20 January 2011
Term Paper 2nd Draft
Issues In Japan
Throughout history Japan has faced several issues from political, economic, environmental, and social concerns. From World War II to the 2011 earthquake that shook the country, problems have arisen and compromised the stability of Japan. Unfortunately for any large society, troubles of any size always seem to dig their way into large civilizations causing problems that tend to have a domino affect creating tribulations in other areas of the nation’s stability and furthermore affecting surrounding areas. Japan for example has been faced with recent major and minor problems that are affecting the inhabitants’ way of life as well as every country associated with them.
Some of the issues that have taken Japan underway are issues cause by the 2011 tsunami and earthquake. Recorded on the rictor scale at a 9.0, this earthquake was the most devastating to ever hit the country. As the earthquake unraveled it caused a massive tsunami to strike cities and farmlands throughout the northern part of the country. The death toll as of April 6th was 12,341 dead and more than 15,000 missing. Japan’s economy quickly became affected because of mother nature’s acts and has sent the financial system into a spiraling downfall. With factories being shut down and warnings of rolling blackouts, economists worldwide are predicting Japan to be thrown into a recession. Many Japanese factories make things to be exported. For example, Toyota and Nissan are stopping the production of cars at over 20 factories and Honda still currently has 2 of the 3 factories closed. Other large companies that remain closed include Sony electronics, Fuji, and Nestle. Even for the companies whose products are not halted, they still have a hard time getting their products shipped when much of Japanese transportation has been so disrupted. Damages from this earthquake would estimate to a stunning $100 billion as approximated by Equecat, a risk consultancy. Because Japan is the number two buyer of U.S. dept next to China who is number one, they will resort to selling our debt causing other countries holding U.S Treasuries to sell resulting in and all out bond price drop and eventually the reduction of the U.S. dollar’s worth.
In addition to the plummeting economy, the worst problem caused by the earthquake and tsunami was the destruction of the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant. Because of the damage caused by the quake, radioactive material is spreading throughout the country and taking a toll on many people’s health. This accident could potentially affect the climate and many nuclear energy sources.
On a smaller scale, several other issues are being faced in Japan such as the aging population, illegal immigration, the environment, and U.S. military base issues. For several years now Japan’s population has been aging at a rate that by 2050, one in three people will be past the point of retirement. In order to keep the population stable the average should be 2.1 babies per women as compared to the 1.25 current average. This may not seem like a big problem but with the amount of factories and manufacturing businesses that Japan has, there will not be enough workers to run them in the future.
Additional issues that have taken a toll on Japan are the environmental issues. Air pollution has been affecting the growth of this nation in more ways than one. Power plant emissions like those from Fukushima Daiichi have resulted in acidic rain falling into the bodies of water in Japan. The acidification is degrading water quality and threatening aquatic life. This is a problem because Japan accounts for 15% of global catch and now due to the nuclear leaks, much of the fish are contaminated by radioactive water.
One of the main ways Japan’s issues relate to modern world history is the issue of trade and exportation of goods. After the scandals growth after the Meiji Restoration and after