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In 1603, after decades of civil warfare, the Tokugawa shogunate (a military-led, dynastic government) ushered in a long period of relative political stability and isolation from foreign influence. For more than two centuries this policy enabled Japan to enjoy a flowering of its indigenous culture. Japan opened its ports after signing the Treaty of Kanagawa with the US in 1854 and began to intensively modernize and industrialize. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Japan became a regional power that was able to defeat the forces of both China and Russia. It occupied Korea, Formosa (Taiwan), and southern Sakhalin Island. In 1931-32 Japan occupied Manchuria, and in 1937 it launched a full-scale invasion of China. Japan attacked US forces in 1941 - triggering America's entry into World War II - and soon occupied much of East and Southeast Asia. After its defeat in World War II, Japan recovered to become an economic power and an ally of the US. While the emperor retains his throne as a symbol of national unity, elected politicians hold actual decision-making power. Following three decades of unprecedented growth, Japan's economy experienced a major slowdown starting in the 1990s, but the country remains an economic power. In March 2011, Japan's strongest-ever earthquake, and an accompanying tsunami, devastated the northeast part of Honshu island, killed thousands, and damaged several nuclear power plants. The catastrophe hobbled the country's economy and its energy infrastructure, and tested its ability to deal with humanitarian disasters. Prime Minister Shinzo ABE was reelected to office in December 2012, and has since embarked on ambitious economic and security reforms to improve Japan's economy and bolster the country's international standing.

Japan is a parliamentary constitutional monarchy.

Source: CIA World Factbook

Government of Japan Resources

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Responsible Agricultural Investment (RAI): Knowledge into Action Notes series - 24 - Enhancing local economic impact cover image
Manuals & Guidelines
March 2017
Global

This note is part of the RAI Knowledge into Action Notes series and provides guidance on how to ensure that an agricultural investment generates positive impacts on the local economy by encouraging and supporting opportunities arising for individuals, farmers, businesses, and institutions.

Responsible Agricultural Investment (RAI): Knowledge into Action Notes series - 20 - Empowering women cover image
Manuals & Guidelines
March 2017
Global

This note is part of the RAI Knowledge into Action Notes series and addresses practices for reducing gender inequalities and for empowering women to make a positive contribution to development through agri- cultural investments. for reducing gender inequalities and for empowering women to make a positive contribution to development through agricultural investments.

Manuals & Guidelines
March 2017
Global

This note is part of the RAI Knowledge into Action Notes series and provides guidance on how investors can provide effective remedies to affected parties who perceive that their rights have been adversely affected by business activities.

Manuals & Guidelines
March 2017
Global

This note is part of the RAI Knowledge into Action Notes series and provides guidance on the overall approach to consulting, engaging, and partnering with local communities, to bridge gaps in information and expectation between communities and investors and create the social license to operate.

Manuals & Guidelines
March 2017
Global

This note is part of the RAI Knowledge into Action Notes series and provides guidance on the conduct of environmental and social impact assessments (ESIAs) and the implementation of associated environmental and social management plans (ESMPs).

Manuals & Guidelines
March 2017
Global

This note is part of the RAI Knowledge into Action Notes series and provides guidance on how to ensure that agricultural investments respect existing land rights, both formal and informal, and thereby avert land disputes.

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