Because the Japanese environment is not conducive to the formation of fossils, it is unknown how long it has been occupied by humans.

Homo erectus was known to be in what is now Beijing (close to Japan) 850,000 years ago so potentially it could be hundreds of thousands of years.

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Under the Samurai, the emperor had symbolic power but no military power (much like European royal families have today.) Change came in the 19th century when American Commodore sailed into Japan and announced that the country would be invaded if it didn't trade with America.

The Meiji Emperor saw the obvious power difference between Japan and America along with an opportunity to gain the military power that Japanese emperors had always lacked.

It was an assertion the western powers rejected, (although they used Australian prime minister as the mouth piece of the anti-equality campaign.) Embittered, the Japanese became more hostile to the western powers, who in turn reacted by trying to constrain Japan's rise.

This led to European sanctions, support for China in their resistance to Japanese invasion and an American led oil embargo.

After surrendering, the Japanese were expecting the Americans to rape and pillage.

Instead, General arrived in Tokyo on August 30 1945 and immediately decreed several laws: No allied personnel were to assault Japanese people and no allied personnel were to eat the scarce Japanese food.The Emperor and the general population seemed to appreciate change and the benefits brought by trade.European and America customs became highly fashionable as the Japanese modelled themselves on the west.This gave rise to the Samurai in the 12th century, who ruled for more than six centuries.Samurai culture was based on loyalty to a master, a rigid adherence to rules, a distrust of foreigners and a lack of compassion to the weak.The delay could be attributed to the difficulties in adapting Chinese rice varieties to Japanese conditions.