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Japan, officially Nippon (日本) is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of China, Korea and Russia. The characters that make up Japan's name mean "sun-origin", which is why Japan is sometimes identified as the "Land of the Rising Sun".

Japan comprises over 3,000 islands, the largest of which are Honshū, Hokkaidō, Kyūshū and Shikoku. Most of the islands are mountainous, many volcanic; for example, Japan’s highest peak, Mount Fuji, is a volcano. Japan has the world's tenth largest population, with about 128 million people. The Greater Tokyo Area, which includes the capital city of Tokyo and several surrounding prefectures, is the largest metropolitan area in the world, with over 30 million residents.

Influence from the outside world followed by long periods of isolation has characterized Japan's history. Since adopting its constitution in 1947, Japan has maintained a unitary constitutional monarchy with an emperor and an elected parliament, the Diet.

A major economic power, Japan has the world's third largest economy by nominal GDP. It is a member of the United Nations, G8, G4, OECD and APEC, with the world's fifth largest defense budget. It is also the world's fourth largest exporter and sixth largest importer and a world leader in technology and machinery.

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Michael Schumacher driving for Benetton
The 1995 Japanese Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on October 29, 1995, at the Suzuka Circuit, Suzuka. It was the sixteenth and penultimate round of the 1995 Formula One season. The race, contested over 53 laps, was won by Michael Schumacher for the Benetton team after he started from pole position. Mika Häkkinen finished second in a McLaren and Johnny Herbert third in the other Benetton car. Jean Alesi, driving for Ferrari, started second alongside Schumacher. However, Alesi was forced to serve a 10-second stop-and-go penalty because his car moved forward before the start. Alesi climbed back up to second before retiring on lap 25. Schumacher's rival in the Drivers' Championship, Damon Hill, started fourth amidst pressure from the British media after poor performances at previous races. Hill moved up to second because of Alesi's retirement, but he spun off the circuit on lap 40. Schumacher's win was his ninth of the season, matching Nigel Mansell's record for victories in a season that was set in 1992. Benetton were confirmed Constructors' Champions as Williams could not pass Benetton's points total in the one remaining race.

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Atomic Bomb Dome and Aioi Bridge in Hiroshima, Japan.
Credit: Dean S. Pemberton

Panorama shot of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, commonly known as the Atomic Bomb Dome, is part of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. The Aioi Bridge, seen at the left side of the image, was the original target of the atomic bombing on August 6, 1945.

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October 27:




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26 October 2020 –
Japan rejects the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons after all nuclear powers boycott the treaty. This rejection happened days after the United Nations said there was enough signatories for it to go into effect and following pressure from atomic bomb survivors to adopt it. Japan states it is unrealistic to pursue the treaty with both nuclear and non-nuclear states being sharply divided over it, and instead the country will serve as a bridge to narrow the gap between the two sides. (ABC News)
19 October 2020 – Japan–Vietnam relations
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga says that the country has agreed with Vietnam to boost their defense ties and resume flights amid Chinese influence in the regions. (AP)
13 October 2020 – Exploration of the Moon
The U.S.-led Artemis Accords are signed by the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, Luxembourg, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates. According to NASA, the Accords aim to establish norms of behavior between countries regarding lunar resource extraction and exploration, outline "safety zones" on the lunar surface where other countries should not interfere, and protect heritage sites on the lunar surface such as the Apollo landing sites. More signatories are expected to be announced in the coming months. (Reuters) (The Verge)
2 October 2020 – COVID-19 pandemic
AstraZeneca announces that they would resume vaccine trials in Japan. (Japan Today)
30 September 2020 –
A court rules that the Japanese government and Tokyo Electric Power Company are responsible for the damages caused during a nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Furthermore, the operator of the plant is required to pay $9.5 million in damages to survivors. (ABC News)
28 September 2020 –
Kioxia, the Japanese computer memory manufacturer spun off from Toshiba, postpones its initial public offering on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, citing the volatility of the semiconductor industry caused by both the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing trade war between China and the United States. Its initial public offering, which would have launched on October 6, was projected to be Japan's largest for this year. (The Japan Times) (Nikkei Asian Review)

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Hamasaki holds special live performance at Taiwan 2007.

Ayumi Hamasaki (浜崎あゆみ, Hamasaki Ayumi, born October 2, 1978) is a Japanese singer, songwriter, record producer, actress, model, spokesperson and entrepreneur. Through her entire career, she has written all her lyrical content, and has sometimes composed her music.

Born and raised in Fukuoka, Fukuoka Prefecture, Hamasaki moved to Tokyo at fourteen in 1993 to pursue a career in singing and acting. In 1998, under the tutelage of Avex CEO Max Matsuura, Hamasaki released her debut single "Poker Face" and debut major-label album A Song for XX. The album debuted at the top of the Oricon charts and remained there for five weeks, selling over a million copies. Her next ten albums shipped over a million copies in Japan, with her third, Duty, selling nearly three million. A Best, her first compilation album, is her best-selling album, with more than four million copies sold in Japan. Since 2006, after her album (Miss)understood was released, album and single sales have declined. Read more...

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Flag of Miyagi Prefecture
Miyagi Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located in the Tōhoku region on Honshū island. The capital is Sendai. Miyagi Prefecture was formerly part of the province of Mutsu. Mutsu Province, on northern Honshū, was one of the last provinces to be formed as land was taken from the indigenous Ainu and became the largest as it expanded northward. The ancient capital was in modern Miyagi Prefecture. In the 3rd month of 2nd year of the Wadō era (709), there was an uprising against governmental authority in Mutsu Province and in nearby Echigo Province. Troops were promptly dispatched to subdue the revolt. In Wadō 5 (712), the land of Mutsu Province was administratively separated from Dewa Province. Empress Genmei's Daijō-kan continued to organize other cadastral changes in the provincial map of the Nara period, as in the following year when Mimasaka Province was divided from Bizen Province; Hyūga Province was sundered from Ōsumi Province; and Tanba Province was severed from Tango Province. During the Sengoku period various clans ruled different parts of the province. The Uesugi clan had a castle town at Wakamatsu in the south, the Nanbu clan at Morioka in the north, and Date Masamune, a close ally of the Tokugawa, established Sendai, which is now the largest town of the Tōhoku region. In the Meiji period, four new provinces were created from parts of Mutsu: Rikuchū, Rikuzen, Iwaki, and Iwashiro. The area that is now Aomori Prefecture continued to be part of Mutsu until the Abolition of the han system and the nationwide conversion to the prefectural structure of modern Japan.

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Depiction of the assassination of Ii Naosuke

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Coordinates: 36°30′N 139°00′E / 36.5°N 139°E / 36.5; 139