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6. Timeline

Year Japan Asia World
1600 Battle of Sekigahara. Tokugawa Ieyasu defeats a coalition of daimyo and establishes hegemony over most of Japan   British and Dutch East India companies founded
1603 Tokugawa Ieyasu granted title of shogun    
1605 Tokugawa Ieyasu resigns as shogun, and is succeeded by his son Hidetada    
1607   Korean Yi Dynasty sends an embassy to Japan Jamestown settlement begin in America
1609 Dutch trade begins with the establishment of a trading post in Hirado    
1611 Ryukyu Islands become a vassal state of Satsuma domain    
1612 Shogunate issues directives aimed at restricting Christianity    
1615 Battle of Osaka. Tokugawa Ieyasy seiges Osaka Castle, all opposition from forces loyal to the Toyotomi family. Tokugawa authority becomes paramount throughout Japan    
1616 Tokugawa Ieyasu dies   William Shakespere dies
  European trade limited to ports of Hirado and Nagasaki    
1620     The Mayflower lands in New Plymouth, Massachusetts
Year Japan Asia World
1623 Tokugawa Iemitsu becomes the third shogun    
1624 English factory at Hirado closes. Spanish ships are prohibited from calling at Japanese ports;    
  Persecution of Christians intensifies    
1629     Colony of Massachusetts founded
1635 Tokugawa Iemitsu formalizes the system of mandatory alternate residence ("sankin kotai") in Edo    
1636 Buildings on the artificial island of Dejima at Nagasaki are completed Dutch settle in Ceylon Harvard University established
1637 Shimabara Uprising (1637-38) mounted by overtaxed peasants   First printing press established in America
1639 Edicts establishing National Seclusion (Sakoku Rei) are completed. All Westerners except the Dutch are prohibited from entering Japan    
1642     English Civil War begins
1644   Manchu Dynasty begins in China  
1657 Meireki fire kills more than 100,000 people in Edo    
1660     Restoration of monarchy in England
1661     Louis XIV assumes power in France
1681     First street (oil) lamps appear in London
1683   Dutch traders are admitted to Canton, China  
Year Japan Asia World
1688 Beginning of the Genroku era (1688-1704), a time of cultural flowering known in the theatrical art of kabuki and bunraku    
1702     War of Spanish Succession begins (continues to 1713)
1703 Forty-Seven Ronin Incident    
1707     Act of Union unites England and Scotland
1720   Tibet becomes a Chinese protectorate Spain occupies Texas (until 1722)
1773     Boston Tea Party
1774 The anatomical text Kaitai shinsho, the first complete Japanese translation of a Western medical work, is published by Sugita Gempaku and Maeno Ryotaku  
1775     American War of Independence begins (to 1783)
1787 Matsudaira Sadanobu becomes senior shogunal councillor (roju) and institutes the Kansei Reforms    
1788   British settlement of Australia begins  
1789 Shogunate issues debt moratorium (kienrei) to save retainers from destitution   French Revolution
      U.S. Post Office established
1792 Adam Erikovich Laxman arrives at Nemuro in eastern Ezo (now Hokkaido).   Denmark becomes the first country to abolish the slave trade
1794     Slavery abolished in French colonies
1799 Shogunate gains administrative control over the southern part of Ezo    
1803     Louisiana Purchase
1804 Russian envoy Nikolai Petrovich Rezanov reaches Nagasaki, and unsuccessfully seeks the establishment of trade relations with Japan   Napoleon crowns himself Emperor of France
Year Japan Asia World
1806     Official end of the Holy Roman Empire
1808 Phaeton Incident: British warship Phaeton enters Nagasaki Harbor and exacerbates fears of Western encroachment    
1823     United States Monroe Doctrine
1825 Shogunate issues the Order for the Repelling of Foreign Ships    
1833 Tempo Famine   Slavery abolished in the British Empire
1837 Rebellion of Oshio Heihachiro    
  Morrison Incident: U.S. merchant ship carrying Japanese castaways is fired upon as it attempts to enter Uraga Bay near Edo (now Tokyo) and Kagoshima Bay in Kyushu    
1839   Opium War (1839-1842)  
1841 Tempo Reforms Great Britain claims sovereignty over Hong Kong  
  Nakahama Manjiro, a fisherman shipwrecked on a Pacific island, is rescued by an American whaler and taken to the United States New Zeland becomes a British colony  
1844 Dutch warship arrives in Nagasaki with a letter from the king of the Netherlands advising the shogunate to open the country to Western trade U.S. and China sign Treaty of Peace, Amity, and Commerce  
1846 Shogunate and domains give greater attention to coastal defenses as foreign ships and whaling vessels enter Japanese territorial waters   Mexican War begins (to 1848) 
1848     Gold discovered in California
1850   Taiping Rebellion breaks out in China (1850-64) California joins the Union
Year Japan Asia World
1853 Four warships of the US East India Squadron, commanded by Commodore Matthew Perry, enter Uraga Bay    
1854 Treaty of Peace and Amity between the United States and the Empire of Japan (Kanagawa Treaty) signed; similar treaties concluded with Great Britain (1854), Russia (1855), and the Netherlands (1856)    
1855 Ansei earthquake kills more than 5000 people in Edo    
1856 US Consul General Townsend Harris arrives at Shimoda to initiate trade negotiations with the shogunate    
  Yoshida Shoin teaches imperial loyalist philosophy to young samurai in Choshu domain    
1858 Ansei commercial treaties are concluded between the Shogunate and the United States, the Netherlands, Russia, Great Britain, and France Treaty of Tientsin concludes Anglo-Chinese War (1856-58)  
  Ii Naosuke becomes senior adviser (tairo) to the shogun, and initiates the Ansei Purge of his political enemies Government of India Act formally transfer control over India to the British Crown  
1859 British merchant Thomas Blake Glover arrives in Japan and supplies military arms to the domains of Satsuma and Choshu French forces occupy Saigon Construction of the Suez Canal begins (continues until 1869)
1860 Ii Naosuke assassinated    
  Shogunal mission departs for the United States    
1861     Unification of Italy
1862 Shogun Tokugawa Iemochi marries Princess Kazu, sister of Emperor Komei in an attempt to ease the mounting tension between the Shogunate and the Imperial Court (kobugattai movement)   United States Civil War
  Shogunate rescinds the system of mandatory alternate attendance    
1863 British warships attack the Satsuma domain in retaliation for the murder by Satsuma retainers of an Englishman the previous year Cambodia is made a protectorate of France Abraham Lincoln delivers the Gettysburg Address
1864 Pro-imperial and Pro-shogunal forces clash in Mito domain    
Year Japan Asia World
1866 Shogunal army engages forces of Choshu domain in the second of the Choshu Expeditions; the Shogunate's failure to bring the campaign to a successful conclusion severely damages its prestige   Prussia defeats Austria in the Six Weeks War
  Satsuma and Choshu form a secret alliance against the shogunate    
1867 The last shogun, Tokugawa Yoshinobu returns political authority to Mutsuhito (Emperor Meiji) who changes the name of the era to Meiji (or enlightened rule)   Russia sells Alaska to the U.S. for $7.2 million
1868 Restoration of Imperial rule (Osei Fukko) declared U.S. President Andrew Johnson is impeached for violating the the Tenure-of-Office Act, and is acquitted by the Senate
  Fragmented Tokugawa forces and dissident domains lodge the Boshin War    
  Emperor Meiji moves from Kyoto to Edo, now named Tokyo, or Eastern Capital    
1869 Daimyo return domain lands and population registers to the Emperor. Domains are designated public land with uniform procedures for tax collection. Daimyo are appointed as local governors and receive government stipends   United States trans-continental railroad completed
  Samurai divided into two ranks: a) shizoku; b) sotsu, and their stipends are reduced    
  Ezo is renamed Hokkaido    
1870 Commoners (heimin) are permitted to assume surnames   Franco-Prussian War (1870-71)
  Telegraph  line links Tokyo and Yokohama, postal service is established a year later    
1871 Domains converted to Prefectures (72 prefectures, later reduced to 46). Daimyo (formerly domain governors) moved to Tokyo. Prefectural governors appointed by the central government   Germany is unified
  Samurai are permitted to cut their topknots and cast off their swords; samurai and aristocrats are permitted to marry commoners; the designations eta and hinin, assigned to the lowest social classes are abolished    
  First Japanese-language daily newspaper, Yokohama Mainichi Shimbun, begins publication    
1871-73 Iwakura mission departs Japan on an 18-month tour to study the social systems of the United States and European nations    
1872 Universal compulsory elementary education established    
  Army and Navy ministries established    
Year Japan Asia World
1873 Gregorian calendar adopted    
  Conscription Ordinance instituted: 3 years active, 4 years reserve service for men. However, the system includes loopholes: a) ¥270 payment; b)exemption for government officials, students, household heads, physicians and physically disabled    
  Samurai stipend taxed; converted to government bonds in 1876    
  Home Ministry established    
  Seikanron debates divides new Meiji government    
1874 Taiwan Expedition. Japan gains recognition of its claim to the Ryukyu Islands   Great Britain annexes the Fiji Islands
  Meirokusha Society founded    
  Itagaki Taisuke submits the Tosa Memorial calling for the establishment of an elected national assembly    
1874-77 Samurai protest movements: Saga Rebellion (1874); Shimpuren (1876); Akizuki (1876); Hagi Rebellion (1876); Satsuma Rebellion (1877)    
1875 Japan signs the Treaty of St. Petersburg with Russia: Japan claims Kurile Islands and relinquishes Sakhalin Islands to Russia   William Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan produce their first operetta
1876 Treaty of Kangwa: Japan gains extra-territorial rights in Korea Korea gains independence  
1878 Home Minister Okubo Toshimichi assassinated by disaffected former samurai of Satsuma   Paris World Exhibition
  Prefectural assemblies established    
1879 Ryukyu Islands incorporated into Japan and becomes Okinawa prefecture    
1881 Jiyuto (Liberal Party) formed by Itagaki Taisuke    
1881-85 Matsukata Deflation    
Year Japan Asia World
1882 Kaishinto (Progessive Party) formed by Okuma Shigenobu Korea and the U.S. establish formal diplomatic relations Great Britain occupies Cairo
1883-85   Sino-French War; China recognizes Vietnam as a protectorate of France  
1885 Cabinet system adopted with Ito Hirobumi as the first Prime Minister; the new cabinet supersedes the Dajokan (Grand Council of State) as the central organ of the Japanese state   Canadian Pacific Railway completed
  Tianjin (Tientsin) Convention: agreement reached between China and Japan concerning their interests in Korea    
1886   Great Britain annexes Burma  
1888 Privy Council established   Eastman produces Kodak camera
1889 Meiji Constitution promulgated   Gustave Eiffel completes Tower in Paris
  First Election law of 1889 limits voting to the House of Representatives to men over 25 who paid ¥15 or more in national tax (about 1% of the population)   First American skyscraper built in Chicago
1890 Imperial Rescript on Education    
1893 Artist Kuroda Seiki returns from study in Paris and introduces impressionism to Japan Tonghak Rebellion, a peasant uprising, breaks out in Korea. (China and Japan intervene in 1894, commencing the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895)  
    France annexes Laos  
1894 Anglo-Japanese Commercial Treaty abolishes extraterritoriality and restores partial tariff autonomy to Japan Sino-Japanese War (1894-95)  
1895 Treaty of Shimonoseki concludes Sino-Japanese War: China recognizes the independence of Korea; Japan gains Formosa (Taiwan), and Pescadores Islands; Liaodong Peninsula now controlled by Japan (Japan gives this up a few months later, only to have Russia gain the leasehold in 1898); China pays ¥364 million indemnity; and Japan gains same extra-territorial rights as Western countries Queen Min of Korea is assassinated by Japanese troops  
1898 Jiyuto and Kaishinto become Kenseito (Constitutional Party); later becomes Minseito in 1927 Hundred Days of Reform of Kang Yuwei Spanish-American War: Spain cedes Puerto Rico, Philippines, Guam to the United States; United States annexes Hawaii
1899 Extra-territoriality privileges (in place since 1858) removed by foreign governments    
1900 Rikken Seiyukai (Friends of Constitutional Government Party) formed by Ito Hirobumi Boxer Rebellion in China  
1901 Future Emperor Hirohito born (first emperor since 1758 not born of an imperial concubine)   Commonwealth of Australia established 
1902 Anglo-Japanese Alliance signed    
Year Japan Asia World
1904-05 Russo-Japanese War. Treaty of Portsmouth in 1905 concludes hostilities: Russia recognizes Japan's interests in Korea; Japan gains southern part of Sakhalin Islands; Russian lease on Liaodong Peninsula; and South Manchurian Railway line between Port Arthur and Mukden    
1905 Hibiya Incident Korea becomes a Japanese protectorate. In 1910, Japan's role is expanded and Korea is annexed  
1906 Japan Socialist Party formed South Manchurian Railway incorporated Major earthquake hits San Francisco
1907   King Kojong of Korea is forced to resigned, and Japan gains control of Korea's internal affairs U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt bans Japanese from immigrating to the United States
1908 Japan gains U.S. recognition of its special status in Manchuria   First Model T Ford is made
1909 Ito Hirobumi assassinated on his arrival in Manchuria by a Korean nationalist   Washington D.C. receives 2,000 flowering cherry saplings from Japan
1910 High Treason Incident: Kotoku Shusui implicated in a plot to assassinate the Meiji Emperor Korea is made a colony of Japan Beginning of Mexican revolution (to 1917)  
1911 Tariffs imposed by the Western powers in the "unequal treaties" are abolished Republic of China established in 1912 with Sun Yat-Sen as president Roald Amundsen first to reach the South Pole
1912 Meiji Emperor, Mutsuhito dies. His son Yoshihito ascends to the throne marking the beginning of the Taisho period (1912-26) Yuan Shikai becomes president of the Republic of China (1912-16) SS Titanic sinks
1914-18 During WWI, Japan sides with the "Allies"; seizes German island colonies in the Pacific and German concessions in the Shandong peninsula    
1915 Twenty-One Demands addressed to China    
1916   China is controlled by warlords (1916-21)  
1917     Bolshevik Revolution
1918 Hara Takashi (Kei) becomes the first Party Prime Minister   Women over 30 given the right to vote in Great Britain
  High rice prices incites riots throughout Japan    
1918-32 Era of Party Cabinet rule (exception: "transcendental" cabinets of 1922-24)    
1919 Japan wins German concessions in China and the Pacific from the Treaty of Versailles, but its request for inclusion of a racial equality clause is denied March First Movement in Korea  
1920 Tax qualification for suffrage reduced to ¥3 (still restricted to men)   Women gain the right to vote in the United States
Year Japan Asia World
1921   Chinese Communist Party founded  
1922 Japan Communist Party established    
  Elder statesman (genro) Yamagata Aritomo dies    
1923 Elder statesman Matsukata Masayoshi dies. Saionji Kimmochi, who dies in 1940, is the last surviving genro    
  Great Kanto earthquake    
1924 Japan Communist Party disbanded and re-organized underground in 1926   Vladimir Ilyich Lenin dies
1925 Universal suffrage for men Korean Communist Party founded Mein Kampf published 
  Peace Preservation Law    
1926 Taisho Emperor dies. His son, Hirohito, ascends the throne marking the beginning of the Showa period (1926-1989) Northern Expedition in China (1926-28)  
1927 Severe depression (in place since the 1920s) causes many commercial banks to collapse   Charles Lindbergh's first solo flight across the Atlantic
1928 Japanese Kwantung Army assassinate Chang Tso-lin, warlord of Manchuria in an attempt to justify the presence of Japanese troops    
1929 Japan returns to the gold standard   United States stock market crashes
early 1930s Keynesian financial reforms implemented: (1) devaluation of the yen to reduce price of Japanese goods; (2) interest rates reduced in half to stimulate private economic investment; (3) government spending on military procurements and public works increased    
1930 Prime Minister Hamaguchi Osachi mortally wounded by a right-wing radical    
1931 Manchurian Incident: The Kwantung Army dynamites a section of the South Manchurian Railroad in Mukden, and claim that it was caused by Chinese bandits. This is used to justify the subsequent takeover of Mukden, and Japan's move into southern Manchuria.   Empire State Building built in New York 
Year Japan Asia World
1932 Shanghai Incident: Japan sends troops to Shanghai to 'protect' Japanese citizens Kim Il Sung active in anti-Japanese guerilla warfare in Manchuria  
  Japan establishes the puppet-state of Manchuko (in Manchuria) with former Chinese Emperor Pu-Yi as the head of state    
  May 15th Incident: Prime Minister Inukai Tsuyoshi is assassinated during an attempted coup by young naval officers    
  End of Party Cabinents    
1933 Kwantung Army moves into Inner Mongolia   Franklin Roosevelt introduces the New Deal
  Japan withdraws from the League of Nations   Adolf Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany
1934 Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 and London Naval Treaty of 1930 abrogated by Japan Chinese Communists' Long March to Yan'an (1934-35) Discovery of nuclear fission 
1936 226 Incident: Young military officers launch an abortive coup d'etat    
  Japan withdraws from the London Naval Conference    
1937 Second Sino-Japanes War (1937-45) Japanese colonial government institutes wartime assimiliation and mobilization Golden Gate Bridge completed in San Francisco 
  Nanking Massacre    
1938 National Mobilization Law: Government provides subsidies for war production; controls activitities of civil and labor organizations, corporations, news media outlets; and limits industrial and consumer commodities, contracts, and price   Germany occupies Austria
1939 Nomonhan Incident: Japanese and Soviet troops clash at the Manchurian and Mongolian border; this incident follows a clash a year earlier on the borders between Korea, Manchuria, and Siberia   Germany invades Czechoslovakia and Poland
  Unions and other worker organizations are dissolved    
Year Japan Asia World
1940 Tripartite Pact signed by Germany, Japan, and Italy   Battle of Britain
1941 Japan signs a neutrality pact with the Soviet Union Japan moves troops into southern French IndoChina. Germany invades the Soviet Union
  Prime Minister Konoe Fumimaro resigns; General Tojo Hideki becomes Prime Minister   Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor
1942 Japan gains control of Dutch East Indies   Battle of Midway
1943 Cairo Declaration proclaims that Japan will be stripped of all land seized or occupied since 1914   Surrender of German army at Stalingrad
1944     D-Day landing in Normandy
1945 American troops land in Okinawa   Yalta Conference: Stalin secretly pledges to Churchill and Roosevelt that the Soviet Union will enter the war against Japan once Germany is defeated
  Soviet Union informs Japan that it will not renew its neutrality pact   Germany surrenders after Hitler commits suicide
  Potsdam Declaration calls for Japanese "unconditional surrender" or its "utter destruction"    
Year Japan Asia World
8/6/1945 Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Another bomb is dropped on Nagasaki days later.    
8/8/1945 Soviet Union declares war on Japan    
8/15/1945 Emperor announces end of hostilities; words such as "surrender" and "defeat" are not mentioned    
9/2/1945 Instrument of Surrender signed on USS Missouri; Allied Occupation under General Douglas MacArthur as SCAP (Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers) begins    
Oct-45 SCAP opens its office in Tokyo. Fundamental civil liberties granted. Trade Union Law guarantees the right to organize, bargain collectively, and strike    
Nov-45 Political parties, including Japan Communist Party and Japan Socialist Party, are re-established    
1946 Emperor Showa renounces his divinity  Civil war erupts in China (continues until 1949) Construction of first electronic digital computer
  May 1946: Yoshida Shigeru (of the Liberal Party) becomes Prime Minister    
  Constitution promulgated. It goes into effect on May 3, 1947    
Year Japan Asia World
1947 General Strike scheduled for February 1 is banned by SCAP   U.S. announces the Truman Doctrine
  Katayama Tetsu (of the Socialist Party) becomes Prime Minister; he resigns in February 1948    
1948 Yoshida Shigeru (of the Liberal Party) becomes Prime Minister (again) Founding of the Republic of Korea in the southern Korean and the Democratic Republic of Korea under Kim Il Sung in the north Creation of the State of Israel
1949 Dodge Line (anti-inflationary measures) introduced; exchange rate set at ¥360=$1 Communist victory in China Communist rule established in Hungary. Creation of West and East Germany
      Formation of NATO
1950 SCAP orders the creation of a Police Reserves Corps Korean War breaks out  
1951 President Truman dismisses General MacArthur. General Matthew Ridgeway appointed as SCAP    
  San Francisco Peace Treaty. Japan regains its status as an independent country and demands for payment of war reparations are henceforth abolished. Japan also signs a mutual security treaty with the United States    
1952 End of Allied Occupation of Japan   Accession of Elizabeth II of Great Britain
Year Japan Asia World
1953   Korean War ends in cease fire Death of Joseph Stalin
mid 1950s Minamata disease caused by mercury pollution breaks out in Kumamoto prefecture    
1955 Liberal Democratic Party established. Maintains a majority in the Japanese Diet until 1993   Formation of Warsaw Pact
1956 Japan admitted to the United Nations    Suez Crisis
1957 Former War Criminal Kishi Nobusuke becomes Prime Minister   Launch of the first space satellite, Sputnik I 
1960 1951 mutual security treaty with the U.S. is replaced with a revised treaty of security and mutual cooperation    
  President Eisenhower's trip to Japan to sign the new treaty is cancelled in the face of popular protest    
  Ikeda Hayato becomes Prime Minister and announces a income doubling plan    
1961     Berlin Wall built
1962     Cuban Missle Crisis
1964 Japan joins the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Publication of the Thoughts of Chairman Mao Civil Rights Bill passed in the United States
  Summer Olympics held in Tokyo. Bullet train commences operation    
  Soka Gakkai (a lay Nichiren Buddhist organization) forms the Clean Government Party (Komeito)    
  Sato Eisaku (half brother of Kishi Nobusuke) becomes Prime Minister    
Year Japan Asia World
1965 "Itai-itai" disease caused by cadmium pollution breaks out in Toyama prefecture Republic of Korea normalizes relations with Japan  
    Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China (to 1976)  
1968 Kawabata Yasunari awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature   Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated
1972 Nixon Shocks: U.S. opens relations with China and devalues dollar East Pakistan becomes Bangladesh   
  U.S. returns control of Okinawa (excluding military bases) to Japan. Okinawa becomes the 47th prefecture    
1973 First oil crisis (to 1974)    
1974 Tanaka Kakuei (Prime Minister since 1972) resigns due to charges of public corruption. Miki Takeo becomes Prime Minister   U. S. President Richard Nixon resigns in the wake of the Watergate scandal 
  Ex-Prime Minister Sato Eisaku awarded the Nobel Peace Prize    
1976   Death of Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai Concorde begins transatlantic flights
1978     John Paul II becomes Pope
1980 Nakasone Yasuhiro become Prime Minister Kwangju Massacre in Korea  
mid 1980s Economy surges resulting in a "bubble" of speculative investment and loans    
1987 Takeshita Noboru becomes Prime Minister    
1988 A 3% consumption tax is instituted Summer Olympics held in Seoul, Korea  
1989 Showa Emperor dies. His son Akihito ascends to the throne marking the beginning of the Heisei period Tiananmen demonstrations and crackdown in China Soviet Union army withdraws from Afghanistan
  Prime Minister Takeshita resigns following involvement in a political scandal. He is replaced by Uno Sosuke who after two months in office resigns after an affair with a geisha becomes public. He is replaced by Kaifu Toshiki   Opening of Berlin Wall
  Liberal Democratic Party established loses its majority in the Upper House of the Diet    
1990     Reunification of Germany
1991 Kiichi Miyazawa becomes Prime Minister    
1992 National Self-Defense Force (NSDF) participates in United Nations Peace Keeping Operations    
1993 Crown Prince Naruhito marries Owada Masako Former political dissident Kim Young Sam is elected president of the Republic of Korea  
  Liberal Democratic Party loses its majority power in the Diet. Government is headed by a socialist prime minister Murayama Tomiichi) for the first time since 1947    
1994 Oe Kenzaburo awarded Nobel Prize for Literature Kim Il Sung dies. His son Kim Jong Il succeeds him as president of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea  
Year Japan Asia World
1995 Earthquake hits Kobe    
  Adherents of Aum Shinrikyo religion launch a deadly attack on Tokyo subways    
1996 Hashimoto Ryutaro (of the LDP) becomes Prime Minister    
1997   Hong Kong returned to China  
    Deng Xioping dies  
    Former political dissident Kim Dae Jung is elected president of the Republic of Korea  
1998 Winter Olympic Games held in Nagano prefecture    
  Keizo Obuchi becomes Prime Minister    
1999 The rising sun flag and the hinomaru anthem are officially declared legal symbols of Japan Chinese government begins crackdown on the supporters of Falungong movement  
  LDP forms a coalition government with the Komeito (Clean Government Party)    
2000 Mori Yoshino becomes Prime Minister Representatives of North (DPRK) and South (ROK) Korea engage in unification talks  
  Empress Dowager Nagako dies. She was chosen as Hirohito's wife when she was 14 years old.    
  Unemployment rate reaches an all-time high of 4.9%    
2001 New-born princess to Prince Naruhito and Princess Masako lends attention to revision of the existing Imperial Family Law to allow for female succession to the imperial throne China enters the World Trade Organization September 11 attacks on World Trade Center and Pentagon. United States, Britain and allied nations launch war on Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan

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