Japanese Whaling?: End of an Era (Routledge Library Editions: Japan)

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Prior to this incident, Japan's emissions had been on the decline, largely due to nuclear power plants creating no emissions. Japan ranks 20th in the Environmental Performance Index , which measures a nation's commitment to environmental sustainability. Japan is a constitutional monarchy and sovereign state whereby the power of the Emperor is very limited. As a ceremonial figurehead, he is defined by the constitution to be "the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people".

Executive power is wielded chiefly by the Prime Minister and his cabinet , while sovereignty is vested in the Japanese people.

Japan resumes commercial whaling amid backlash

It hasn't changed since its adoption on 3 May Japan's legislative body is the National Diet , seated in Chiyoda, Tokyo. The Diet is a bicameral body, comprising the lower House of Representatives with seats, elected by popular vote every four years or when dissolved; and the upper House of Councillors with seats, whose popularly elected members serve six-year terms. There is universal suffrage for adults over 18 years of age, [] with a secret ballot for all elected offices. The LDP has enjoyed near-continuous electoral success since , except for brief periods between and and from to The Prime Minister of Japan is the head of government and is appointed by the Emperor after being designated by the Diet from among its members.

Historically influenced by Chinese law , the Japanese legal system developed independently during the Edo period through texts such as Kujikata Osadamegaki. Japan's court system is divided into four basic tiers: the Supreme Court and three levels of lower courts. Japan is divided into 47 prefectures, each overseen by an elected governor , legislature and administrative bureaucracy.

This process will reduce the number of sub-prefecture administrative regions and is expected to cut administrative costs. Japan has diplomatic relations with nearly all independent nations and has been an active member of the United Nations since December Japan signed a security pact with Australia in March [] and with India in October Japan has close ties to the United States.

Since Japan's defeat by the United States and allies in World War II , the two countries have maintained close economic and defense relations. The United States is a major market for Japanese exports and the primary source of Japanese imports, and is committed to defending the country, having military bases in Japan for partially that purpose. Japan's relationship with South Korea has been strained due to Japan's treatment of Koreans during Japanese colonial rule , particularly over the issue of comfort women.

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Between and , the Japanese government rebuilt Korean infrastructure. Despite this, modernization in Korea was always linked to Japanese interests and therefore did not imply a "revolutionization" of social structures. For instance, Japan kept Korea's primitive feudalistic agriculture because it served Japanese interests. Despite their historical tensions, in December , Japan agreed to settle the comfort women dispute with South Korea by issuing a formal apology, taking responsibility for the issue and paying money to the surviving comfort women.

Today, South Korea and Japan have a stronger and more economically-driven relationship.

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Since the s, the Korean Wave has created a large fanbase in East Asia. Japan is the number one importer of Korean music K-pop , television K-dramas , and films, but this was only made possible after the South Korean government lifted the year ban on cultural exchange with Japan that had been in place since Korean pop cultural products' success in the Japanese market is partially explained by the borrowing of Japanese ideas such as the star-marketing system and heavy promotion of new television shows and music.

Both leaders restated their commitment to solving the comfort women dispute, building positive relations in the region, and pressuring China to be more assertive with North Korea as it continues to test nuclear weapons and isolate themselves further form the international community. Japan maintains one of the largest military budgets of any country in the world. Accordingly, Japan's Self-Defense Forces is an unusual military that has never fired shots outside Japan.

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The 21st century is witnessing a rapid change in global power balance along with globalization. The security environment around Japan has become increasingly severe as represented by nuclear and missile development by North Korea. Transnational threats grounded on technological progress including international terrorism and cyber attacks are also increasing their significance.

Japan has close economic and military relations with the United States; the US-Japan security alliance acts as the cornerstone of the nation's foreign policy. It is one of the G4 nations seeking permanent membership in the Security Council. He said Japan wanted to play a key role and offered neighboring countries Japan's support. Additionally, there is the Japan Coast Guard which guards territorial waters in accordance with international law and domestic law.

The coast guard patrols the sea surrounding Japan and uses surveillance and control countermeasures against smuggling, marine environmental crime, poaching, piracy, spy ships, unauthorized foreign fishing vessels, illegal immigration, etc. The Firearm and Sword Possession Control Law strictly regulates the civilian ownership of guns , swords and other weaponry , in accordance with a Japanese law which states: "No person shall possess a firearm or firearms or a sword or swords" and there are few exceptions.

Japan is the third largest national economy in the world, after the United States and China, in terms of nominal GDP , [] and the fourth largest national economy in the world, after the United States, China and India, in terms of purchasing power parity. As of [update] , Japan's public debt was estimated at more than percent of its annual gross domestic product, the largest of any nation in the world.

The large budget deficits and government debt since the global recession, followed by the earthquake and tsunami in March , caused the rating downgrade. Japan has a large industrial capacity, and is home to some of the largest and most technologically advanced producers of motor vehicles, electronics , machine tools , steel and nonferrous metals, ships, chemical substances , textiles, and processed foods.

Agricultural businesses in Japan cultivate 13 percent of Japan's land, and Japan accounts for nearly 15 percent of the global fish catch, second only to China. Some 20 million people, around 17 per cent of the population, were below the poverty line in As of [update] , Japan's main export markets were the United States Its main exports are transportation equipment, motor vehicles, iron and steel products, semiconductors and auto parts.

Japan's main imports are machinery and equipment, fossil fuels , foodstuffs in particular beef , chemicals, textiles and raw materials for its industries. By market share measures, domestic markets are the least open of any OECD country. Japan ranks 34th of countries in the ease of doing business index and has one of the smallest tax revenues of the developed world. The Japanese variant of capitalism has many distinct features: keiretsu enterprises are influential, and lifetime employment and seniority-based career advancement are relatively common in the Japanese work environment.

Japan also has a large cooperative sector, with three of the ten largest cooperatives in the world located in Japan, including the largest consumer cooperative and the largest agricultural cooperative in the world.


Modern Japan's economic growth began in the Edo period. Some of the surviving elements of the Edo period are roads and water transportation routes, as well as financial instruments such as futures contracts , banking and insurance of the Osaka rice brokers. Growth slowed in the s during the "Lost Decade" due to after-effects of the Japanese asset price bubble and government policies intended to wring speculative excesses from the stock and real estate markets. Efforts to revive economic growth were unsuccessful and further hampered by the global slowdown in Today, Japan ranks highly for competitiveness and economic freedom.

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It is ranked sixth in the Global Competitiveness Report for — The Japanese agricultural sector accounts for about 1. Japan's small agricultural sector, however, is also highly subsidized and protected , with government regulations that favor small-scale cultivation instead of large-scale agriculture as practiced in North America.

Rice accounts for almost all of Japan's cereal production. In , Japan ranked fourth in the world in tonnage of fish caught. Japan's industrial sector makes up approximately Japan is the third largest automobile producer in the world, and is home to Toyota , the world's largest automobile company. Japan's service sector accounts for about three-quarters of its total economic output.

Japan attracted Foreign visitors to Japan doubled in last decade and reached 10 million people for the first time in , led by increase of Asian visitors. In , the Japanese government has set up Japan Tourism Agency and set the initial goal to increase foreign visitors to 20 million in In , having met the 20 million target, the government has revised up its target to 40 million by and to 60 million by For inbound tourism, Japan was ranked 16th in the world in The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report ranks Japan 4th out of countries overall, which was the best in Asia.

Japan gained relatively high scores in almost all aspects, especially health and hygiene, safety and security, cultural resources and business travel. Chinese travelers are the highest spenders in Japan by country, spending an estimated Japan is a leading nation in scientific research , particularly in fields related to the natural sciences and engineering. The country ranks second among the most innovative countries in the Bloomberg Innovation Index. Japanese scientists and engineers have contributed to the advancement of agricultural sciences, electronics, industrial robotics , optics , chemicals, semiconductors , life sciences and various fields of engineering.

The Japanese electronics and automotive manufacturing industry is well known throughout the world, and the country's electronic and automotive products account for a large share in the global market, compared to a majority of other countries. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency JAXA is Japan's national space agency ; it conducts space, planetary, and aviation research, and leads development of rockets and satellites.

Japan's plans in space exploration include: developing the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter to be launched in ; [] and building a moon base by Its purpose is to gather data on the moon's origin and evolution. Japan's road spending has been extensive. Hokkaido has a separate network, and Okinawa Island has a highway of this type. A single network of high-speed, divided, limited-access toll roads connects major cities and is operated by toll-collecting enterprises. New and used cars are inexpensive; car ownership fees and fuel levies are used to promote energy efficiency.

However, at just 50 percent of all distance traveled, car usage is the lowest of all G8 countries. Since privatisation in , dozens of Japanese railway companies compete in regional and local passenger transportation markets; major companies include seven JR enterprises, Kintetsu , Seibu Railway and Keio Corporation. Some high-speed Shinkansen trains connect major cities and Japanese trains are known for their safety and punctuality. It is due to be completed in There are airports in Japan; [6] the largest domestic airport, Haneda Airport in Tokyo, is Asia's second-busiest airport.

As of [update] , Nuclear power produced 9. The government took responsibility for regulating the water and sanitation sector is shared between the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare in charge of water supply for domestic use; the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in charge of water resources development as well as sanitation; the Ministry of the Environment in charge of ambient water quality and environmental preservation; and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications in charge of performance benchmarking of utilities.

Access to an improved water source is universal in Japan. Japan is the second most populous island country with a population of About 80 million of the urban population is heavily concentrated on the Pacific coast of Honshu. The capital city Tokyo has a population of Japanese society is linguistically , ethnically and culturally homogeneous, [] [] composed of The most dominant native ethnic group is the Yamato people ; primary minority groups include the indigenous Ainu [] and Ryukyuan people , as well as social minority groups like the burakumin. Japan has the second longest overall life expectancy at birth of any country in the world: In , about On September 15, , for the first time, 1 in 5 persons in Japan is 70 or older according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

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Elderly women crossed the 20 million line at In , the number of resident foreigners was 2.