tomiichi Murayama, the head of the Socialist Party and the first Socialist prime minister since The dissolution of the House of Representatives and the ensuing election on 18 July marked a major turning point for Japanese politics as the LDP lost its political dominance as new parties formed.
By 28 June, one-fifth 57 members of the LDP bloc of the dissolved lower house left the party. In an unprecedented move, Murayama recognized the legal right for the existence of the Japanese Self-Defense force, much to the disapproval of left-leaning party members. The tumultuous reign of Murayama included the Kobe earthquake and political scandals which led to the resignation of the Justice Minister and the director of the Management and Coordination Agency.
Elections in October resulted in a victory for the LDP, but the party still failed to obtain a majority of seats, only capturing of During the Obuchi regime, the Japanese economy showed signs of recovering with major fiscal stimuli including a massive public works program. In April , Obuchi suffered a stroke, entered into a coma, and was replaced by Yoshiro Mori who called summarily for elections. On 25 June parliamentary elections were held for the House of Representatives. In early , the Nikkei stock average fell to its lowest level since and unemployment rates reached 4.
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Plagued by scandal and the depressed economy, Mori resigned in April Junichiro Koizumi won control of the LDP and became prime minister on 26 April, promising to reinvigorate Japanese politics and radically reform the economy. He appointed members of his cabinet without seeking nominations from major factions of the LDP, as had been the practice in the past. Koizumi immediately raised controversy by making a visit to the Yasukuni Shrine. Dedicated to Japan's war dead, it served as a symbol of nationalism during World War II and has been a lightning rod for anger among Asian nations that suffered under Japan's military aggression.
He continued to visit the shrine annually.
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Japan was also the target of international criticism over its Education Ministry's approval of junior high-school textbooks that allegedly glossed over Japan's aggression in China, particularly the Nanjing Massacre and its annexation of the Korean Peninsula. Koizumi's coalition dominated the July elections for the House of Councilors, with the LDP taking 65 of the contested seats, its best performance in the House of Councilors since The victory was seen as a mandate for Koizumi. However, the economy remained in recession throughout , which reduced his popularity. In , Japan began a diplomatic initiative to improve relations with North Korea.
Japan pledged a generous aid package to North Korea in return. In relations with South Korea and China soured over Japanese continued use of junior high-school textbooks which downplayed the aggressive nature of Japan's role in WWII. In addition, South Korea objected to the reassertion of the Japanese claim to the Liancourt Rocks, which Korea occupies.
China objected to the Japanese proposal for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council , while both countries objected to Japan's use of the East China Sea. Elections in resulted in large gains for the opposition Democratic Party, but the LDP coalition retained a majority within the parliament.
On 27 September , Koizumi carried out a major cabinet reorganization dubbing his new ministerial lineup the "Reform Implementation Cabinet", in order to combat corruption and inefficiency. Koizumi called for early elections in September after he dissolved the lower House due to the defeat in the upper House of his landmark proposals to reform the country's postal system. The upper House cannot be dissolved in Japan, and so a two-thirds majority was needed in the lower House to be able to pass new legislation without the consent of the upper House.
The result was the second-largest landslide in a general election in the LDP's history. In combination with allied parties, the LDP coalition held over two-thirds of the seats, out of The results were a devastating setback for the Democratic Party, the main opposition, whose gains in and led some to believe that Japanese Democracy was evolving into a two-party system. Due to LDP term limits, Koizumi was expected to retire in , although the possibility of his remaining in office still existed.
http://getlancerevan.dev3.develag.com Japan follows the parliamentary system in accordance with the constitution of The most significant change from the previous constitution of was the transfer of sovereign power from the emperor to the people. The emperor is now defined as "the symbol of the state and of the unity of the people. It is officially termed a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary government. The executive branch is headed by a prime minister selected from the Diet by its membership. The cabinet consists of the prime minister and 17 state ministers as of February whom are elected by the prime minister, each heading a government ministry or agency.
At least half the ministers must be selected from the Diet, to which the cabinet is collectively responsible. Upon a vote of no confidence by the House of Representatives, the cabinet must resign en masse. The National Diet is bicameral. The House of Representatives the lower House has a membership of , with terms of office for four years, except that all terms end upon dissolution of the house a law promulgated in February reduced the composition of the House from to members.
Of the seats, are elected from 11 multi-member constituencies by proportional representation, and are elected from single-member constituencies. The House of Councilors the upper House has members, members in multi-seat constituencies and 98 by proportional representation. The term of office is six years, with one-half elected every three years. This means that of the members subject to election each time, 73 are elected from the 47 prefectural districts and 48 are elected from a nationwide list by proportional representation.
The lower house holds primary power. In case of disagreement between the two houses, or if the upper house fails to take action within 60 days of receipt of legislation from the lower house, a bill becomes law if passed again by a two-thirds majority of the lower house. Suffrage is universal, the voting age being 20 years, with a three-month residence requirement. The constitution granted suffrage to women. In January , the Diet passed an electoral reform bill. In addition to new laws on campaign financing, the legislation abolished the multiple-member districts and replaced them with single-member districts and multimember districts.
The number of multimember districts stood at Elections for the House of Representatives took place in , two years before the official end of the term taken from the election in due to Koizumi's decision to dissolve the lower House. The next elections for the House of Councilors were scheduled to take place in Most political parties in Japan are small local or regional parties, with the total number of parties exceeding 10, Japan's most popular party, the Liberal-Democratic Party LDP represents a wide spectrum of Japanese society, but especially the conservative elements.
Formed in by the merger of the two leading conservative parties, this party held the reins of government since its formation until July The LDP supports an alliance with the United States and the various security pacts enacted by the two countries.