The National Diet is Japan's bicameral legislature. It is composed of a lower house called the House of Representatives, an upper house, called the House of Councillors. Both houses of the Diet are directly elected under parallel voting systems. In addition to passing laws, the Diet is formally responsible for selecting the Prime Minister; the Diet was first convened as the Imperial Diet in 1889 as a result of adopting the Meiji Constitution. The Diet took its current form in 1947 upon the adoption of the post-war constitution, which considers it the highest organ of state power; the National Diet Building is in Nagatachō, Tokyo. The houses of the Diet are both elected under parallel voting systems; this means that the seats to be filled in any given election are divided into two groups, each elected by a different method. Voters are asked to cast two votes: one for an individual candidate in a constituency, one for a party list. Any national of Japan at least 18 years of age may vote in these elections.
The age of 18 replaced 20 in 2016. Japan's parallel voting system is not to be confused with the Additional Member System used in many other nations; the Constitution of Japan does not specify the number of members of each house of the Diet, the voting system, or the necessary qualifications of those who may vote or be returned in parliamentary elections, thus allowing all of these things to be determined by law. However it does guarantee universal adult suffrage and a secret ballot, it insists that the electoral law must not discriminate in terms of "race, sex, social status, family origin, property or income". The election of Diet members is controlled by statutes passed by the Diet; this is a source of contention concerning re-apportionment of prefectures' seats in response to changes of population distribution. For example, the Liberal Democratic Party had controlled Japan for most of its post-war history, it gained much of its support from rural areas. During the post-war era, large numbers of people were relocating to the urban centers in the seeking of wealth.
The Supreme Court of Japan began exercising judicial review of apportionment laws following the Kurokawa decision of 1976, invalidating an election in which one district in Hyōgo Prefecture received five times the representation of another district in Osaka Prefecture. The Supreme Court has since indicated that the highest electoral imbalance permissible under Japanese law is 3:1, that any greater imbalance between any two districts is a violation of Article 14 of the Constitution. In recent elections the malapportionment ratio amounted to 4.8 in the House of Councillors and 2.3 in the House of Representatives. Candidates for the lower house must be 25 years old or older and 30 years or older for the upper house. All candidates must be Japanese nationals. Under Article 49 of Japan's Constitution, Diet members are paid about ¥1.3 million a month in salary. Each lawmaker is entitled to employ three secretaries with taxpayer funds, free Shinkansen tickets, four round-trip airplane tickets a month to enable them to travel back and forth to their home districts.
Article 41 of the Constitution describes the National Diet as "the highest organ of State power" and "the sole law-making organ of the State". This statement is in forceful contrast to the Meiji Constitution, which described the Emperor as the one who exercised legislative power with the consent of the Diet; the Diet's responsibilities include not only the making of laws but the approval of the annual national budget that the government submits and the ratification of treaties. It can initiate draft constitutional amendments, which, if approved, must be presented to the people in a referendum; the Diet may conduct "investigations in relation to government". The Prime Minister must be designated by Diet resolution, establishing the principle of legislative supremacy over executive government agencies; the government can be dissolved by the Diet if it passes a motion of no confidence introduced by fifty members of the House of Representatives. Government officials, including the Prime Minister and Cabinet members, are required to appear before Diet investigative committees and answer inquiries.
The Diet has the power to impeach judges convicted of criminal or irregular conduct. In most circumstances, in order to become law a bill must be first passed by both houses of the Diet and promulgated by the Emperor; this role of the Emperor is similar to the Royal Assent in some other nations. The House of Representatives is the more powerful chamber of the Diet. While the House of Representatives cannot overrule the House of Councillors on a bill, the House of Councillors can only delay the adoption of a budget or a treaty, approved by the House of Representatives, the House of Councillors has no power at all to prevent the lower house from selecting any Prime Minister it wishes. Furthermore, once appointed it is the confidence of the House of Representatives alone that the Prime Minister must enjoy in order to continue in office; the House of Representatives can overrule the upper house in the following circumstances: If a bill is adopted by the House of Representatives and either rejected, amended or not approved within 60 days by th
The Mukden Incident, or Manchurian Incident, was an event staged by Japanese military personnel as a pretext for the Japanese invasion in 1931 of northeastern China, known as Manchuria. On 18 September 1931, Lt. Suemori Kawamoto of the Independent Garrison Unit detonated a small quantity of dynamite close to a railway line owned by Japan's South Manchuria Railway near Mukden; the explosion was so weak that it failed to destroy the track, a train passed over it minutes later. The Imperial Japanese Army accused Chinese dissidents of the act and responded with a full invasion that led to the occupation of Manchuria, in which Japan established its puppet state of Manchukuo six months later; the deception was soon exposed by the Lytton Report of 1932, leading Japan to diplomatic isolation and its March 1933 withdrawal from the League of Nations. The bombing act is known as the Liutiaohu Incident, the entire episode of events is known in Japan as the Manchurian Incident and in China as the September 18 Incident.
Japanese economic presence and political interest in Manchuria had been growing since the end of the Russo-Japanese War. The Treaty of Portsmouth that ended the war had granted Japan the lease of the South Manchuria Railway branch of the China Far East Railway; the Japanese government, claimed that this control included all the rights and privileges that China granted to Russia in the 1896 Li–Lobanov Treaty, as enlarged by the Kwantung Lease Agreement of 1898. This included exclusive administration within the South Manchuria Railway Zone. Japanese railway guards were stationed within the zone to provide security for the trains and tracks. There were many reports of raids on local Chinese villages by bored Japanese soldiers, all complaints from the Chinese government were ignored. Meanwhile, the newly formed Chinese government was trying to recover the rights of nation, they started to claim that treaties between Japan were invalid. China announced new acts, so the Japanese people who settled frontier lands, opened stores or built their own houses in China were expelled without any compensation.
Manchurian warlord Zhang Zuolin tried to deprive Japanese concessions too, but he was assassinated by the Japanese Kwantung Army. Zhang Xueliang, Zhang Zuolin's son and successor, joined the Nanjing Government led by Chiang Kai-shek from anti-Japanese sentiment. Official Japanese objections to the oppression against Japanese nationals within China were rejected by the Chinese authorities; the 1929 Sino-Soviet conflict over the Chinese Eastern Railroad further increased the tensions in the Northeast that would lead to the Mukden Incident. The Soviet Red Army victory over Zhang Xueiliang's forces not only reasserted Soviet control over the CER in Manchuria but revealed Chinese military weaknesses that Japanese Kwantung Army officers were quick to note; the Soviet Red Army performance stunned Japanese officials. Manchuria was central to Japan's East Asia policy. Both the 1921 and 1927 Imperial Eastern Region Conferences reconfirmed Japan's commitment to be the dominant power in Manchuria; the 1929 Red Army victory reopened the Manchurian problem.
By 1930, the Kwantung Army realized they faced a Red Army, only growing stronger. The time to act was drawing Japanese plans to conquer the Northeast were accelerated. In Nanjing in April 1931, a national leadership conference of China was held between Chiang Kai-shek and Zhang Xueliang, they agreed to assert China's sovereignty in Manchuria strongly. On the other hand, some officers of the Kwantung Army began to plot to invade Manchuria secretly. There were other officers. Believing that a conflict in Manchuria would be in the best interests of Japan, acting in the spirit of the Japanese concept of gekokujō, Kwantung Army Colonel Seishirō Itagaki and Lieutenant Colonel Kanji Ishiwara independently devised a plan to prompt Japan to invade Manchuria by provoking an incident from Chinese forces stationed nearby. However, after the Japanese Minister of War Jirō Minami dispatched Major General Yoshitsugu Tatekawa to Manchuria for the specific purpose of curbing the insubordination and militarist behavior of the Kwantung Army and Ishiwara knew that they no longer had the luxury of waiting for the Chinese to respond to provocations, but had to stage their own.
Itagaki and Ishiwara chose to sabotage the rail section in an area near Liutiao Lake. The area had no official name and was not militarily important, but it was only eight hundred metres away from the Chinese garrison of Beidaying, where troops under the command of the "Young Marshal" Zhang Xueliang were stationed; the Japanese plan was to attract Chinese troops by an explosion and blame them for having caused the disturbance in order to provide a pretext for a formal Japanese invasion. In addition, they intended to make the sabotage appear more convincing as a calculated Chinese attack on an essential target, thereby making the expected Japanese reaction appear as a legitimate measure to protect a vital railway of industrial and economic importance; the Japanese press labeled the site "Liǔtiáo Ditch" or "Liǔtiáo Bridge", when in reality, the site was a small railway section laid on an area of fla
The yen is the official currency of Japan. It is the third most traded currency in the foreign exchange market after the United States dollar and the euro, it is widely used as a reserve currency after the U. S. dollar, the euro, the pound sterling. The concept of the yen was a component of the Meiji government's modernization program of Japan's economy. Before the Meiji Restoration, Japan's feudal fiefs all issued their own money, hansatsu, in an array of incompatible denominations; the New Currency Act of 1871 did away with these and established the yen, defined as 1.5 g of gold, or 24.26 g of silver, as the new decimal currency. The former han became prefectures and their mints private chartered banks, which retained the right to print money. To bring an end to this situation the Bank of Japan was founded in 1882 and given a monopoly on controlling the money supply. Following World War II the yen lost much of its prewar value. To stabilize the Japanese economy the exchange rate of the yen was fixed at ¥360 per $1 as part of the Bretton Woods system.
When that system was abandoned in 1971, the yen was allowed to float. The yen had appreciated to a peak of ¥271 per $1 in 1973 underwent periods of depreciation and appreciation due to the 1973 oil crisis, arriving at a value of ¥227 per $1 by 1980. Since 1973, the Japanese government has maintained a policy of currency intervention, the yen is therefore under a "dirty float" regime; this intervention continues to this day. The Japanese government focuses on a competitive export market, tries to ensure a low yen value through a trade surplus; the Plaza Accord of 1985 temporarily changed this situation from its average of ¥239 per US$1 in 1985 to ¥128 in 1988 and led to a peak value of ¥80 against the U. S. dollar in 1995 increasing the value of Japan’s GDP to that of the United States. Since that time, the yen has decreased in value; the Bank of Japan maintains a policy of zero to near-zero interest rates and the Japanese government has had a strict anti-inflation policy. Yen derives from the Japanese word 圓, which borrows its phonetic reading from Chinese yuan, similar to North Korean won and South Korean won.
The Chinese had traded silver in mass called sycees and when Spanish and Mexican silver coins arrived, the Chinese called them "silver rounds" for their circular shapes. The coins and the name appeared in Japan. While the Chinese replaced 圓 with 元, the Japanese continued to use the same word, given the shinjitai form 円 in reforms at the end of World War II; the spelling and pronunciation "yen" is standard in English. This is because when Japan was first encountered by Europeans around the 16th century, Japanese /e/ and /we/ both had been pronounced and Portuguese missionaries had spelled them "ye"; some time thereafter, by the middle of the 18th century, /e/ and /we/ came to be pronounced as in modern Japanese, although some regions retain the pronunciation. Walter Henry Medhurst, who had neither been to Japan nor met any Japanese, having consulted a Japanese-Dutch dictionary, spelled some "e"s as "ye" in his An English and Japanese, Japanese and English Vocabulary. In the early Meiji era, James Curtis Hepburn, following Medhurst, spelled all "e"s as "ye" in his A Japanese and English dictionary.
That was the first full-scale Japanese-English/English-Japanese dictionary, which had a strong influence on Westerners in Japan and prompted the spelling "yen". Hepburn revised most "ye"s to "e" in the 3rd edition in order to mirror the contemporary pronunciation, except "yen"; this was already fixed and has remained so since. In the 19th century, silver Spanish dollar coins were common throughout Southeast Asia, the China coast, Japan; these coins had been introduced through Manila over a period of two hundred and fifty years, arriving on ships from Acapulco in Mexico. These ships were known as the Manila galleons; until the 19th century, these silver dollar coins were actual Spanish dollars minted in the new world at Mexico City. But from the 1840s, they were replaced by silver dollars of the new Latin American republics. In the half of the 19th century, some local coins in the region were made in the resemblance of the Mexican peso; the first of these local silver coins was the Hong Kong silver dollar coin, minted in Hong Kong between the years 1866 and 1869.
The Chinese were slow to accept unfamiliar coinage and preferred the familiar Mexican dollars, so the Hong Kong government ceased minting these coins and sold the mint machinery to Japan. The Japanese decided to adopt a silver dollar coinage under the name of'yen', meaning'a round object'; the yen was adopted by the Meiji government in an Act signed on June 27, 1871. The new currency was introduced beginning from July of that year; the yen was therefore a dollar unit, like all dollars, descended from the Spanish Pieces of eight, up until the year 1873, all the dollars in the world had more or less the same value. The yen replaced a complex monetary system of the Edo period based on the mon.. The New Currency Act of 1871, stipulated the adoption of the decimal accounting system of yen and rin, with the coins being round and manufactured using Western machinery; the yen
Tokyo Tokyo Metropolis, one of the 47 prefectures of Japan, has served as the Japanese capital since 1869. As of 2018, the Greater Tokyo Area ranked as the most populous metropolitan area in the world; the urban area houses the seat of the Emperor of Japan, of the Japanese government and of the National Diet. Tokyo forms part of the Kantō region on the southeastern side of Japan's main island and includes the Izu Islands and Ogasawara Islands. Tokyo was named Edo when Shōgun Tokugawa Ieyasu made the city his headquarters in 1603, it became the capital after Emperor Meiji moved his seat to the city from Kyoto in 1868. Tokyo Metropolis formed in 1943 from the merger of the former Tokyo Prefecture and the city of Tokyo. Tokyo is referred to as a city but is known and governed as a "metropolitan prefecture", which differs from and combines elements of a city and a prefecture, a characteristic unique to Tokyo; the 23 Special Wards of Tokyo were Tokyo City. On July 1, 1943, it merged with Tokyo Prefecture and became Tokyo Metropolis with an additional 26 municipalities in the western part of the prefecture, the Izu islands and Ogasawara islands south of Tokyo.
The population of the special wards is over 9 million people, with the total population of Tokyo Metropolis exceeding 13.8 million. The prefecture is part of the world's most populous metropolitan area called the Greater Tokyo Area with over 38 million people and the world's largest urban agglomeration economy; as of 2011, Tokyo hosted 51 of the Fortune Global 500 companies, the highest number of any city in the world at that time. Tokyo ranked third in the International Financial Centres Development Index; the city is home to various television networks such as Fuji TV, Tokyo MX, TV Tokyo, TV Asahi, Nippon Television, NHK and the Tokyo Broadcasting System. Tokyo third in the Global Cities Index; the GaWC's 2018 inventory classified Tokyo as an alpha+ world city – and as of 2014 TripAdvisor's World City Survey ranked Tokyo first in its "Best overall experience" category. As of 2018 Tokyo ranked as the 2nd-most expensive city for expatriates, according to the Mercer consulting firm, and the world's 11th-most expensive city according to the Economist Intelligence Unit's cost-of-living survey.
In 2015, Tokyo was named the Most Liveable City in the world by the magazine Monocle. The Michelin Guide has awarded Tokyo by far the most Michelin stars of any city in the world. Tokyo was ranked first out of all sixty cities in the 2017 Safe Cities Index; the QS Best Student Cities ranked Tokyo as the 3rd-best city in the world to be a university student in 2016 and 2nd in 2018. Tokyo hosted the 1964 Summer Olympics, the 1979 G-7 summit, the 1986 G-7 summit, the 1993 G-7 summit, will host the 2019 Rugby World Cup, the 2020 Summer Olympics and the 2020 Summer Paralympics. Tokyo was known as Edo, which means "estuary", its name was changed to Tokyo when it became the imperial capital with the arrival of Emperor Meiji in 1868, in line with the East Asian tradition of including the word capital in the name of the capital city. During the early Meiji period, the city was called "Tōkei", an alternative pronunciation for the same characters representing "Tokyo", making it a kanji homograph; some surviving official English documents use the spelling "Tokei".
The name Tokyo was first suggested in 1813 in the book Kondō Hisaku, written by Satō Nobuhiro. When Ōkubo Toshimichi proposed the renaming to the government during the Meiji Restoration, according to Oda Kanshi, he got the idea from that book. Tokyo was a small fishing village named Edo, in what was part of the old Musashi Province. Edo was first fortified in the late twelfth century. In 1457, Ōta Dōkan built Edo Castle. In 1590, Tokugawa Ieyasu was transferred from Mikawa Province to Kantō region; when he became shōgun in 1603, Edo became the center of his ruling. During the subsequent Edo period, Edo grew into one of the largest cities in the world with a population topping one million by the 18th century, but Edo was Tokugawa's home and was not capital of Japan. The Emperor himself lived in Kyoto from 794 to 1868 as capital of Japan. During the Edo era, the city enjoyed a prolonged period of peace known as the Pax Tokugawa, in the presence of such peace, Edo adopted a stringent policy of seclusion, which helped to perpetuate the lack of any serious military threat to the city.
The absence of war-inflicted devastation allowed Edo to devote the majority of its resources to rebuilding in the wake of the consistent fires and other devastating natural disasters that plagued the city. However, this prolonged period of seclusion came to an end with the arrival of American Commodore Matthew C. Perry in 1853. Commodore Perry forced the opening of the ports of Shimoda and Hakodate, leading to an increase in the demand for new foreign goods and subsequently a severe rise in inflation. Social unrest mounted in the wake of these higher prices and culminated in widespread rebellions and demonstrations in the form of the "smashing" of rice establishments. Meanwhile, supporters of the Meiji Emperor leveraged the disruption that t
Messerschmitt Me 261
The Messerschmitt Me 261 Adolfine was a long-range reconnaissance aircraft designed in the late 1930s. It looked like an enlarged version of the Messerschmitt Bf 110, it was not put into production. In 1937, Messerschmitt began Projekt P. 1064, a study for a long-range reconnaissance aircraft, took the design of the Bf 110 twin-engine heavy fighter as its basis. The P. 1064 had a slim fuselage with two wing-mounted engines. The aircraft was planned from the outset as a record-breaking aircraft, but after becoming convinced that the aircraft was capable of taking the world long-distance flight record, the German Air Ministry approved the project and gave it the airframe designation number of 8-261; the intended goal of the project was for an example of the aircraft to carry the Olympic flame from Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany to Tokyo, Japan for the 1940 Summer Olympics in what would be a record-breaking nonstop flight. The plan captured the imagination of Adolf Hitler at an early stage in its design and in tribute, the aircraft carried the unofficial name: Adolfine.
The Me 261 incorporated a number of features which were advanced for its day. The single-spar all-metal wing was designed to serve as a fuel tank and its depth at the wing root was only less than the height of the fuselage; the fuselage was of rectangular section with space for five crew members, consisting of two pilots seated side-by-side with the radio operator directly behind in the front compartment, while a navigator and a flight engineer were housed in the rear fuselage under a stepped, glazed station. Power came from four Daimler-Benz DB 601 engines, coupled together in pairs in a "power system" known as the DB 606, weighing 1.5 tonnes apiece and debuting in February 1937. The DB 606 "power systems" were developed for both the "single"-engined Heinkel He 119 high-speed reconnaissance aircraft, the Heinkel He 177 strategic bomber, but the Me 261's design housed the DB 606 "power systems" in nacelles that afforded better access for maintenance and ventilation of the "twinned" DB 601 component engines in each one, than the Heinkel heavy bomber possessed.
Each pair of engines drove a variable-pitch propeller, intended to be a pair of counter-rotating propellers with each four-blade propeller driven through a gearbox shared between the "twinned" DB 601 engines forming the "power system", generating 2,700 PS each. The Me 261 had a conventional landing gear with unusually large and bulky low-pressure tires, much like modern day aircraft tundra tires, which prevented the aircraft from becoming bogged down on rough grass landing strips; the main gear's design appears to use main struts that rotated through 90° during their rearwards retraction sequence, with sizable main wheels resting atop the retracted struts. The Me 261's retractable tailwheel possessed a larger-than-average, low-pressure pneumatic tire. Construction of three prototypes began at Messerschmitt's Augsburg works during the spring of 1939, but progress was slow due to the realisation that war would soon break out and the 1940 Summer Olympics would be cancelled; the Me 261's original design brief as a long-range reconnaissance aircraft had been forgotten.
The Air Ministry subsequently realised that the Me 261 could still be a useful vehicle for evaluating long-range operations, work resumed in the summer of 1940. Me 261 V1The first flight of the Me 261 V1 was on 23 December 1940, flown by Messerschmitt's test pilot Karl Baur. Willy Messerschmitt wrote to Ernst Udet in early 1941 with the results of the first flight, predicting a range of over 20,000 km for the type; the decision to use the DB 606 engine was a problem because only a few were available for development projects, as most were needed for types in production such as the Heinkel He 177. The Me 261 V1 was badly damaged during an Allied bombing attack on the Lechfeld Air Base in 1944 and scrapped. Me 261 V2The first flight of the Me 261 V2 was in early 1941. Official thinking now saw the Me 261 as a long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft. Messerschmitt had realised that the fuel-carrying nature of the aircraft's wings ruled out fitting armaments to them, so both prototypes were tested for endurance through to 1943.
There was a suggestion that one or both be used to drop propaganda leaflets on New York City, but nothing came of the idea before the aircraft were destroyed. The Me 261 V2 was damaged during the same Allied bombing attack as the V1 and like it was scrapped. Me 261 V3The V3 differed from its predecessors in having two of the June 1940-debuted, DB 610 "power system" engines and room for two additional crew members; the first flight of the Me 261 V3 was in early 1943. On 16 April 1943, the Me 261 V3 was flown by Karl Baur over a distance of 4,500 km in an elapsed time of 10 hours, setting an unofficial endurance record which could not be confirmed due to war conditions. In July 1943, the Me 261 V3's hydraulics failed on landing and the port undercarriage leg collapsed; the V3 was transported to Oranienburg for repairs, after that used on a few long-range missions for the Luftwaffe's reconnaissance division. Its ultimate fate is unknown. Data from Warplanes of the T
Nazi Germany is the common English name for Germany between 1933 and 1945, when Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party controlled the country through a dictatorship. Under Hitler's rule, Germany was transformed into a totalitarian state that controlled nearly all aspects of life via the Gleichschaltung legal process; the official name of the state was Deutsches Reich until 1943 and Großdeutsches Reich from 1943 to 1945. Nazi Germany is known as the Third Reich, meaning "Third Realm" or "Third Empire", the first two being the Holy Roman Empire and the German Empire; the Nazi regime ended. Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany by the President of the Weimar Republic, Paul von Hindenburg, on 30 January 1933; the NSDAP began to eliminate all political opposition and consolidate its power. Hindenburg died on 2 August 1934 and Hitler became dictator of Germany by merging the offices and powers of the Chancellery and Presidency. A national referendum held 19 August 1934 confirmed Hitler as sole Führer of Germany.
All power was centralised in Hitler's person and his word became the highest law. The government was not a coordinated, co-operating body, but a collection of factions struggling for power and Hitler's favour. In the midst of the Great Depression, the Nazis restored economic stability and ended mass unemployment using heavy military spending and a mixed economy. Extensive public works were undertaken, including the construction of Autobahnen; the return to economic stability boosted the regime's popularity. Racism antisemitism, was a central feature of the regime; the Germanic peoples were considered by the Nazis to be the master race, the purest branch of the Aryan race. Discrimination and persecution against Jews and Romani people began in earnest after the seizure of power; the first concentration camps were established in March 1933. Jews and others deemed undesirable were imprisoned, liberals and communists were killed, imprisoned, or exiled. Christian churches and citizens that opposed Hitler's rule were oppressed, many leaders imprisoned.
Education focused on racial biology, population policy, fitness for military service. Career and educational opportunities for women were curtailed. Recreation and tourism were organised via the Strength Through Joy program, the 1936 Summer Olympics showcased Germany on the international stage. Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels made effective use of film, mass rallies, Hitler's hypnotic oratory to influence public opinion; the government controlled artistic expression, promoting specific art forms and banning or discouraging others. The Nazi regime dominated neighbours through military threats in the years leading up to war. Nazi Germany made aggressive territorial demands, threatening war if these were not met, it seized Austria and Czechoslovakia in 1938 and 1939. Germany signed a non-aggression pact with the USSR, invaded Poland on 1 September 1939, launching World War II in Europe. By early 1941, Germany controlled much of Europe. Reichskommissariats took control of conquered areas and a German administration was established in the remainder of Poland.
Germany exploited labour of both its occupied territories and its allies. In the Holocaust, millions of Jews and other peoples deemed undesirable by the state were imprisoned, murdered in Nazi concentration camps and extermination camps, or shot. While the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 was successful, the Soviet resurgence and entry of the US into the war meant the Wehrmacht lost the initiative on the Eastern Front in 1943 and by late 1944 had been pushed back to the pre-1939 border. Large-scale aerial bombing of Germany escalated in 1944 and the Axis powers were driven back in Eastern and Southern Europe. After the Allied invasion of France, Germany was conquered by the Soviet Union from the east and the other Allies from the west, capitulated in May 1945. Hitler's refusal to admit defeat led to massive destruction of German infrastructure and additional war-related deaths in the closing months of the war; the victorious Allies initiated a policy of denazification and put many of the surviving Nazi leadership on trial for war crimes at the Nuremberg trials.
The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Großdeutsches Reich from 1943 to 1945, while common English terms are "Nazi Germany" and "Third Reich". The latter, adopted by Nazi propaganda as Drittes Reich, was first used in Das Dritte Reich, a 1923 book by Arthur Moeller van den Bruck; the book counted the Holy Roman Empire as the German Empire as the second. Germany was known as the Weimar Republic during the years 1919 to 1933, it was a republic with a semi-presidential system. The Weimar Republic faced numerous problems, including hyperinflation, political extremism, contentious relationships with the Allied victors of World War I, a series of failed attempts at coalition government by divided political parties. Severe setbacks to the German economy began after World War I ended because of reparations payments required under the 1919 Treaty of Versailles; the government printed money to make the payments and to repay the country's war debt, but the resulting hyperinflation led to inflated prices for consumer goods, economic chaos, food riots.
When the government defaulted on their reparations payments in January 1923, French troops occupied German industrial areas along the Ruhr and widespread civil unrest followed. The National Socialist German Workers' Party (National
1948 Summer Olympics
The 1948 Summer Olympics known as the Games of the XIV Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event, held in London, United Kingdom from 29 July to 14 August 1948. After a twelve-year hiatus caused by the outbreak of World War II; the 1940 Olympic Games had been scheduled for Tokyo, for Helsinki. This was the second occasion that London had hosted the Olympic Games, having hosted them in 1908, forty years earlier; the Olympics would again return to London 64 years in 2012, making London the first city to have hosted the games three times, the only such city until Paris and Los Angeles host their third games in 2024 and 2028, respectively. The 1948 Olympic Games were the first of two summer Olympic Games held under the IOC presidency of Sigfrid Edström; the event came to be known as the Austerity Games, because of the difficult economic climate and rationing imposed in the aftermath of World War II. No new venues were built for the games, athletes were housed in existing accommodation at the Wembley area instead of an Olympic Village, as were the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games and the subsequent 1952 Games.
A record 59 nations were represented by 4,104 athletes, 3,714 men and 390 women, in 19 sport disciplines. Germany and Japan were not invited to participate in the games. One of the star performers at the Games was Dutch sprinter Fanny Blankers-Koen. Dubbed "The Flying Housewife", the thirty-year-old mother of two won four gold medals in athletics. In the decathlon, American Bob Mathias became the youngest male to win an Olympic gold medal at the age of seventeen; the most individual medals were won by Veikko Huhtanen of Finland who took three golds, a silver and a bronze in men's gymnastics. In June 1939, the International Olympic Committee awarded the 1944 Olympic Summer Games to London, ahead of Rome, Budapest, Helsinki and Athens. World War II stopped the plans and the Games were cancelled so London again stood as a candidate for 1948. Great Britain handed the 1948 games to the United States due to post-war financial and rationing problems, but King George VI said that this could be the chance to restore Britain from World War II.
The official report of the London Olympics shows that there was no case of London being pressed to run the Games against its will. It says: The Games of 1944 had been allocated to London and so it was that in October 1945, the Chairman of the British Olympic Council, Lord Burghley, went to Stockholm and saw the president of the International Olympic Committee to discuss the question of London being chosen for this great event; as a result, an investigating committee was set up by the British Olympic Council to work out in some detail the possibility of holding the Games. After several meetings they recommended to the council that the Lord Mayor of London should be invited to apply for the allocation of the Games in 1948. In May 1946 the IOC, through a postal vote, gave the summer Games to London and the winter competition to St Moritz. London was selected ahead of Baltimore, Lausanne, Los Angeles, Philadelphia. London, which had hosted the 1908 Summer Olympics, became the second city to host the Olympics twice.
London became the first city to host the Olympics for a third time when the city hosted the 2012 Summer Olympics. Lord Burghley, a gold medal winner at the 1928 Olympics, member of the International Olympic Committee, President of the Amateur Athletics Association was named Chairman of the Organising and Executive Committees; the other members of the committees were: Colonel Evan Hunter, General Secretary of the British Olympic Association, Chef de mission for Great Britain. E. Fern. J. Holt. B. Cowley of the London Press and Advertising. B. Studdert, Managing Director of the Army & Navy Stores. E. Porritt, a member of the IOC for New Zealand who resided in London. F. Rous, Secretary of The Football Association. Olympic pictograms were introduced for the first time. There were twenty of them—one for each Olympic sport and three separate pictograms for the arts competition, the opening ceremony and the closing ceremony, they were intended for use on tickets. The background of each pictogram resembled an escutcheon.
Olympic pictograms appeared again 16 years and were used at all subsequent Summer Olympics. At the time of the Games food and building were still subject to the rationing imposed during the war in Britain. Athletes were given the same increased rations as dockers and miners, 5,467 calories a day instead of the normal 2,600. Building an Olympic Village was deemed too expensive, athletes were housed in existing accommodation. Male competitors stayed at RAF camps in Uxbridge and West Drayton, an Army camp in Richmond; the British Red Cross provided medical facilities at the Richmond Park camp. These were the first games to be held following the death of Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the International Olympic Committee, in 1937, they were the last to include an arts competition, which took place at the Victoria and Albert Museum. The Games opened on 29 July. Army bands