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Yearbook 2000

2000 JapanJapan. The leadership problems of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP; Jiyuminshuto) became acute when Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi, 62, quickly fell ill in April and died six weeks later. Yoshiro Mori took over both as prime minister and as LDP chairman, and in the June 25 election, the LDP defended its position as the largest single party in Parliament's House of Commons, but lost its own absolute majority. Coalition cooperation with the parties New Komeito and the New Conservative Party (Hoshuto) continued, giving the government 271 of the lower house's 480 seats.

Mori's fallacy for unfortunate statements, including about Japan as "a divine nation with the emperor at its center", however, contributed to falling voter support.

According to COUNTRYAAH, bribery and morale scandals that in July and October forced two of the Prime Minister's staff, including Cabinet chief Hidenao Nakagawa, to resign undermined the government's position even more.

In November, Mori was openly challenged by reformist Koichi Kato, leader of the LDP's second-largest party faction, but in the unbelief vote that followed in the House of Commons, Katos's revolt was ruthless. The disputed Mori's days as head of government were believed to still be counted.

Japan's economic recovery was slowly moving forward, and in September the government presented another stimulus package to boost domestic consumption. Unemployment fell slightly, but remained above 4%.

In the budget for the coming year, the government announced in December record funding for the defense, already one of the most expensive in the world. modernization of the Air Force.

The peace that the Russian Federation and Japan never made after the Second World War continued to haunt the parties. As before, it was the tug-of-war of the four islands of southern Kuril ("Northern Territories" in Japan) that impeded a peace treaty. Schism has also remained unresolved since Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Tokyo in September and spoke with Mori.

Shortly after Putin's visit, a spy business aroused Russian-Japanese irritation. A Japanese naval officer was arrested in Tokyo for handing secret documents to a Russian diplomat. The officer admitted at the arrest, and the press described the case as the worst espionage in the country in 20 years. In Moscow, however, the incident was blamed on "forces" seeking to damage Russian-Japanese relations, and the designated diplomat left Japan despite the Tokyo government's protests.

When Chinese Prime Minister Zhu Rongji visited Japan in October, he diminished criticism of the Japanese military assaults during the war, in sharp contrast to Jiang Zemin's frosty visit two years earlier.

Zhu emphasized that Japan must never forget his past, but refrained from calling for formal Japanese prayer. Instead, he thanked the multimillion-dollar aid that Japan has provided to China in recent decades and welcomed more Japanese investment.

2000 Japan

The financial and economic crisis that hit Southeast Asia in July 97 also reached Japan later. In April 98, the Japanese yen reached its lowest level in 7 years against the US dollar, and the Tokyo Stock Exchange lost 6% of its value in 3 days. Economically, there was a prospect of a decline in the country's gross domestic product. Hashimoto declared that the country was facing the most difficult situation since World War II. In early July, he resigned from the prime minister post following a poor election result for LDP. On July 30, former Foreign Minister Keizo Obuchi was appointed new Prime Minister. He had not first obtained the necessary number of votes in the Upper House, but then the required number in the Lower House.

An accident at a nuclear reprocessing plant, just 3 kilometers north of the Tokoaimura nuclear power plant, north of Tokyo, resulted in radioactivity 15,000 times above normal in the plant. The environmental organization Greenpeace characterized the accident as a symptom of the serious nuclear safety concerns in Japan. Acc. Greenpeace has 5 tonnes of uranium in Japan and another 30 tonnes purchased but still in Europe.

Blooming right-wing groups welcomed the old imperial flag in August. It had not been used for 50 years, but had now been reintroduced. At the same time, dozens of teachers were fired for refusing to use the old imperial symbols of the country's militaristic past. The rising nationalism is also reflected in the armed forces that have begun conducting military exercises in the sea around Japan and whose recruitment is the highest in decades.

Following a new accident at the Tokaimura nuclear plant in September, Obuchi ordered an investigation into all the installations in the country using nuclear fuel. The company JCO that reprocesses the spent fuel admitted that for several years it has used manuals that do not meet the minimum safety requirements set by the government. Despite the company's self-criticism, the governor of the province of Ibaraki and the mayor of Tokaimura criticized the prime minister for the way the authorities had handled the crisis. Greenpeace criticized the fact that the failed factory continued to leak radioactivity to an extent 5 times higher than the values ​​considered safe, and officials from both the factory and the government were criticized for their long-suffering in dealing with the situation. The newspaper Yomiuri wrote,

In April 2000, Prime Minister Obuchi went into a coma after working hard to reactivate his country's economy. He was immediately replaced by Yoshiro Mori. Obuchi died in May, and a few days later the new prime minister declared at a Shinto ceremony - the Buddhist direction that during World War II had considered Emperor Hirohito a living god - that Japan was "a divine nation that has the emperor as its center". Comments that gave aftermath both nationally and internationally.

Mori implemented a government transformation and administrative cuts. It happened after the press, opposition and parts of his own party had called on him to step down. Acc. many observers he is the weakest Prime Minister Japan to date. To strengthen his weak base, he appointed former Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa and Ryutaro Hashimoto as key government officials. In February 2001, the press again demanded his departure. This happened when, after being informed that a Japanese fishing boat had collided with a North American nuclear submarine, his game of golf continued. The press accused him of "lack of compassion".


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