Government of Japan
The government of Japan is a constitutional monarchy in which the power of the Emperor is limited and is relegated to ceremonial duties. As in many other states, the Government is divided into three branches: the Legislative branch, the Executive branch, the Judicial branch; the Government runs under the framework established by the Constitution of Japan, adopted in 1947. It is a unitary state, containing forty-seven administrative divisions, with the Emperor as its head of state, his role is ceremonial and he has no powers related to Government. Instead, it is the Cabinet, comprising the Ministers of State and the Prime Minister, that directs and controls the Government; the Cabinet is the source of power of the Executive branch, is formed by the Prime Minister, the head of government. He or she is appointed to office by the Emperor; the National Diet is the organ of the Legislative branch. It is bicameral, consisting of two houses with the House of Councillors being the upper house, the House of Representatives being the lower house.
Its members are directly elected from the people. The Supreme Court and other inferior courts make up the Judicial branch, they are independent from the executive and the legislative branches. Prior to the Meiji Restoration, Japan was ruled by successive military shōguns. During this period, effective power of the government resided in the Shōgun, who ruled the country in the name of the Emperor; the Shoguns were the hereditary military governors, with their modern rank equivalent to a generalissimo. Although the Emperor was the sovereign who appointed the Shōgun, his roles were ceremonial and he took no part in governing the country; this is compared to the present role of the Emperor, whose official role is to appoint the Prime Minister. The Meiji Restoration in 1868 led to the resignation of Shōgun Tokugawa Yoshinobu, agreeing to "be the instrument for carrying out" the Emperor's orders; this event restored the country to the proclamation of the Empire of Japan. In 1889, the Meiji Constitution was adopted in a move to strengthen Japan to the level of western nations, resulting in the first parliamentary system in Asia.
It provided a form of mixed constitutional-absolute monarchy, with an independent judiciary, based on the Prussian model of the time. A new aristocracy known as the kazoku was established, it merged the ancient court nobility of the Heian period, the kuge, the former daimyōs, feudal lords subordinate to the shōgun. It established the Imperial Diet, consisting of the House of Representatives and the House of Peers. Members of the House of Peers were made up of the Imperial Family, the Kazoku, those nominated by the Emperor, while members of the House of Representatives were elected by direct male suffrage. Despite clear distinctions between powers of the executive branch and the Emperor in the Meiji Constitution and contradictions in the Constitution led to a political crisis, it devalued the notion of civilian control over the military, which meant that the military could develop and exercise a great influence on politics. Following the end of World War II, the Constitution of Japan was adopted as an intention to replace the previous Imperial rule with a form of Western-style liberal democracy.
The Emperor of Japan is the ceremonial head of state. He is defined by the Constitution to be "the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people". However, he is not the nominal Chief Executive and he possesses only certain ceremonially important powers, he has no real powers related to the Government as stated in article 4 of the Constitution. Article 6 of the Constitution of Japan delegates the Emperor the following ceremonial roles: Appointment of the Prime Minister as designated by the Diet. Appointment of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court as designated by the Cabinet. While the Cabinet is the source of executive power and most of its power is exercised directly by the Prime Minister, several of its powers are exercised by the Emperor; the powers exercised via the Emperor, as stipulated by Article 7 of the Constitution, are: Promulgation of amendments of the constitution, cabinet orders and treaties. Convocation of the Diet. Dissolution of the House of Representatives. Proclamation of general election of members of the Diet.
Attestation of the appointment and dismissal of Ministers of State and other officials as provided for by law, of full powers and credentials of Ambassadors and Ministers. Attestation of general and special amnesty, commutation of punishment and restoration of rights. Awarding of honors. Attestation of instruments of ratification and other diplomatic documents as provided for by law. Receiving foreign ambassadors and ministers. Performance of ceremonial functions; the Emperor is known to hold the nominal ceremonial authority. For example, the Emperor is the only person that has the authority to appoint the Prime Minister though the Diet has the power to designate the person fitted for the position. One such example can be prominently seen in the 2009 Dissolution of the House of Representatives; the House was expected to be dissolved on the advice of the Prime Minister, but was temporarily unable to do so for the next general election, as both the Emperor and Empress were visiting Canada. In this manner, the Emperor's modern role is compared to those of the Shogunate period and much of Japan's history, whereby the Emperor held great symbolic authority but had little political power.
Today, a legacy has somewhat continued for a retired Prime Minister who still wields considerabl
Asia is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located in the Eastern and Northern Hemispheres. It shares the continental landmass of Eurasia with the continent of Europe and the continental landmass of Afro-Eurasia with both Europe and Africa. Asia covers an area of 44,579,000 square kilometres, about 30% of Earth's total land area and 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area. The continent, which has long been home to the majority of the human population, was the site of many of the first civilizations. Asia is notable for not only its overall large size and population, but dense and large settlements, as well as vast populated regions, its 4.5 billion people constitute 60% of the world's population. In general terms, Asia is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the south by the Indian Ocean, on the north by the Arctic Ocean; the border of Asia with Europe is a historical and cultural construct, as there is no clear physical and geographical separation between them. It has moved since its first conception in classical antiquity.
The division of Eurasia into two continents reflects East–West cultural and ethnic differences, some of which vary on a spectrum rather than with a sharp dividing line. The most accepted boundaries place Asia to the east of the Suez Canal separating it from Africa. China and India alternated in being the largest economies in the world from 1 to 1800 CE. China was a major economic power and attracted many to the east, for many the legendary wealth and prosperity of the ancient culture of India personified Asia, attracting European commerce and colonialism; the accidental discovery of a trans-Atlantic route from Europe to America by Columbus while in search for a route to India demonstrates this deep fascination. The Silk Road became the main east–west trading route in the Asian hinterlands while the Straits of Malacca stood as a major sea route. Asia has exhibited economic dynamism as well as robust population growth during the 20th century, but overall population growth has since fallen. Asia was the birthplace of most of the world's mainstream religions including Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Sikhism, as well as many other religions.
Given its size and diversity, the concept of Asia—a name dating back to classical antiquity—may have more to do with human geography than physical geography. Asia varies across and within its regions with regard to ethnic groups, environments, historical ties and government systems, it has a mix of many different climates ranging from the equatorial south via the hot desert in the Middle East, temperate areas in the east and the continental centre to vast subarctic and polar areas in Siberia. The boundary between Asia and Africa is the Red Sea, the Gulf of Suez, the Suez Canal; this makes Egypt a transcontinental country, with the Sinai peninsula in Asia and the remainder of the country in Africa. The border between Asia and Europe was defined by European academics; the Don River became unsatisfactory to northern Europeans when Peter the Great, king of the Tsardom of Russia, defeating rival claims of Sweden and the Ottoman Empire to the eastern lands, armed resistance by the tribes of Siberia, synthesized a new Russian Empire extending to the Ural Mountains and beyond, founded in 1721.
The major geographical theorist of the empire was a former Swedish prisoner-of-war, taken at the Battle of Poltava in 1709 and assigned to Tobolsk, where he associated with Peter's Siberian official, Vasily Tatishchev, was allowed freedom to conduct geographical and anthropological studies in preparation for a future book. In Sweden, five years after Peter's death, in 1730 Philip Johan von Strahlenberg published a new atlas proposing the Urals as the border of Asia. Tatishchev announced; the latter had suggested the Emba River as the lower boundary. Over the next century various proposals were made until the Ural River prevailed in the mid-19th century; the border had been moved perforce from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea into which the Ural River projects. The border between the Black Sea and the Caspian is placed along the crest of the Caucasus Mountains, although it is sometimes placed further north; the border between Asia and the region of Oceania is placed somewhere in the Malay Archipelago.
The Maluku Islands in Indonesia are considered to lie on the border of southeast Asia, with New Guinea, to the east of the islands, being wholly part of Oceania. The terms Southeast Asia and Oceania, devised in the 19th century, have had several vastly different geographic meanings since their inception; the chief factor in determining which islands of the Malay Archipelago are Asian has been the location of the colonial possessions of the various empires there. Lewis and Wigen assert, "The narrowing of'Southeast Asia' to its present boundaries was thus a gradual process." Geographical Asia is a cultural artifact of European conceptions of the world, beginning with the Ancient Greeks, being imposed onto other cultures, an imprecise concept causing endemic contention about what it means. Asia does not correspond to the cultural borders of its various types of constituents. From the time of Herodotus a minority of geographers have rejected the three-continent system on the grounds that there is no substantial physical separation between
World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo
Prime Minister of Japan
The Prime Minister of Japan is the head of government of Japan. The Prime Minister is appointed by the Emperor of Japan after being designated by the National Diet and must enjoy the confidence of the House of Representatives to remain in office, he dismisses the other Ministers of State. The literal translation of the Japanese name for the office is Minister for the Comprehensive Administration of the Cabinet. Before the adoption of the Meiji Constitution, Japan had in practice no written constitution. A Chinese-inspired legal system known as ritsuryō was enacted in the late Asuka period and early Nara period, it described a government based on an elaborate and rational meritocratic bureaucracy, serving, in theory, under the ultimate authority of the Emperor. Theoretically, the last ritsuryō code, the Yōrō Code enacted in 752, was still in force at the time of the Meiji Restoration. Under this system, the Daijō-daijin was the head of the Daijō-kan, the highest organ of Japan's pre-modern Imperial government during the Heian period and until under the Meiji Constitution with the appointment of Sanjō Sanetomi in 1871.
The office was replaced in 1885 with the appointment of Itō Hirobumi to the new position of Prime Minister, four years before the enactment of the Meiji Constitution, which mentions neither the Cabinet nor the position of Prime Minister explicitly. It took its current form with the adoption of the Constitution of Japan in 1947. To date, 62 people have served this position; the current Prime Minister is Shinzō Abe, who re-took office on December 26, 2012. He is the first former Prime Minister to return to office since 1948, the 4th longest serving Prime Minister to date; the Prime Minister is designated by both houses of the Diet, before the conduct of any other business. For that purpose, each conducts a ballot under the run-off system. If the two houses choose different individuals a joint committee of both houses is appointed to agree on a common candidate. However, if the two houses do not agree within ten days, the decision of the House of Representatives is deemed to be that of the Diet. Therefore, the House of Representatives can theoretically ensure the appointment of any Prime Minister it wants.
The candidate is presented with his or her commission, formally appointed to office by the Emperor. In practice, the Prime Minister is always the leader of the majority party in the House of Representatives, or the leader of the senior partner in the governing coalition. Must be a member of either house of the Diet. Must be a "civilian"; this excludes serving members of the Japan Self-Defense Forces. Former military persons may be appointed prime minister despite the "civilian" requirement, Yasuhiro Nakasone being one prominent example. Exercises "control and supervision" over the entire executive branch. Presents bills to the Diet on behalf of the Cabinet. Signs laws and Cabinet orders. Appoints all Cabinet ministers, can dismiss them at any time. May permit legal action to be taken against Cabinet ministers. Must make reports on foreign relations to the Diet. Must report to the Diet upon demand to provide explanations. May advise the Emperor to dissolve the Diet's House of Representatives. Presides over meetings of the Cabinet.
Commander-in-chief of the Japan Self-Defense Forces. May override a court injunction against an administrative act upon showing of cause. In most other constitutional monarchies, the monarch is nominal chief executive, while being bound by convention to act on the advice of the cabinet. In contrast, the Constitution of Japan explicitly vests executive power in the Cabinet, of which the Prime Minister is the leader, his signature is required for Cabinet orders. While most ministers in parliamentary democracies have some freedom of action within the bounds of cabinet collective responsibility, the Japanese Cabinet is an extension of the Prime Minister's authority. Located near the Diet building, the Office of the Prime Minister of Japan is called the Kantei; the original Kantei served from 1929 until 2002, when a new building was inaugurated to serve as the current Kantei. The old Kantei was converted into the Official Residence, or Kōtei; the Kōtei lies to the southwest of the Kantei, is linked by a walkway.
The Prime Minister of Japan travels in a Lexus LS 600h L, the official transport for the head of government, or an unmodified Toyota Century escorted by a police motorcade of numerous Toyota Celsiors. For long distance air travel, Japan maintains two Boeing 747-400 aircraft for the Prime Minister of Japan, the Emperor and other members of the Imperial Family, operated by the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, they have the radio callsigns Japanese Air Force One and Japanese Air Force Two when operating on official business, Cygnus One and Cygnus Two when operating outside of official business. The aircraft always fly together on government missions, with one serving as the primary transport and the other serving as a backup with maintenance personnel on board; the aircraft are referred to as Japanese government exclusive aircraft. The aircraft were constructed at the Boeing factory at the same time as the U. S. Air Force One VC-25s, though the U. S. aircraft wer
Tomiichi Murayama is a retired Japanese politician who served as the 52nd Prime Minister of Japan from 30 June 1994 to 11 January 1996. He was the head of the Social Democratic Party of Japan and the first socialist prime minister in nearly fifty years, he is most remembered today for his speech "On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the war's end", in which he publicly apologised for Imperial Japanese atrocities committed during World War II. Murayama was born in Ōita Prefecture on 3 March 1924, he entered Meiji University in 1943 as a philosophy student, but was mobilised in 1944 and assigned to work in the Ishikawajima shipyards. That year, he was drafted into the Imperial Army and assigned to the 72nd Infantry of the 23rd Brigade of the 23rd Division as a private second class, he was demobilised following Japan's surrender with the rank of officer candidate. Murayama was appointed secretary of the labor union in his company and entered the Japan Socialist Party, which his union supported.
He began his political career as a member of the Ōita city council in 1955 and went on to serve three terms. In 1963, his supporters urged him to be a candidate for the Ōita prefectural assembly, he was elected three times successively. In 1972, he was elected to the House of Representatives of Japan. In 1991 he was appointed chairman of the Diet Affairs Committee of his party. In August 1993, after the general election, the Japan Socialist Party joined the cabinet until 1994. In October of the same year, he was elected the head of the party. Murayama became prime minister on 30 June 1994; the cabinet was based on a coalition consisting of the Japan Socialist Party, the Liberal Democratic Party, the New Party Sakigake. Because of the unwieldy coalition, his leadership was not strong, his party had been opposed to the Security Pact between Japan and the United States, but he stated that this pact was in accordance with the Constitution of Japan and disappointed many of his Socialist supporters. His government was criticised for not dealing with the Great Hanshin earthquake that hit Japan on 17 January 1995.
Just two months on 20 March, the Aum Shinrikyo cult carried out the Sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway. As the prime minister, he apologised for the atrocities committed by Japan during World War II. In social policy, various reforms were carried out in areas such as labour rights, care for the elderly, child support, assistance for people with disabilities. In 1995, a law on family-care leave was introduced which made it mandatory for employers to grant a maximum of three consecutive months leave to male and female employees who need to take constant care of a family member, prohibited employers from dismissing employees for taking family-care leave. Safety standards concerning mobile cranes were established in 1995, amendments made to the Radiation Safety Law of 1960 and the Radiation Safety Law of 1957 in 1995 extended coverage to excluded rental business workers, rental business offices, rental businesses. Amendments made to the Radiation Hindrance Prevention Law of 1957 in 1995 extended the law to cover rental business workers, rental business offices, rental businesses.
In July 1995, a law came into effect that imposed strict liability, or liability without fault, upon manufacturers and importers of defective products. The Food Sanitation Law of 1995 introduced a comprehensive food safety system. In 1995, an amendment to the Firearm and Sword Possession Control Law made gun possession a more serious offence, the Science and Technology Basic Law passed that same year provided the framework of Japan's science and technology policy. In 1995, the Mental Health Act was revised to improve psychiatric and medical treatment and psychiatric rehabilitation “and to ensure coordination among the mental health system and other health, social service, administrative sectors.” The Container and Package Recycling Law of 1995 prescribed “obligatory duties of business parties for recycling containers and packaging," while a 1995 amendment to the Mental Health Law introduced a system to provide a health and welfare handbook for people with mental disorders, a Government Action Plan for Persons with Disabilities was launched that same year.
In addition, new comprehensive employment measures were introduced. In the Japanese House of Councillors election, 1995, his party lost seats, he expressed his wish to resign from the office of prime minister, but his supporters opposed his resignation. A few months he resigned and was replaced by Ryutaro Hashimoto, the head of the Liberal Democratic Party. In 2000, he retired from politics. Murayama and Mutsuko Miki traveled to North Korea in 2000 to promote better bilateral relations between the two countries, he became the president of the Asian Women's Fund, a quasi-government body, set up to provide compensation for former comfort women. After providing compensation and working on various projects, the fund was dissolved on 31 March 2007. Grand Cordon of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers Resolution to renew the determination for peace on the basis of lessons learned from history Murayama Cabinet The Nobel Peace Prize for Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution Appearances on C-SPANThis article incorporates text from OpenHistory
The Kono Statement refers to a statement released by Chief Cabinet Secretary Yōhei Kōno on August 4, 1993, after the conclusion of the government study that found that the Japanese Imperial Army had forced women, known as comfort women, to work in military-run brothels during World War II. The Japanese government had denied that the women had been coerced until this point. In the Kono Statement, the Japanese government acknowledged that: "The Japanese military was, directly or indirectly, involved in the establishment and management of the comfort stations". "The recruitment of the comfort women was conducted by private recruiters who acted in response to the request of the military." "In many cases they were recruited against their own will, through coaxing, etc." "At times, administrative/military personnel directly took part in the recruitments." "They lived in misery at comfort stations under a coercive atmosphere." A similar statement was offered before on July 6, 1992 by Kono's predecessor Koichi Kato saying that the "Government had been involved in the establishment of comfort stations, the control of those who recruited comfort women, the construction and reinforcement of comfort facilities, the management and surveillance of comfort stations, " and that the government wanted to "express its sincere apology and remorse to all those who have suffered indescribable hardship as so-called'wartime comfort women.'"Kono's subsequent call for historical research and education aimed at remembering the issue became the basis for addressing the subject of forced prostitution in school history textbooks.
It led to the creation of the Asian Women's Fund, which provided aid and support to women, forced into prostitution during the war. On June 9, 2015, Kono stated at a press conference that there was undeniable evidence that comfort women were forcibly taken, citing Dutch women in Indonesia, he explained that although there is a misunderstanding that the Kono Statement covers only Korean Peninsula, it covers all the comfort women of the Imperial Japanese military. The Kono Statement has been the target of criticism by some conservatives in Japan, it is still debated whether the statement acknowledged that coercion had been used in the recruitment and retention of the women by the Japanese Imperial Army directly, as the recruitment was believed to be conducted by private recruiting agents. Current Prime Minister Shinzō Abe, during his first term as Prime Minister in 2007, stated that he did not believe women were coerced by the Japanese army into working at military brothels. Nobuo Ishihara, deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary at the time of the drafting of the Kono Statement, has stated in unsworn testimony to the National Diet that no written records verifying the accounts of the 16 women who were interviewed during the course of the investigation could be discovered.
One article published in the New York Times asserts that "There is little evidence that the Japanese military abducted or was directly involved in entrapping women in Korea, a Japanese colony for decades when the war began, although the women and activists who support them say the women were deceived and forced to work against their will." However, the same article states that, "Many were deceived with offers of jobs in factories and hospitals and forced to provide sex for imperial soldiers in the comfort stations. In Southeast Asia, there is evidence that Japanese soldiers kidnapped women to work in the brothels." According to an article published by the Japanese newspaper, the Asahi Shimbun, "Prostitution agents were prevalent due to the poverty and patriarchal family system. For that reason if the military was not directly involved, it is said it was possible to gather many women through such methods as work-related scams and human trafficking."Members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party had been discussing the possibility of the government, led by Abe, looking into revising the statement when Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga announced that a team had been formed to reexamine the "background" of the report at House of Representatives Budget Committee on February 20, 2014.
The review was criticized by the South Korean government. Abe announced in March. Yonhap News reported that this decision was influenced by pressure from the Obama administration in the United States, trying to cool diplomatic tensions between Japan and Korea. A five-member study team chaired by a former Prosecutor-General Keiichi Tadaki including Ikuhiko Hata reviewed the Kono Statement. A report titled Details of Exchanges Between Japan and the Republic of Korea regarding the Comfort Women Issue - From the Drafting of the Kono Statement to the Asian Women’s Fund was submitted to the Diet on June 20, 2014. In response to the review, Kono issued a statement verifying the report's findings, saying that there was nothing for him to "add or subtract" and that everything in the report was correct. On February 20, 2014, Nobuo Ishihara, former Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary at the issuance of the Kono Statement, testified: No post factum corroborating investigation was conducted on the result of the hearings of former comfort women during the government study conducted for the Kono Statement.
There is a possibility that in the drafting process of the Kono Statement, negotiation was conducted with South Korea. Recent dispute brought up by South Korea, once settled by Kono Statement is regrettable because the good intensions of Japan at the time are ignored; as a result, a study clarifying the process leading to the drafting of the Kono Statement and understanding what occurred at that time is to be conducted
Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south; the kanji that make up Japan's name mean "sun origin", it is called the "Land of the Rising Sun". Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago consisting of about 6,852 islands; the four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido and Shikoku, which make up about ninety-seven percent of Japan's land area and are referred to as home islands. The country is divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions, with Hokkaido being the northernmost prefecture and Okinawa being the southernmost one; the population of 127 million is the world's tenth largest. 90.7 % of people live in cities. About 13.8 million people live in the capital of Japan. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world with over 38 million people. Archaeological research indicates; the first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD.
Influence from other regions China, followed by periods of isolation from Western Europe, has characterized Japan's history. From the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive feudal military shōguns who ruled in the name of the Emperor. Japan entered into a long period of isolation in the early 17th century, ended in 1853 when a United States fleet pressured Japan to open to the West. After nearly two decades of internal conflict and insurrection, the Imperial Court regained its political power in 1868 through the help of several clans from Chōshū and Satsuma – and the Empire of Japan was established. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, victories in the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War and World War I allowed Japan to expand its empire during a period of increasing militarism; the Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937 expanded into part of World War II in 1941, which came to an end in 1945 following the Japanese surrender. Since adopting its revised constitution on May 3, 1947, during the occupation led by SCAP, the sovereign state of Japan has maintained a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy with an Emperor and an elected legislature called the National Diet.
Japan is a member of the ASEAN Plus mechanism, UN, the OECD, the G7, the G8, the G20, is considered a great power. Its economy is the world's third-largest by nominal GDP and the fourth-largest by purchasing power parity, it is the world's fourth-largest exporter and fourth-largest importer. Japan benefits from a skilled and educated workforce. Although it has renounced its right to declare war, Japan maintains a modern military with the world's eighth-largest military budget, used for self-defense and peacekeeping roles. Japan is a developed country with a high standard of living and Human Development Index, its population enjoys the highest life expectancy and third lowest infant mortality rate in the world, but is experiencing issues due to an aging population and low birthrate. Japan is renowned for its historical and extensive cinema, influential music industry, video gaming, rich cuisine and its major contributions to science and modern technology; the Japanese word for Japan is 日本, pronounced Nihon or Nippon and means "the origin of the sun".
The character nichi means "sun" or "day". The compound therefore means "origin of the sun" and is the source of the popular Western epithet "Land of the Rising Sun"; the earliest record of the name Nihon appears in the Chinese historical records of the Tang dynasty, the Old Book of Tang. At the end of the seventh century, a delegation from Japan requested that Nihon be used as the name of their country; this name may have its origin in a letter sent in 607 and recorded in the official history of the Sui dynasty. Prince Shōtoku, the Regent of Japan, sent a mission to China with a letter in which he called himself "the Emperor of the Land where the Sun rises"; the message said: "Here, I, the emperor of the country where the sun rises, send a letter to the emperor of the country where the sun sets. How are you". Prior to the adoption of Nihon, other terms such as Yamato and Wakoku were used; the term Wa is a homophone of Wo 倭, used by the Chinese as a designation for the Japanese as early as the third century Three Kingdoms period.
Another form of Wa, Wei in Chinese) was used for an early state in Japan called Nakoku during the Han dynasty. However, the Japanese disliked some connotation of Wa 倭, it was therefore replaced with the substitute character Wa, meaning "togetherness, harmony"; the English word Japan derives from the historical Chinese pronunciation of 日本. The Old Mandarin or early Wu Chinese pronunciation of Japan was recorded by Marco Polo as Cipangu. In modern Shanghainese, a Wu dialect, the pronunciation of characters 日本; the old Malay word for Japan, Japun or Japang, was borrowed from a southern coastal Chinese dialect Fukienese or Ningpo – and this Malay word was encountered by Portuguese traders in Southeast Asia in the 16th century. These Early Portuguese traders brought the word