Japan is a chain of four main islands located off the coast of East

Asia. The people of Japan live a very remarkable lifestyle. With about

80% of the land mountainous, Japanese must live in tiny areas of

coastal land. Over 125.9 million people live together on these small

islands. Japanıs total area is roughly the size of Montana. It is

remarkable how the Japanese have adapted to the topography of the land

to create a huge industrial nation. The following essay is composed of a

video and current article about Japan.

The video I watched about Japan discussed a brief history of

Japan. The video contained three parts. The first part discussed the

isolation period of Japan and the role the United States played in ending

itıs isolation. The second part discussed Japanıs territorial expansion

and itıs role during WWII. The last part of the video talked about the

reconstruction of Japan and the United States influence towards the

island nation.

The video was very informative of Japanıs history in part 1. It

discussed the U.S. influence in ending itıs isolation with the world. In

1853, the U.S. sailed into Japan with most of the Navyıs Pacific Fleet

and demanded that Japan end itıs isolation. Within a few days Japan

opened itıs markets to the world. However Japan has very limited

resources. For itıs economy to grow Japan had to acquire raw materials

through trade. Without these materials Japan would starve to death.

Unfortunately for Japan nobody would supply them with the

materials they needed. Nations refused to trade with Japan because they

knew Japan turned these raw materials into junk. Being in isolation for

200 years, Japan had no skilled workers to produce anything. Not even

the United States helped Japan out. I donıt understand why the United

States wanted to open Japan to the world and then they almost starved

it to death. If the U.S. really wanted Japan to excel they could have

supplied them with the workers they needed. If the U.S. had done this

maybe Japan would have become allies with the United States. There

would have been no Pearl Harbor, no Midway, and no Okinawa.

Thousands of Americans and Japanese would have lived and they would

have been able to defeat Germany with no problem. The U.S. would have

had access to most of South Asiaıs markets. Instead, little thought was

given to the future, or if it was offered the Japanese refused to accept

U.S. aid.

In parts 2 and 3, the video discussed WWII and the reconstruction

of Japan after the war. During WWII, allied forces destroyed Japan and

after the war, the United States rebuilt the nation under a democratic

system. The reason the U.S. helped rebuild Japan was because they

feared Japan would form a communist nation, so they tried to prevent

that. If the United States had provided aid for Japan before the war

maybe they would have not had to destroy the whole country and then

rebuild it the way they wanted to.

The current article I read about Japan concerned itıs relations with

North Korea. Last August, North Korea fired a missile at Japanıs coast

with the intention of scaring Japan. The article was written on March

30, 1999 and discussed the recent offer by Japan to establish an

agreement with North Korea. The article stated that Japan was worried

about the recent build up of North Korean nuclear weapons and the

threat it poses to Japan. The Prime Minister of Japan made it clear on

March 20, that Japan was not going to provide North Korea with any

economic aid until they ended their nuclear build-up.

The recent relations between Japan and Korea are a very serious

issue. North Korea is a struggling communist nation dependent upon itıs

minerals for economic survival. Famine and natural disaster have

plagued North Korea for years. The United States will not help North

Korea because it is a communist nation and instead of putting money

towards itıs people, North Korea is funding a huge build-up of nuclear

weapons. This poses a major threat to Japan because it has a very small

military monitored by the United States. If North Korea were to attack

Japan the United States would have to protect Japan.