Land cursed with his­tory of ex­tremes

Townsville Bulletin - - Inside Today - by Geoff Cham­bers

JA­PAN has been t agged many things over the years.

The land of the ris­ing sun, the sa­mu­rai coun­try.

But for all of its pros­per­ity, the nation has been cursed since the Shoguns first went to war in 1331.

The ups and downs of the coun­try could not have been s c r i p t e d b e t t e r b y a Hol­ly­wood pro­ducer.

For ev­ery high that the coun­try en­joys, the peo­ple are forced to en­dure ex­treme lows.

The post-war eco­nomic boom came crash­ing back to earth f ol­low­ing t he 1987 stock mar­ket crash.

T w o d e c a d e s o n , t h e coun­try has con­tin­ued its slide and re­cently dropped be­hind China as the third l a r g e s t e c o n o my i n t h e world.

J a p a n e s e b u s i n e s s me n com­mit­ted sui­cides in their hun­dreds be­cause of the ‘‘ shame’’ brought on their fam­i­lies.

Ja­pan’s war­like na­ture mir­rors the fe­ro­cious off­shore rum­blings that trig­ger the fa­tal earth­quakes and tsunamis.

In the 1900s, Ja­panese im­pe­ri­al­ists led cru­sades across Asia in­vad­ing Korea, Rus­sia and China.

This pe­riod led up to World War I I , wh e n J a p a n e s e fight­ers dropped bombs on Pearl Har­bor in a sneak at­tack on De­cem­ber 7, 1941.

The rest is his­tory. The fa­mil­iar high was fol­lowed by a dev­as­tat­ing blow.

On Au­gust 6, 1945, the US dropped the A-bomb on Hiroshima. Three-days later, a sec­ond bomb was un­leashed on Na­gasaki.

More than 150,000 peo­ple were in­stantly killed and thou­sands more in­jured.

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