Japan, formerly the Empire of Japan, is an island country in east Asia. One of the leading countries in the field of technology, the country has a unique blend of highly competitive business circles but very traditional social circles and a history of militarist imperialism during the 20th century. Japan is also the only country to have been attacked with nuclear weapons.
The famous samurai warriors served the warlords of Japan for centuries until modern weaponry rendered them obsolete. The ninja, the samurai's nocturnal enemy, also hailed from Japan.
During the 1930s and 1940s, the Japanese Empire sought to expand its empire and acquire resources to fuel it. Japan invaded China and other Asian territories. During the occupation of China, the Imperial Japanese Army bombed, slaughtered, massacred and mass raped many Chinese civilians.
Japan is well known for bringing the United States into World War II by surprise attacking Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 in an attempt to stop America's ability to interfere in Japan's murderous imperial expansion. Four months later on April 18, 1942, the US Navy avenged Pearl Harbor when 16 B-25 Army launched off a Navy carrier and bombed Tokyo and other Japanese cities, showing that Japan was vulnerable, increasing morale and causing the Japanese to withdraw aircraft to defend the mainland.
After four years of war and two atomic bombings, Japan surrendered to the Allies in August 1945, and signed the official surrender documents on September 2, 1945, ending the war.
The Japanese are somewhat less represented than other nationalities in New York City, owing to both the great geographical distance between Japan and NYC and a perception among the Japanese that the Big Apple is full of crime. In 2004, a Japanese tourist, Hiroshi Yoshida, exploited that perception when he set up his wife Tamiko Yoshida to be murdered so that he could collect on her life insurance to pay off his debts. It backfired, however, when he claimed she'd been killed by a black man; when he was arrested and put on trial, his attempts at scapegoating caused many people to assume he was guilty before the trial began. (L&O: "Gaijin")
The Yakuza is the main organized crime enterprise group in Japan, emerging after World War II.