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History of Japan

The history of Japan covers Japan and its relation to the world. It is characterized by semi-open and expansionistic periods; the first human habitation in the Japanese archipelago has been traced to prehistoric times around 30,000 BC. The Jōmon period, named after its cord-marked pottery, was followed by the Yayoi in the first millennium BC when new technologies were introduced from continental Asia. During this period, the first known written reference to Japan was recorded in the Chinese Book of Han in the first century AD. Between the fourth century and the ninth century, Japan's many kingdoms and tribes came to be unified under a centralized government, nominally controlled by the Emperor; this imperial dynasty continues to reign over Japan. In 794, a new imperial capital was established at Heian-kyō, marking the beginning of the Heian period, which lasted until 1185; the Heian period is considered a golden age of classical Japanese culture. Japanese religious life from this time and onwards was a mix of native Shinto practices and Buddhism.

Over the following centuries, the power of the Emperor and the imperial court declined, passing first to great clans of civilian aristocrats – most notably the Fujiwara – and to the military clans and their armies of samurai. The Minamoto clan under Minamoto no Yoritomo emerged victorious from the Genpei War of 1180–85, defeating their rival military clan, the Taira. After seizing power, Yoritomo took the title of shōgun. In 1274 and 1281, the Kamakura shogunate withstood two Mongol invasions, but in 1333 it was toppled by a rival claimant to the shogunate, ushering in the Muromachi period. During the Muromachi period regional warlords called daimyōs grew in power at the expense of the shōgun. Japan descended into a period of civil war. Over the course of the late sixteenth century, Japan was reunified under the leadership of the prominent daimyō Oda Nobunaga and his successor Toyotomi Hideyoshi. After Hideyoshi's death in 1598, Tokugawa Ieyasu came to power and was appointed shōgun by the Emperor.

The Tokugawa shogunate, which governed from Edo, presided over a prosperous and peaceful era known as the Edo period. The Tokugawa shogunate imposed a strict class system on Japanese society and cut off all contact with the outside world. Portugal and Japan started their first affiliation in 1543, when the Portuguese became the first Europeans to reach Japan by landing in the southern archipelago, they had a significant impact on Japan in this initial limited interaction, introducing firearms to Japanese warfare. The Netherlands was the first to establish trade relations with Japan and Dutch relations are dating back to 1609; the American Perry Expedition in 1853–54 more ended Japan's seclusion. The new national leadership of the following Meiji period transformed the isolated feudal island country into an empire that followed Western models and became a great power. Although democracy developed and modern civilian culture prospered during the Taishō period, Japan's powerful military had great autonomy and overruled Japan's civilian leaders in the 1920s and 1930s.

The military invaded Manchuria in 1931, from 1937 the conflict escalated into a prolonged war with China. Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941 led to war with its allies. Japan's forces soon became overextended, but the military held out in spite of Allied air attacks that inflicted severe damage on population centers. Emperor Hirohito announced Japan's unconditional surrender on August 15, 1945, following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Soviet invasion of Manchuria; the Allies occupied Japan until 1952, during which a new constitution was enacted in 1947 that transformed Japan into a constitutional monarchy. After 1955, Japan enjoyed high economic growth, became a world economic powerhouse. Since the 1990s, the Lost Decade had been a major issue, such as the 1995 Great Kobe-Osaka earthquake and Tokyo subway sarin attack. In 2004, Japan sent a military force as part of the international coalition forces during the Iraq War. On Friday, March 11, 2011, at 2:46 p.m. Japan suffered from a powerful magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami, one of the most powerful earthquakes recorded.

The earthquake killed 20,000 people, affected places in the three regions of Tohoku and Kanto in the northeast of Honshu, including the Tokyo area, had massive economic ramifications, caused the serious Fukushima nuclear power disaster. The Japanese archipelago is a group of 6,852 islands, it extends over 3,000 km from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south along the east coast of the Asian continent. The size of Japan is 377,974 km2 in 2018; this makes it 1.56 times bigger than the United Kingdom 242,495 km2. Japan is the fourth largest island country in the world. Japan has the sixth longest coastline and the eighth largest Exclusive Economic Zone of 4,470,000 km2; the islands of Japan were created by tectonic plate movements over several hundred millions of years from the mid-Silurian to the Pleistocene. Japan is located in the northwestern Ring of Fire on multiple tectonic plates. East of the Japanese archipelago are three oceanic trenches.

The Japan Trench is created as the oceanic Pacific Plate subducts beneath the continental Okhotsk Plate. The continuous subduction

Castle of Losenstein

The Castle of Losenstein is a castle ruin in Upper Austria. It rises above the village of Losenstein on a 60-metre rock, composed of dolomite, it is one of the oldest ruins of Upper Austria. Built in the 12th century by the Styrian Ottokars, the Castle of Losenstien consists of the main building and one major ancillary tower. Beginning in 1252 the Lords of Losenstein owned the castle; the castle offers views of the village of Losenstein, the river Enns, the foothills in the direction of Styria. The castle of Losenstein is accessible; the original structure of the castle is still visible. Exterior walls, gothic windows and large arches are still visible; the individual premises such as church, living area and economic activity are defined precisely. The Styrian Otakare built this castle around 1150 to protect themselves from invading troops in the Steiermark. 1170 the castle was first mentioned in 1252 and went to Dietmar of Steyr, which received it from King Ottokar II Przemysl in exchange for the city of Steyr.

From that point on, the family of Dietmar and his descendants are known as the Lords of Losenstein. Until their extinction in 1692, they continuously owned the castle; the grave of the family of Losenstein are located in Garsten. The line went through inheritance over to the generation of von Auersperg, who sold the castle in 1905 to the province of Upper Austria; the ruins of Losenstein Castle have served on several occasions as a venue for plays. The castle theatre group of Losenstein has made use of the location on multiple occasions, it is a common place for historic tours by school groups and history buffs, home more to the castle rock climbing area. The preservation of the historic building and the maintenance of the possibility for a variety of activities in this unique cultural treasure has been given highest priority. Signage allows interested visitors to understand the historical and cultural significance of the ruins of Castle Losenstein

2009 North Korean nuclear test

The 2009 North Korean nuclear test was the underground detonation of a nuclear device conducted on Monday, 25 May 2009 by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. This was its second nuclear test, the first test having taken place in October 2006. Following the nuclear test, Pyongyang conducted several missile tests. A scientific paper estimated the yield as 2.35 kilotons. The test was nearly universally condemned by the international community. Following the test, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1874 condemning the test and tightening sanctions on the country, it was believed that the test was conducted as a result of the succession crisis in the country. After Kim Jong-Il suffered a stroke in the summer of 2008, arrangements were made for his third son, Kim Jong-un, to take power upon his death, it is believed the North Koreans conducted the nuclear test to show that in a time of possible weakness, it did not intend to give up its nuclear weapons program. North Korea had threatened to conduct a second nuclear test in protest after the United Nations Security Council adopted a presidential statement condemning the country after it launched a rocket, which it claimed was carrying the Kwangmyŏngsŏng-2 satellite, on 5 April 2009.

The launch was condemned by several nations, describing it as an intercontinental ballistic missile test. The test came after recent messages stating that North Korea had miniaturized nuclear warheads for medium-range missiles and that the country had been recognized by analysts as a fledged nuclear power. In June 2009, after it was announced that Kim Jong-un was to be the intended successor of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, U. S. government analysts speculated that the purpose of the nuclear test was to establish North Korea as a nuclear power within Kim Jong-il's lifetime. Without citing a specific time, Pyongyang notified both Washington, D. C. and Beijing of the test about an hour before the actual detonation, which occurred around 10:00 Korea Standard Time Monday. S. State Department promptly contacted the four other six-party talks members; the state-run Korean Central News Agency released an announcement claiming, in part, that: The Democratic People's Republic of Korea conducted one more underground nuclear test on May 25 as part of the measures to bolster up its nuclear deterrent for self-defence in every way as requested by its scientists and technicians.

The current nuclear test was safely conducted on a new higher level in terms of its explosive power and technology of its control and the results of the test helped satisfactorily settle the scientific and technological problems arising in further increasing the power of nuclear weapons and developing nuclear technology. This was interpreted as referring to the disputes over the low yield of the 2006 test. South Korea and Japan reported seismic activity at 09:50 KST; the United States Geological Survey reported a magnitude 4.7 earthquake at a depth of zero and put the center of the tremor about 70 kilometres northwest of Kimchaek and 375 kilometres northeast of Pyongyang, within a few kilometres of the country's 2006 nuclear test site. The Japan Meteorological Agency measured the seismic activity at magnitude 5.3. The Korea Institute of Geoscience & Mineral Resources reported seismic activity in the same area but far stronger than in 2006; the Russian Defence Ministry confirmed it had detected a nuclear detonation in North Korea and was analysing the data to determine the yield.

Geophysical Service of the Russian Academy of Sciences has registered underground nuclear explosion conducted in North Korea on 25 May 2009. Registration time of this explosion was 0:54 am. GMT with magnitude 5.0. In China, tremors were felt in the prefecture of Yanbian, which borders North Korea, forced students in some local schools to be evacuated; the test is believed to have taken place at Mantapsan in the vicinity of P'unggyeri, the site of the nuclear test held in 2006. Analysts have agreed that the nuclear test was successful, despite uncertainty of the exact yield; the U. S. intelligence community assessed that North Korea "probably" had conducted a nuclear test with a yield of "a few kilotons". The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization Preparatory Commission assessed the yield at only larger than the 2006 test, one kiloton. Based on readings from 23 seismic stations, the Preparatory Commission estimated the blast to have a seismic magnitude of 4.52, corresponding to an explosive yield of 2.4 kilotons, compared to a seismic magnitude of 4.1, corresponding to a yield of 0.8 kilotons, for the 2006 blast.

Russia placed the yield of the test higher at 10 to 20 kilotons. This was the yield of the Fat Man and Trinity bombs developed by the United States during World War II. However, the Russians had previously estimated a far higher yield of 5 to 10 kilotons when other sources estimated a yield of 0.5 to 0.9 kilotons in the 2006 test as well. Defense Minister Lee Sang-Hee of South Korea said that more data were needed but that the yield might be between 1 and 20 kilotons. Analyst Martin Kalinowski at the University of Hamburg estimated the yield at being from 3 to 8 kilotons, still a successful test when compared with the 2006 test. Hans M. Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists cautioned that "early news media reports about a'Hiroshima-size' nuclear explosion seem to be overblown"; the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists asserted that the blast was more powerful than the 2006 test, though put the yield between 2 and 6 kilotons, but less than 4 kilotons and far short of a Hiroshima-type device.

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