Japan national rugby union team
The Japan national rugby union team, is traditionally the strongest rugby union power in Asia and has enjoyed and endured mixed results against non-Asian teams over the years. Rugby union in Japan is administered by the Japan Rugby Football Union, founded in 1926, they compete annually in the Asia Rugby Championship. They have participated in every Rugby World Cup since the tournament began in 1987. Rugby was first played in Japan's treaty ports as early as 1866. Popular participation by local university teams was established in 1899 and Japan's first recorded international was a match against a Canadian team in 1932. Notable games for Japan include a victory over the Junior All Blacks in 1968, a narrow 6–3 loss to England in 1971. Famous wins by Japan include a 28–24 victory over a Scotland XV in 1989 and a 23–8 victory over Wales in 2013. In the 2007 Rugby World Cup, Japan drew 12–12 against Canada. In 2011, Japan displayed its progress by winning the 2011 IRB Pacific Nations Cup, played against Fiji and Tonga.
Further progress was displayed in 2014 when Japan completed a string of ten consecutive test wins to rank in the world's top 10 teams. This continued into 2015 where they produced arguably the biggest upset in rugby history in a Rugby World Cup pool match against the Springboks, winning 34–32; the first recorded instance of a team being established and rugby being played in Japan was in 1866 with the founding of the Yokohama Foot Ball Club. Games between service personnel, were played on the Garrison Parade Ground in Yamate, Yokohama. In 1874 records illustrate British sailors staging a game in Yokohama. Other games were played at other treaty ports such as Kobe between teams of long-term foreign residents and visiting ships' crews and garrisons, but they involved indigenous Japanese; the date of local Japanese participation in the sport is most cited as 1899, when students at Keio University were introduced to the game by Professor Edward Bramwell Clarke and Ginnosuke Tanaka both graduates of Cambridge University.
The formation of a national team and Japan's first international match took place in Osaka on 31 January 1932 when a trade delegation from Canada to Japan supported an overseas tour by the Canada national rugby union team. The Japanese won this first match 9–8. In a second test match in Tokyo 11 days again the Japanese side beat the Canadians 38-5. Japan beat the Junior All Blacks 23–19 in 1968 after losing the first four matches on a tour of New Zealand, but they won the last five; the Japanese lost by just 3–6 to England in Tokyo on 29 September 1971 in the RFU's centenary year. The 1973 Japan rugby union tour of Wales and France was less successful with the side winning only two of their eleven matches, losing the international matches against Wales and France. Ten years Japan gave Wales a fright in losing by a slim five-point margin, 24–29, at Cardiff Arms Park on 2 October 1983. On 28 May 1989, a strong Japan coached by Hiroaki Shukuzawa defeated an uncapped Scotland, missing nine British Lions on tour in Australia, for the first time at Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium, 28–24.
The Japan team included such Kobe Steel stalwarts as centre Seiji Hirao, locks Atsushi Oyagi and Toshiyuki Hayashi. Sinali Latu at No. 8 was a fourth year student at Daito Bunka University, speedy Yoshihito Yoshida on the wing was a third year at Meiji University. Scotland missed an incredible seven penalties and refused the kicking tee, generously offered – as a surviving video of the game shows, it was the same Japanese team which defeated Zimbabwe in RWC1991. After Hirao resigned, Toshiba Brave Lupus coach Shogo Mukai was appointed in March 2001 to lead Japan up to the 2003 Rugby World Cup. After mixed fortunes in his first two years in charge, Japan put in some impressive performances at the tournament with good efforts against Scotland and France they still left the tournament having failed to reach their target of winning some matches but still won admirers for their exciting brand of play. Mukai left his post after the tournament to spend more time with his family. After Shogo Mukai left after the 2003 Rugby World Cup, the JRFU tried to appoint Eddie Jones from his post with Australia but were unsuccessful and instead appointed Mitsutake Hagimoto in March 2004 after he won the inaugural Top League with the Kobelco Steelers.
Under Hagimoto, Japan decided they would not select foreign born players after Mukai had been criticised for playing too many at the World Cup. Hagimoto's first match in charge was a disappointing draw with Korea, but his first few matches in charge after that were promising with wins over Russia and Canada to win the Super Powers Cup and pushed Italy close losing 32–19. However, in November 2004, Japan went on a disastrous tour to Europe where they were embarrassingly thrashed 100–8 by Scotland and 98–0 by Wales and were comfortably defeated by Romania. Japan's performances were described as "pathetic", the squad was called "a joke" with some key players ignored or not given permission to travel; this disastrous tour forced a rethink from Hagimoto and foreign born players were brought back into the side in 2005, but after losing twice to Ireland in June he was sacked and with just 5 wins from 15 matches was the least successful coach for Japan in the professional era. After Hagimoto left his post at the end of June 2005, Jean-Pierre Élissalde, appointed backs coach three months earlier took full charge and became the firs
Bangkok is the capital and most populous city of Thailand. It is known in Thai as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon or Krung Thep; the city occupies 1,568.7 square kilometres in the Chao Phraya River delta in central Thailand, has a population of over eight million, or 12.6 percent of the country's population. Over fourteen million people lived within the surrounding Bangkok Metropolitan Region at the 2010 census, making Bangkok the nation's primate city dwarfing Thailand's other urban centres in terms of importance. Bangkok traces its roots to a small trading post during the Ayutthaya Kingdom in the 15th century, which grew and became the site of two capital cities: Thonburi in 1768 and Rattanakosin in 1782. Bangkok was at the heart of the modernization of Siam renamed Thailand, during the late-19th century, as the country faced pressures from the West; the city was at the centre of Thailand's political struggles throughout the 20th century, as the country abolished absolute monarchy, adopted constitutional rule, underwent numerous coups and several uprisings.
The city grew during the 1960s through the 1980s and now exerts a significant impact on Thailand's politics, education and modern society. The Asian investment boom in the 1980s and 1990s led many multinational corporations to locate their regional headquarters in Bangkok; the city is now a regional force in business. It is an international hub for transport and health care, has emerged as a centre for the arts and entertainment; the city is known for cultural landmarks, as well as its red-light districts. The Grand Palace and Buddhist temples including Wat Arun and Wat Pho stand in contrast with other tourist attractions such as the nightlife scenes of Khaosan Road and Patpong. Bangkok is among the world's top tourist destinations, has been named the world's most visited city in several rankings. Bangkok's rapid growth coupled with little urban planning has resulted in a haphazard cityscape and inadequate infrastructure. An inadequate road network, despite an extensive expressway network, together with substantial private car usage, have led to chronic and crippling traffic congestion, which caused severe air pollution in the 1990s.
The city has since turned to public transport in an attempt to solve the problem. Five rapid transit lines are now in operation, with more systems under construction or planned by the national government and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration; the history of Bangkok dates at least back to the early 15th century, when it was a village on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, under the rule of Ayutthaya. Because of its strategic location near the mouth of the river, the town increased in importance. Bangkok served as a customs outpost with forts on both sides of the river, was the site of a siege in 1688 in which the French were expelled from Siam. After the fall of Ayutthaya to the Burmese Empire in 1767, the newly crowned King Taksin established his capital at the town, which became the base of the Thonburi Kingdom. In 1782, King Phutthayotfa Chulalok succeeded Taksin, moved the capital to the eastern bank's Rattanakosin Island, thus founding the Rattanakosin Kingdom; the City Pillar was erected on 21 April 1782, regarded as the date of foundation of the present city.
Bangkok's economy expanded through international trade, first with China with Western merchants returning in the early to-mid 19th century. As the capital, Bangkok was the centre of Siam's modernization as it faced pressure from Western powers in the late-19th century; the reigns of Kings Mongkut and Chulalongkorn saw the introduction of the steam engine, printing press, rail transport and utilities infrastructure in the city, as well as formal education and healthcare. Bangkok became the centre stage for power struggles between the military and political elite as the country abolished absolute monarchy in 1932. Allied with Japan in World War II, it was subjected to Allied bombing, but grew in the post-war period as a result of US aid and government-sponsored investment. Bangkok's role as a US military R&R destination boosted its tourism industry as well as establishing it as a sex tourism destination. Disproportionate urban development led to increasing income inequalities and migration from rural areas into Bangkok.
Following the US withdrawal from Vietnam in 1973, Japanese businesses took over as leaders in investment, the expansion of export-oriented manufacturing led to growth of the financial market in Bangkok. Rapid growth of the city continued through the 1980s and early 1990s, until it was stalled by the 1997 Asian financial crisis. By many public and social issues had emerged, among them the strain on infrastructure reflected in the city's notorious traffic jams. Bangkok's role as the nation's political stage continues to be seen in strings of popular protests, from the student uprisings in 1973 and 1976, anti-military demonstrations in 1992, successive anti-government demonstrations by opposing groups from 2008 on. Administration of the city was first formalized by King Chulalongkorn in 1906, with the establishment of Monthon Krung Thep Phra Maha Nakhon as a national subdivision. In 1915 the monthon was split into several provinces, the administrative boundaries of which have since further changed.
The city in its current form was created in 1972 with the formation of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, following the merger of Phra Nakhon Province on the eastern bank of the Chao Phraya and Thonburi Province on the west during the previous year. The origin of th
Singapore the Republic of Singapore, is an island city-state in Southeast Asia. It lies one degree north of the equator, at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, with Indonesia's Riau Islands to the south and Peninsular Malaysia to the north. Singapore's territory consists of one main island along with 62 other islets. Since independence, extensive land reclamation has increased its total size by 23%; the country is known for its transition from a developing to a developed one in a single generation under the leadership of its founder Lee Kuan Yew. In 1819, Sir Stamford Raffles founded colonial Singapore as a trading post of the British East India Company. After the company's collapse in 1858, the islands were ceded to the British Raj as a crown colony. During the Second World War, Singapore was occupied by Japan, it gained independence from the British Empire in 1963 by joining Malaysia along with other former British territories, but separated two years over ideological differences, becoming a sovereign nation in 1965.
After early years of turbulence and despite lacking natural resources and a hinterland, the nation developed as an Asian Tiger economy, based on external trade and its workforce. Singapore is a global hub for education, finance, human capital, logistics, technology, tourism and transport; the city ranks in numerous international rankings, has been recognised as the most "technology-ready" nation, top International-meetings city, city with "best investment potential", world's smartest city, world's safest country, second-most competitive country, third least-corrupt country, third-largest foreign exchange market, third-largest financial centre, third-largest oil refining and trading centre, fifth-most innovative country, the second-busiest container port. The Economist has ranked Singapore as the most expensive city to live in, since 2013, it is identified as a tax haven. Singapore is the only country in Asia with an AAA sovereign rating from all major rating agencies, one of 11 worldwide. Globally, the Port of Singapore and Changi Airport have held the titles of leading "Maritime Capital" and "Best Airport" for consecutive years, while Singapore Airlines is the 2018 "World's Best Airline".
Singapore ranks 9th on the UN Human Development Index with the 3rd highest GDP per capita. It is placed in key social indicators: education, life expectancy, quality of life, personal safety and housing. Although income inequality is high, 90% of homes are owner-occupied. According to the Democracy Index, the country is described as a "flawed democracy"; the city-state is home to 5.6 million residents, 39% of whom are foreign nationals, including permanent residents. There are four official languages: English, Mandarin Chinese, Tamil, its cultural diversity is reflected in major festivals. Pew Research has found. Multiracialism has been enshrined in its constitution since independence, continues to shape national policies in education, politics, among others. Singapore is a unitary parliamentary republic with a Westminster system of unicameral parliamentary government; the People's Action Party has won every election since self-government began in 1959. As one of the five founding members of ASEAN, Singapore is the host of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Secretariat and Pacific Economic Cooperation Council Secretariat, as well as many international conferences and events.
It is a member of the East Asia Summit, Non-Aligned Movement and the Commonwealth of Nations. The English name of Singapore is an anglicisation of the native Malay name for the country, in turn derived from Sanskrit, hence the customary reference to the nation as the Lion City, its inclusion in many of the nation's symbols. However, it is unlikely that lions lived on the island. There are however other suggestions for the origin of the name and scholars do not believe that the origin of the name is established; the central island has been called Pulau Ujong as far back as the third century CE "island at the end" in Malay. Singapore is referred to as the Garden City for its tree-lined streets and greening efforts since independence, the Little Red Dot for how the island-nation is depicted on many maps of the world and Asia, as a red dot. Singapore is referred to as the "Switzerland of Asia" in 2017 due to its neutrality on international and regional issues; the Greco-Roman astronomer Ptolemy identified a place called Sabana in the general area in the second century, the earliest written record of Singapore occurs in a Chinese account from the third century, describing the island of Pu Luo Chung.
This was itself a transliteration from the Malay name "Pulau Ujong", or "island at the end". The Nagarakretagama, a Javanese epic poem written in 1365, referred to a settlement on the island called Tumasik. In 1299, according to the Malay Annals, the Kingdom of Singapura was founded on the island by Sang Nila Utama. Although the historicity
Sri Lanka national rugby union team
The Sri Lanka national rugby union team has yet to make their debut at the Rugby World Cup. They have the longest tradition of organised club rugby in Asia, dating back to 1879, just 8 years after the founding of the world's first rugby union in England, they compete in the Asian Five Nations tournament and are in Division I. In the 2010 tournament, they made it to the finals beating Chinese Taipei 37 to 7. Sri Lanka Rugby has a long history, dating back to the days of British colonialism; the first party to introduce Rugby to Sri Lanka is Kingswood College in Kandy, with the first club, Colombo Football Club, being established on 28 June 1879. The nation's first "national" match was on 12 September 1907 and involved an All Ceylon team against the professional All Blacks under rugby union rules on their 1907–1908 New Zealand rugby tour of Australia and Great Britain; the professional All Blacks won the match 33-6. The Ceylon Rugby Football Union was founded 10 August 1908. In 1974 it changed its name to the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union.
In 1932 the Ceylon RFU XV won the All India Cup at all India Rugby Football Tournament Both the 1930 and the 1950 British Lions tour to New Zealand and Australia played unofficial matches in Ceylon on their way home. Mahesh Rodrigo, better known as an international cricketer captained the national team. World Cup qualifying 1995 World Cup 1995 was the first time Sri Lanka entered into a World Cup qualifying tournament. Sri Lanka was in Group A along with Japan and Malaysia, they lost all three games scoring an aggregate of 30 against 155. Japan went on to qualify for the World cup. 1999 World Cup Sri Lanka participated in the 1999 Rugby World Cup qualifying and was in Round 1 with Thailand and Singapore. In the opening round, Sri Lanka won both games to qualify through to the second round; the next round was tough for Sri Lanka and it didn't go well with a lost to Chinese Taipei ending the hopes for the World Cup after defeating Malaysia earlier. The furthest they have made was to Round 2 of the Asian qualifying competition for the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France.
The Sri Lanka rugby team performed above expectations during the qualifying campaign for the world cup, saw its world ranking improve from 68th place to 43rd place, its Asian ranking improve to fifth place. World Cup qualifying 2003 World Cup 2007 World Cup Asian Five Nations and World Cup qualifying. At the Divisional tournament Sri Lanka finished third, drawing against Singapore and losing to Chinese Taipei; the Chinese team withdrew from the tournament due to lack of visa availability and were relegated to Division Two. In 2009 Sri Lanka again finished third in the Divisional tournament defeating Thailand in the 3rd-place final, remaining in Division One. Sri Lanka won Division One of the 2010 Divisional tournament beating Singapore in the final, thereby winning promotion to the 2011 Asian Five Nations for the first time. 2011 - 2016 Despite a drawn match with United Arab Emirates, Sri Lanka lost its remaining three matches in the 2011 Asian Five Nations tournament and finished last, resulting in its demotion out of the Asian Five Nations.
In the 2012 Division tournament the team won two matches but were defeated by the Philippines, which meant Sri Lanka missed out on promotion and remained in Division One. At the 2013 Division tournament held in Colombo, Sri Lanka were successful in winning all three of its matches earning a promotion to the Asian Five Nations. In 2014 Sri Lanka lost all four of its matches in the Asian Five Nations and were relegated back to Division One. At the 2015 Division tournament held in the Philippines in May, Sri Lanka beat the Philippines 27-14 to become the champions of the Asian Division 1, resulting in the team qualifying to compete in a challenge match, in June, against the third ranked Asian team and a potential spot in the 2016 Asian Championship. Due to financial reasons, the challenge game was cancelled with South Korea remaining in the tri-nations division and Sri Lanka in the Division 1 competition for 2016. In 2016 Sri Lanka finished second at the Division tournament held in Malaysia in May.
Sri Lanka lost to hosts Malaysia. Colombo Racecourse International Arena CR & FC Grounds – Colombo 7 CH & FC Grounds – Colombo 7 Police Grounds – Colombo 5 Army Grounds – Galle Face Nittawela rugby stadium– Kandy Air Force Grounds – Ratmalana Navy Grounds – Welisara Havelock Park– Havelock Town Maligawa Grounds - Kurunegala Bogambara Stadium - Kandy Peoples' Park - Anuradhapura Slim Line Grounds — Pannala Vincent Dias Stadium - Badulla Army Grounds — Anuradhapura Head Coach: Johan Taylor Chairman — Dr. Maiya Gunasekera Team Manager - Sanjaya Fernando SLRFU President - Asanga Seneviratne Vice President - Lasitha Guneratne Secretary - Rizly Illyas Executive Director - Dilroy Fernando George Simpkin Willie Hetaraka Tavita Tulagaese Rob Yule Dawie Snyman John Carrington Johan Taylor Ellis Meachen Ravin Du Plessis Inthi Marikar Leonard de Zilwa Tony Amit Assistant coaches Tavita Tulagaese C. P. Abeygunawardene Norman Laker 2007 Rugby Asiad Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union official web site List and results of all IRB sanctioned international rugby games played by Sri Lanka
Manama is the capital and largest city of Bahrain, with an approximate population of 157,000 people. Long an important trading center in the Persian Gulf, Manama is home to a diverse population. After periods of Portuguese and Persian control and invasions from the ruling dynasties of Saudi Arabia and Oman, Bahrain established itself as an independent nation during the 19th century period of British hegemony. Although the current twin cities of Manama and Muharraq appear to have been founded in the 1800s, Muharraq took prominence due to its defensive location and was thus the capital of Bahrain until 1921. Manama was the gateway to the main Bahrain Island. In the 20th century, Bahrain's oil wealth helped spur fast growth and in the 1990s a concerted diversification effort led to expansion in other industries and helped transform Manama into an important financial hub in the Middle East. Manama was designated as the capital of Arab culture for the year 2012 by the Arab League; the name is derived from the Arabic word المنامة meaning "the place of rest" or "the place of dreams".
There is evidence of human settlement on the northern coastline of Bahrain dating back to the Bronze Age. The Dilmun civilisation inhabited the area in 3000 BC, serving as a key regional trading hub between Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley civilisation. 100,000 Dilmun burial mounds were found across the north and central regions of the country, some originating 5,000 years ago. Despite the discovery of the mounds, there is no significant evidence to suggest heavy urbanisation took place during the Dilmun era, it is believed. Evidence of an ancient large rural population was confirmed by one of Alexander the Great's ship captains, during voyages in the Persian Gulf. A vast system of aqueducts in northern Bahrain helped facilitate ancient horticulture and agriculture; the commercial network of Dilmun lasted for 2,000 years, after which the Assyrians took control of the island in 700 BC for more than a century. This was followed by Babylonian and Achaemenid rule, which gave way to Greek influence during the time of Alexander the Great's conquests.
In the first century AD, the Roman writer Pliny the Elder wrote of Tylos, the Hellenic name of Bahrain in the classical era, its pearls and cotton fields. The island came under the control of the Parthian and Sassanid empires by which time Nestorian Christianity started to spread in Bahrain. By 410-420 AD, a Nestorian bishopric and monastery was established in Al Dair, on the neighbouring island of Muharraq. Following the conversion of Bahrain to Islam in 628 AD, work on one of the earliest mosques in the region, the Khamis Mosque, began as early as the seventh century AD. During this time, Bahrain was engaged in long distance marine trading, evident from the discovery of Chinese coins dating between 600-1200 AD, in Manama. In 1330, under the Jarwanid dynasty, the island became a tributary of the Kingdom of Hormuz; the town of Manama was mentioned by name for the first time in a manuscript dating to 1345 AD. Bahrain Manama and the nearby settlement of Bilad Al Qadeem, became a centre of Shia scholarship and training for the ulema, it would remain so for centuries.
The ulema would help fund pearling expeditions and finance grain production in the rural areas surrounding the city. In 1521, Bahrain fell to the expanding Portuguese Empire in the Persian Gulf, having defeated Hormuz; the Portuguese consolidated their hold on the island by constructing the Bahrain Fort, on the outskirts of Manama. After numerous revolts and an expanding Safavid empire in Persia, the Portuguese were expelled from Bahrain and the Safavids took control in 1602; the Safavids, sidelining Manama, designated the nearby town of Bilad Al Qadeem as the provincial capital. The town was the seat of the Persian governor and the Shaikh al-Islam of the islands; the position of Shaikh al-Islam lied under the jurisdiction of the central Safavid government and as such, candidates were vetted by the Isfahan courts. During the Safavid era, the islands continued to be a centre for Twelver Shi'ism scholarship, producing clerics for use in mainland Persia. Additionally, the rich agricultural northern region of Bahrain continued to flourish due to an abundance of date palm farms and orchards.
The Portuguese traveler Pedro Teixeira commented on the extensive cultivation of crops like barley and wheat. The opening of Persian markets to Bahraini exports pearls, boosted the islands' export economy; the yearly income of exported Bahraini pearls was 600,000 ducats, collected by around 2,000 pearling dhows. Another factor that contributed to Bahrain's agricultural wealth was the migration of Shia cultivators from Ottoman-occupied Qatif and Al-Hasa, fearing religious persecution, in 1537. Sometime after 1736, Nader Shah constructed a fort on the southern outskirts of Manama. Persian control over the Persian Gulf waned during the half of the 18th century. At this time, Bahrain archipelago was a dependency of the emirate of Bushehr, itself a part of Persia. In 1783, the Bani Utbah tribal confederation invaded Bahrain and expelled the resident governor Nasr Al-Madhkur; as a result, the Al Khalifa family became the rulers of the country, all political relations with Bushehr and Persia/Iran were terminated.
Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn Khalifa become the dynasty's first Hakim of Bahrain. Political instability in the 19th century had disastrous effects on Manama's economy.
Seoul the Seoul Special City, is the capital and largest metropolis of South Korea. With surrounding Incheon metropolis and Gyeonggi province, Seoul forms the heart of the Seoul Capital Area. Seoul is ranked as the fourth largest metropolitan economy in the world and is larger than London and Paris. Strategically situated on the Han River, Seoul's history stretches back over two thousand years, when it was founded in 18 BCE by the people of Baekje, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea; the city was designated the capital of Korea under the Joseon dynasty. Seoul is surrounded by a mountainous and hilly landscape, with Bukhan Mountain located on the northern edge of the city; as with its long history, the Seoul Capital Area contains five UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Changdeok Palace, Hwaseong Fortress, Jongmyo Shrine and the Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty. More Seoul has been a major site of modern architectural construction – major modern landmarks include the N Seoul Tower, the 63 Building, the Lotte World Tower, the Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Lotte World, Trade Tower, COEX, the IFC Seoul.
Seoul was named the 2010 World Design Capital. As the birthplace of K-pop and the Korean Wave, Seoul received over 10 million international visitors in 2014, making it the world's 9th most visited city and 4th largest earner in tourism. Today, Seoul is considered a leading and rising global city, resulting from the South Korean economic boom - referred to as the Miracle on the Han River - which transformed it into the world's 7th largest metropolitan economy with a GDP of US$635.4 billion in 2014 after Tokyo, New York City and Los Angeles. International visitors reach Seoul via AREX from the Incheon International Airport, notable for having been rated the best airport for nine consecutive years by the Airports Council International. In 2015, it was rated Asia's most livable city with the second highest quality of life globally by Arcadis, with the GDP per capita in Seoul being $39,786. Inhabitants of Seoul are faced with a high cost of living, for which the city was ranked 6th globally in 2017.
Seoul is an expensive real estate market, ranked 5th in the world for the price of apartments in the downtown center. With major technology hubs centered in Gangnam and Digital Media City, the Seoul Capital Area is home to the headquarters of 15 Fortune Global 500 companies, including Samsung, LG, Hyundai. Ranked sixth in the Global Power City Index and Global Financial Centres Index, the metropolis exerts a major influence in global affairs as one of the five leading hosts of global conferences. Seoul has hosted the 1986 Asian Games, 1988 Summer Olympics, 2002 FIFA World Cup, more the 2010 G-20 Seoul summit; the city has been known in the past by the names Wiryeseong, Hanseong, Keijō. During Japan's annexation of Korea, "Hanseong" was renamed "Keijō" by the Imperial authorities to prevent confusion with the hanja'漢', which refers to Han people or the Han dynasty and in Japanese is a term for "China", its current name originated from the Korean word meaning "capital city", believed to have descended from an ancient word, which referred to Gyeongju, the capital of Silla.
Ancient Gyeongju was known in documents by the Chinese-style name Geumseong, but it is unclear whether the native Korean-style name Seorabeol had the same meaning as Geumseong. Unlike most place names in Korea, "Seoul" has no corresponding hanja. On January 18, 2005, the Seoul government changed its official Chinese name from the historic Hancheng, still in common use, to Shou'er. Settlement of the Han River area, where present-day Seoul is located, began around 4000 BCE. Seoul is first recorded as the capital of Baekje in the northeastern Seoul area. There are several city walls remaining in the area. Pungnaptoseong, an earthen wall located southeast Seoul, is believed to have been at the main Wiryeseong site; as the Three Kingdoms competed for this strategic region, control passed from Baekje to Goguryeo in the 5th century, from Goguryeo to Silla in the 6th century. In the 11th century Goryeo, which succeeded Unified Silla, built a summer palace in Seoul, referred to as the "Southern Capital".
It was only from this period. When Joseon replaced Goryeo, the capital was moved to Seoul, where it remained until the fall of the dynasty; the Gyeongbok Palace, built in the 14th century, served as the royal residence until 1592. The other large palace, constructed in 1405, served as the main royal palace from 1611 to 1872. After Joseon changed her name to the Korean Empire in 1897, Hwangseong designated Seoul; the city was surrounded by a massive circular stone wall to provide its citizens security from wild animals and attacks. The city has grown beyond those walls and although the wall no longer stands, the gates remain near the downtown district of Seoul, including most notably Sungnyemun and Heunginjimun (commonly known as Dong