The Yayoi period is an Iron Age era in the history of Japan traditionally dated 300 BC–300 AD. Since the 1980s, scholars have argued that a period classified as a transition from the Jōmon period should be reclassified as Early Yayoi; the date of the beginning of this transition is controversial, with estimates ranging from the 10th to the 6th centuries BC. The period is named after the neighborhood of Tokyo where archaeologists first uncovered artifacts and features from that era. Distinguishing characteristics of the Yayoi period include the appearance of new Yayoi pottery styles and the start of an intensive rice agriculture in paddy fields. A hierarchical social class structure has its origin in China. Techniques in metallurgy based on the use of bronze and iron were introduced from China over Korea to Japan in this period; the Yayoi followed the Jōmon period and Yayoi culture flourished in a geographic area from southern Kyūshū to northern Honshū. Archaeological evidence supports the idea that during this time, an influx of farmers from the Asian continent to Japan absorbed or overwhelmed the native hunter-gatherer population.
The Yayoi period is traditionally dated from 300 BC to 300 AD. During this period Japan transitioned to a settled agricultural society; the earliest archaeological evidence of the Yayoi is found on northern Kyūshū, but, still debated. Yayoi culture spread to the main island of Honshū, mixing with native Jōmon culture. A recent study that used accelerator mass spectrometry to analyze carbonized remains on pottery and wooden stakes, suggests that they dated back to 900–800 BC, 500 years earlier than believed; the name Yayoi is borrowed from a location in Tokyo where pottery of the Yayoi period was first found. Yayoi pottery was decorated and produced using the same coiling technique used in Jōmon pottery. Yayoi craft specialists made bronze ceremonial bells and weapons. By the 1st century AD, Yayoi farmers began using iron agricultural weapons; as the Yayoi population increased, the society became more complex. They wove textiles, lived in permanent farming villages, constructed buildings with wood and stone.
They accumulated wealth through land ownership and the storage of grain. Such factors promoted the development of distinct social classes. Contemporary Chinese sources described the people as having tattoos and other bodily markings which indicated differences in social status. Yayoi chiefs, in some parts of Kyūshū, appear to have sponsored, politically manipulated, trade in bronze and other prestige objects; that was possible by the introduction of an irrigated, wet-rice culture from the Yangtze estuary in southern China via the Ryukyu Islands or Korean Peninsula. Wet-rice agriculture led to the growth of a sedentary, agrarian society in Japan. Local political and social developments in Japan were more important than the activities of the central authority within a stratified society. Direct comparisons between Jōmon and Yayoi skeletons show that the two peoples are noticeably distinguishable; the Jōmon tended to be shorter, with longer forearms and lower legs, more wide-set eyes and wider faces, much more pronounced facial topography.
They have strikingly raised brow ridges and nose bridges. Yayoi people, on the other hand, averaged an inch or two taller, with close-set eyes and narrow faces, flat brow ridges and noses. By the Kofun period all skeletons excavated in Japan except those of the Ainu are of the Yayoi type with Jomon admixture, resembling those of modern-day Japanese; the origin of Yayoi culture has long been debated. The earliest archaeological sites are Itazuke or Nabata in the northern part of Kyūshū. Contacts between fishing communities on this coast and the southern coast of Korea date from the Jōmon period, as witnessed by the exchange of trade items such as fishhooks and obsidians. During the Yayoi period, cultural features from China and Korea arrived in this area at various times over several centuries, spread to the south and east; this was a period of mixture between immigrants and the indigenous population, between new cultural influences and existing practices. Chinese influence was obvious in the bronze and copper weapons, dōkyō, dōtaku, as well as irrigated paddy rice cultivation.
Three major symbols of Yayoi culture are the bronze mirror, the bronze sword, the royal seal stone. Between 1996 and 1999, a team led by Satoshi Yamaguchi, a researcher at Japan's National Museum of Nature and Science, compared Yayoi remains found in Japan's Yamaguchi and Fukuoka prefectures with those from China's coastal Jiangsu province and found many similarities between the Yayoi and the Jiangsu remains; some scholars have concluded. Mark J. Hudson has cited archaeological evidence that included "bounded paddy fields, new types of polished stone tools, wooden farming implements, iron tools, weaving technology, ceramic storage jars, exterior bonding of clay coils in pottery fabrication, ditched settlements, domesticated pigs, jawbone rituals." The migrant transfusion from the Korean peninsula gains strength because Yayoi culture began on the north coast of Kyūshū, where Japan is closest to Korea. Yayoi pottery, burial mounds, food preservation were discovered to be similar to the pottery of southern Korea.
However, some scholars argue that the rapid increase of four million people in Japan between the Jōmon and Yayoi periods cannot be explained by migration alone. They attribute the increase to a shift from a hunter-gatherer to an agricultural diet on the islands, with the introduction
A shotgun is a firearm, designed to be fired from the shoulder, which uses the energy of a fixed shell to fire a number of small spherical pellets called shot, or a solid projectile called a slug. Shotguns come in a wide variety of sizes, ranging from 5.5 mm bore up to 5 cm bore, in a range of firearm operating mechanisms, including breech loading, single-barreled, double or combination gun, pump-action, bolt-, lever-action, semi-automatic, fully automatic variants. A shotgun was a smoothbore firearm, which means that the inside of the barrel is not rifled but rifled shotgun barrels and slugs become available. Preceding smoothbore firearms, such as the musket, were used by armies in the 18th century; the direct ancestor to the shotgun, the blunderbuss, was used in a similar variety of roles from self-defense to riot control. It was used by cavalry troops because of its shorter length and ease of use, as well as by coachmen for its substantial power. In the 19th century, these weapons were replaced on the battlefield with breechloading rifled firearms, which were more accurate over longer ranges.
The military value of shotguns was rediscovered in the First World War, when American forces used 12-gauge pump action shotguns in close-quarters trench fighting to great effect. Since it has been used in a variety of roles in civilian, law enforcement, military applications; the shot pellets from a shotgun spread upon leaving the barrel, the power of the burning charge is divided among the pellets, which means that the energy of any one ball of shot is low. In a hunting context, this makes shotguns useful for hunting birds and other small game. However, in a military or law enforcement context, the large number of projectiles makes the shotgun useful as a close quarters combat weapon or a defensive weapon. Militants or insurgents may use shotguns in asymmetric engagements, as shotguns are owned civilian weapons in many countries. Shotguns are used for target shooting sports such as skeet and sporting clays; these involve. Shotguns come in a wide variety of forms, from small up to massive punt guns, in nearly every type of firearm operating mechanism.
The common characteristics that make a shotgun unique center on the requirements of firing shot. These features are the features typical of a shotgun shell, namely a short, wide cartridge, with straight walls, operating at a low pressure. Ammunition for shotguns is referred to in the USA as shotshells, or just shells; the term cartridges is standard usage in the United Kingdom. The shot is fired from a smoothbore barrel; the typical use of a shotgun is against small and fast moving targets while in the air. The spreading of the shot allows the user to point the shotgun close to the target, rather than having to aim as in the case of a single projectile; the disadvantages of shot are limited range and limited penetration of the shot, why shotguns are used at short ranges, against smaller targets. Larger shot sizes, up to the extreme case of the single projectile slug load, result in increased penetration, but at the expense of fewer projectiles and lower probability of hitting the target. Aside from the most common use against small, fast moving targets, the shotgun has several advantages when used against still targets.
First, it has enormous stopping power at more than nearly all handguns and many rifles. Though many believe the shotgun is a great firearm for inexperienced shooters, the truth is, at close range, the spread of shot is not large at all, competency in aiming is still required. A typical self-defense load of buckshot contains 8–27 large lead pellets, resulting in many wound tracks in the target. Unlike a jacketed rifle bullet, each pellet of shot is less to penetrate walls and hit bystanders, it is favored by law enforcement for its low penetration and high stopping power. On the other hand, the hit potential of a defensive shotgun is overstated; the typical defensive shot is taken at close ranges, at which the shot charge expands no more than a few centimeters. This means. Balancing this is the fact that shot spreads further upon entering the target, the multiple wound channels of a defensive load are far more to produce a disabling wound than a rifle or handgun; some of the most common uses of shotguns are the sports of skeet shooting, trap shooting, sporting clays.
These involve shooting clay discs known as clay pigeons, thrown in by hand and by machine. Both skeet and trap competitions are featured at the Olympic Games; the shotgun is popular for bird hunting, it is used for more general forms of hunting in semi-populated areas where the range of rifle bullets may pose a hazard. Use of a smooth bore shotgun with a rifled slug or, alternatively, a rifled barrel shotgun with a sabot slug, improves accuracy to 100 m or more; this is well within the range of the majority of kill shots by experienced hunters using shotguns. However, given the low muzzle velocity of slug ammunition around 500 m/s, the blunt, poorly streamlined shape of typical slugs (which cause them to lose
The Heian period is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after modern Kyōto, it is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism and other Chinese influences were at their height. The Heian period is considered the peak of the Japanese imperial court and noted for its art poetry and literature. Although the Imperial House of Japan had power on the surface, the real power was in the hands of the Fujiwara clan, a powerful aristocratic family who had intermarried with the imperial family. Many emperors had mothers from the Fujiwara family. Heian means "peace" in Japanese; the Heian period was preceded by the Nara period and began in 794 CE after the movement of the capital of Japan to Heian-kyō, by the 50th emperor, Emperor Kanmu Kanmu first tried to move the capital to Nagaoka-kyō, but a series of disasters befell the city, prompting the emperor to relocate the capital a second time, to Heian. A rebellion occurred in China in the last years of the 9th century, making the political situation unstable.
The Japanese missions to Tang China was suspended and the influx of Chinese exports halted, a fact which facilitated the independent growth of Japanese culture called kokufu bunka. Therefore, the Heian Period is considered a high point in Japanese culture that generations have always admired; the period is noted for the rise of the samurai class, which would take power and start the feudal period of Japan. Nominally, sovereignty lay in the emperor but in fact, power was wielded by the Fujiwara nobility. However, to protect their interests in the provinces, the Fujiwara, other noble families required guards and soldiers; the warrior class made steady political gains throughout the Heian period. As early as 939 CE, Taira no Masakado threatened the authority of the central government, leading an uprising in the eastern province of Hitachi, simultaneously, Fujiwara no Sumitomo rebelled in the west. Still, a true military takeover of the Japanese government was centuries away, when much of the strength of the government would lie within the private armies of the shogunate.
The entry of the warrior class into court influence was a result of the Hōgen Rebellion. At this time Taira no Kiyomori revived the Fujiwara practices by placing his grandson on the throne to rule Japan by regency, their clan, the Taira, would not be overthrown until after the Genpei War, which marked the start of the Kamakura shogunate. The Kamakura period began in 1185 when Minamoto no Yoritomo seized power from the emperors and established the shogunate in Kamakura; when Emperor Kanmu moved the capital to Heian-kyō, which remained the imperial capital for the next 1,000 years, he did so not only to strengthen imperial authority but to improve his seat of government geopolitically. Nara was abandoned after only 70 years in part due to the ascendancy of Dōkyō and the encroaching secular power of the Buddhist institutions there. Kyōto had good river access to the sea and could be reached by land routes from the eastern provinces; the early Heian period continued Nara culture. Kanmu endeavored to improve the Tang-style administrative system, in use.
Known as the ritsuryō, this system attempted to recreate the Tang imperium in Japan, despite the "tremendous differences in the levels of development between the two countries". Despite the decline of the Taika–Taihō reforms, imperial government was vigorous during the early Heian period. Kanmu's avoidance of drastic reform decreased the intensity of political struggles, he became recognized as one of Japan's most forceful emperors. Although Kanmu had abandoned universal conscription in 792, he still waged major military offensives to subjugate the Emishi, possible descendants of the displaced Jōmon, living in northern and eastern Japan. After making temporary gains in 794, in 797, Kanmu appointed a new commander, Sakanoue no Tamuramaro, under the title Sei-i Taishōgun. By 801, the shōgun had defeated the Emishi and had extended the imperial domains to the eastern end of Honshū. Imperial control over the provinces was tenuous at best, however. In the ninth and tenth centuries, much authority was lost to the great families, who disregarded the Chinese-style land and tax systems imposed by the government in Kyoto.
Stability came to Japan, but though succession was ensured for the imperial family through heredity, power again concentrated in the hands of one noble family, the Fujiwara which helped Japan develop more. Following Kanmu's death in 806 and a succession struggle among his sons, two new offices were established in an effort to adjust the Taika–Taihō administrative structure. Through the new Emperor's Private Office, the emperor could issue administrative edicts more directly and with more self-assurance than before; the new Metropolitan Police Board replaced the ceremonial imperial guard units. While these two offices strengthened the emperor's position temporarily, soon they and other Chinese-style structures were bypassed in the developing state. In 838 the end of the imperial-sanctioned missions to Tang China, which had begun in 630, marked the effective end of Chinese influence. Tang China was in a state of decline, Chinese Buddhists were persecuted, undermining Japanese respect for Chinese institutions.
Japan began to turn inward. As the Soga clan had taken control of the throne in the sixth century, the Fujiwara by the ninth century had intermarried with the imperial family, one of their members was the first head of the Emperor's Private O
Occupation of Japan
The Allied occupation of Japan at the end of World War II was led by General Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers, with support from the British Commonwealth. Unlike in the occupation of Germany, the Soviet Union was allowed little to no influence over Japan; this foreign presence marks the only time in Japan's history that it has been occupied by a foreign power. The country became a parliamentary democracy that recalled "New Deal" priorities of the 1930s by Roosevelt; the occupation, codenamed Operation Blacklist, was ended by the San Francisco Peace Treaty, signed on September 8, 1951, effective from April 28, 1952, after which Japan's sovereignty – with the exception, until 1972, of the Ryukyu Islands – was restored. According to John Dower, in his book Cultures of War: Pearl Harbor/Hiroshima/9-11/Iraq, the factors behind the success of the occupation were: Discipline, moral legitimacy, well-defined and well-articulated objectives, a clear chain of command and flexibility in policy formulation and implementation, confidence in the ability of the state to act constructively, the ability to operate abroad free of partisan politics back home, the existence of a stable, sophisticated civil society on the receiving end of occupation policies – these political and civic virtues helped make it possible to move decisively during the brief window of a few years when defeated Japan itself was in flux and most receptive to radical change.
Japan surrendered to the Allies on August 14, 1945, when the Japanese government notified the Allies that it had accepted the Potsdam Declaration. On the following day, Emperor Hirohito announced Japan's unconditional surrender on the radio; the announcement was the emperor's first planned radio broadcast and the first time most citizens of Japan heard their sovereign's voice. This date is known as Victory over Japan, or V-J Day, marked the end of World War II and the beginning of a long road to recovery for a shattered Japan. Japanese officials left for Manila, Philippines on August 19 to meet MacArthur and to be briefed on his plans for the occupation. On August 28, 1945, 150 US personnel flew to Kanagawa Prefecture, they were followed by USS Missouri, whose accompanying vessels landed the 4th Marine Regiment on the southern coast of Kanagawa. The 11th Airborne Division was airlifted from Okinawa 30 miles from Tokyo. Other Allied personnel followed. MacArthur arrived in Tokyo on August 30, decreed several laws.
No Allied personnel were to assault Japanese people. No Allied personnel were to eat the scarce Japanese food. Flying the Hinomaru or "Rising Sun" flag was severely restricted; this restriction was lifted in 1948 and lifted the following year. On September 2, 1945, Japan formally surrendered with the signing of the Japanese Instrument of Surrender. On September 6, US President Truman approved a document titled "US Initial Post-Surrender Policy for Japan"; the document set two main objectives for the occupation: eliminating Japan's war potential and turning Japan into a democratic-style nation with pro-United Nations orientation. Allied forces were set up to supervise the country, "for eighty months following its surrender in 1945, Japan was at the mercy of an army of occupation, its people subject to foreign military control." At the head of the Occupation administration was General MacArthur, technically supposed to defer to an advisory council set up by the Allied powers, but in practice did not and did everything himself.
As a result, this period was one of significant American influence, described near the end of the occupation in 1951 that "for six years the United States has had a freer hand to experiment with Japan than any other country in Asia, or indeed in the entire world." Looking back to his work among the Japanese, MacArthur said, "Measured by the standards of modern civilization, they would be like a boy of twelve" compared to the maturity of the US and Germany, had a good chance of putting away their troubled past. On V-J Day, US President Harry Truman appointed General Douglas MacArthur as Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, to supervise the occupation of Japan. During the war, the Allied Powers had planned to divide Japan amongst themselves for the purposes of occupation, as was done for the occupation of Germany. Under the final plan, however, SCAP was given direct control over the main islands of Japan and the surrounding islands, while outlying possessions were divided between the Allied Powers as follows: Soviet Union: North Korea, South Sakhalin, the Kuril Islands United States: South Korea, the Amami Islands, the Ogasawara Islands and Japanese possessions in Micronesia China: Taiwan and Penghu It is unclear why the occupation plan was changed.
Common theories include the increased power of the United States following development of the atomic bomb, Truman's greater distrust of the Soviet Union when compared with Roosevelt, an increased desire to restrict Soviet influence in East Asia after the Yalta Conference. The Soviet Union had some intentions of occupying Hokkaidō. Had this occurred, there might have been a communist state in the Soviet zone of occupation. However, unlike the Soviet occupations of East Germany and North Korea, these plans were frustrated by Truman's opposition. MacArthur's first priority was to set up a food distribution network. With these
Emperor of Japan
The Emperor of Japan is the head of the Imperial Family and the head of state of Japan. Under the 1947 constitution, he is defined as "the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people." He was the highest authority of the Shinto religion. In Japanese, the Emperor is called Tennō "heavenly sovereign". In English, the use of the term Mikado for the Emperor was once common, but is now considered obsolete; the Emperor of Japan is the only head of state in the world with the English title of "Emperor". The Imperial House of Japan is the oldest continuing monarchical house in the world; the historical origins of the Emperors lie in the late Kofun period of the 3rd–7th centuries AD, but according to the traditional account of the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki, Japan was founded in 660 BC by Emperor Jimmu, said to be a direct descendant of the sun-goddess Amaterasu. The current Emperor is Akihito, he acceded to the Chrysanthemum Throne upon the death of his father, Emperor Shōwa, in 1989. The Japanese government announced in December 2017 that Akihito will abdicate on 30 April 2019.
The role of the Emperor of Japan has alternated between a ceremonial symbolic role and that of an actual imperial ruler. Since the establishment of the first shogunate in 1199, the Emperors of Japan have taken on a role as supreme battlefield commander, unlike many Western monarchs. Japanese Emperors have nearly always been controlled by external political forces, to varying degrees. In fact, between 1192 and 1867, the shōguns, or their shikken regents in Kamakura, were the de facto rulers of Japan, although they were nominally appointed by the Emperor. After the Meiji Restoration in 1867, the Emperor was the embodiment of all sovereign power in the realm, as enshrined in the Meiji Constitution of 1889. Since the enactment of the 1947 Constitution, he has been a ceremonial head of state without nominal political powers. Since the mid-nineteenth century, the Imperial Palace has been called Kyūjō Kōkyo, is on the former site of Edo Castle in the heart of Tokyo. Earlier, Emperors resided in Kyoto for nearly eleven centuries.
The Emperor's Birthday is a national holiday. Unlike most constitutional monarchs, the Emperor is not the nominal chief executive. Article 65 explicitly vests executive power in the Cabinet, of which the Prime Minister is the leader; the Emperor is not the commander-in-chief of the Japan Self-Defense Forces. The Japan Self-Defense Forces Act of 1954 explicitly vests this role with the Prime Minister; the Emperor's powers are limited only to important ceremonial functions. Article 4 of the Constitution stipulates that the Emperor "shall perform only such acts in matters of state as are provided for in the Constitution and he shall not have powers related to government." It stipulates that "the advice and approval of the Cabinet shall be required for all acts of the Emperor in matters of state". Article 4 states that these duties can be delegated by the Emperor as provided for by law. While the Emperor formally appoints the Prime Minister to office, Article 6 of the Constitution requires him to appoint the candidate "as designated by the Diet", without giving the Emperor the right to decline appointment.
Article 6 of the Constitution 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; the Emperor's other duties are laid down in article 7 of the Constitution, where it is stated that "the Emperor, with the advice and approval of the Cabinet, shall perform the following acts in matters of state on behalf of the people." In practice, all of these duties are exercised only in accordance with the binding instructions of the Cabinet: Promulgation of amendments of the constitution, cabinet orders, 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. Regular ceremonies of the Emperor with a constitutional basis are the Imperial Investitures in the Tokyo Imperial Palace and the Speech from the Throne ceremony in the House of Councillors in the National Diet Building; the latter ceremony opens extra sessions of the Diet. Ordinary sessions are opened each January and after new elections to the House of Representatives. Extra sessions convene in the autumn and are opened then. Although the Emperor has been a symbol of continuity with the past, the degree of power exercised by the Emperor has varied throughout Japanese history. In the early 7th century, the Emperor had begun to be called the "Son of Heaven"; the title of Emperor was borrowed from China, being derived from Chinese characters and was retroactively applied to the legendary Japanese rulers who reigned before the 7th–8th centuries AD.
According to the traditional account of the Nihon Shoki, Japan was founded by Emperor Jimmu in 660 BC. Modern historians agree that the Emperors before the possible late 3rd century AD ruler known traditionally as Emperor Ōjin are legendary. Emperor Ank
The Heisei period is the era of Japan the current era, set to ended 30 April 2019 when the Emperor Akihito of Japan is set to abdicate and will transition into the Reiwa era. The Heisei period started on 8 January 1989, the day after the death of the Emperor Hirohito, when his son, acceded to the throne as the 125th Emperor. In accordance with Japanese customs, Hirohito was posthumously renamed "Emperor Shōwa" on 31 January 1989. Thus, 1989 corresponds to Shōwa 64 until 7 January, Heisei 1 from 8 January; the Heisei period will end on 30 April 2019, the date on which Emperor Akihito is expected to abdicate the Chrysanthemum Throne. It will be succeeded by the Reiwa period. On 7 January 1989, at 07:55 AM JST, the Grand Steward of Japan's Imperial Household Agency, Shōichi Fujimori, announced Emperor Hirohito's death at 6:33 AM JST, revealed details about his cancer for the first time. Shortly after the death of the Emperor, Keizō Obuchi Chief Cabinet Secretary and Prime Minister of Japan, announced the end of the Shōwa era, heralded the new era name "Heisei" for the new Emperor, explained its meaning.
According to Obuchi, the name "Heisei" was taken from two Chinese history and philosophy books, namely Records of the Grand Historian and the Book of Documents. In the Shǐjì, the sentence "内平外成" appears in a section honoring the wise rule of the legendary Chinese Emperor Shun. In the Shūjīng, the sentence "地平天成" appears. By combining both meanings, Heisei is intended to mean "peace everywhere"; the Heisei era went into effect upon the day after Emperor Akihito's succession to the throne on 7 January 1989. In August 2016, Emperor Akihito gave a televised address to the nation, in which he expressed concern that his age would one day stop him from fulfilling his official duties; this was an implication of his wish to retire. The Japanese Diet passed a law in June 2017 to allow the throne to pass to Naruhito. After meeting with members of the Imperial House Council, Prime Minister Shinzō Abe announced that 30 April 2019 would be the date set for Akihito's abdication; the Era of Naruhito's reign will begin the next day.
1989 marked the culmination of one of the most rapid economic growth spurts in Japanese history. With a strengthened yen after the 1985 Plaza Accord, the Bank of Japan kept interest rates low, sparking an investment boom that drove Tokyo property values up 60 percent within that year. Shortly before New Year's Day, the Nikkei 225 reached its record high of 39,000. By 1992, it had fallen to 15,000, signifying the end of Japan's famed "bubble economy". Subsequently, Japan experienced the "Lost Decade", which consisted of more than ten years of price deflation and stagnant GDP as Japan's banks struggled to resolve their bad debts and companies in other sectors struggled to restructure; the Recruit scandal of 1988 had eroded public confidence in the Liberal Democratic Party, which had controlled the Japanese government for 38 years. In 1993, the LDP was ousted by a coalition led by Morihiro Hosokawa. However, the coalition collapsed as parties had gathered only to overthrow LDP, lacked a unified position on every social issue.
The LDP returned to the government in 1994, when it helped to elect Japan Socialist Tomiichi Murayama as prime minister. In 1995, there was a large 6.8 earthquake in Kobe, Hyōgo and sarin gas terrorist attacks were carried out on the Tokyo Metro by the doomsday cult Aum Shinrikyo. Failure of the Japanese government to react to these events promptly led to the formation of non-government organisations which have been playing an important role in Japanese politics since. During this period, Japan reemerged as a military power. In 1991, Japan pledged billions of U. S. dollars for the Gulf War, but constitutional arguments prevented a participation in actual war, leading Iran to criticise Japan for just pledging money and did not appreciate the way Japan co-operated in the Gulf War. However, after the war, Japanese minesweepers were sent as a part of the reconstruction effort. Following the Iraq War, in 2003, Prime Minister Junichirō Koizumi's Cabinet approved a plan to send about 1,000 soldiers of the Japan Self-Defense Forces to help in Iraq's reconstruction, the biggest overseas troop deployment since World War II without the sanction of the UN.
On 23 October 2004, the Heisei 16 Niigata Prefecture Earthquakes rocked the Hokuriku region, killing 52 and injuring hundreds. After an election defeat, Prime Minister Shinzō Abe resigned and in Autumn 2007 Yasuo Fukuda became Prime Minister. Fukuda in turn resigned on September 2008 citing political failings, Tarō Asō was selected by his party. In August 2009, for the first time, the Democratic Party of Japan won 308 seats in the lower house election, which ended 50 years of political domination by the LDP; as a result of the election, Tarō Asō resigned as leader of the LDP, Yukio Hatoyama, president of DPJ became Prime Minister on 16 September 2009. However, DPJ soon became mired in party financing scandals involving aides close to Ichirō Ozawa. Naoto Kan was chosen by the DPJ as the next Prime Minister, but he soon lost a working majority in the House of Councillors election, the 2010 Senkaku boat collision incident caused increased tension between Japan and China; the 2009–2010 Toyota vehicle recalls took place during this time.
In 2011, a sumo tourna