January 11, 2009

Obscure/Obscured Japanese History

1908-The first group of Japanese people travel to Brazil by boat, seeking work in coffee plantations. The Japanese government promoted emigration as a solution to overpopulation and poverty in rural areas, and an estimated 190,000 people relocated to Brazil between 1908 and 1941, when diplomatic ties between Japan and Brazil were suspended.

(In the next hundred years, Japanese Brazilians will find themselves heading to Japan to find work, and then once again heading back to Brazil as the economy crumbles.)

1926-The Japanese National Health Insurance Law of 1922 becomes operative.

1927-Amateur radio service (ham radio) is internationally recognized.

1969-Japan Sea Cable (JASC) begins operation, connecting Japan's Naoetsu to Russia's Nakhodka. Operations end in 1995, after a new fiber-optic telephone cable is installed, after which JASC is used by Japanese and Russian scientists to carry out joint experiments.

1979-Automated telephone systems go nationwide. Telephone operators become obsolete, and listening in on people's phone conversations becomes a whole lot harder.

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