Japan’s FIFA World Cup matches and a turn away from monetary easing by the Bank of Japan made headlines in the country in December 2022.
Japan defeats Spain 2–1 in its final group match at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, qualifying for the knockout stage for the second successive tournament. On December 5, it loses on penalties after a 1–1 draw with Croatia in the round of 16.
The cumulative number of COVID-19 fatalities in Japan rises above 50,000.
The Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry makes major changes to nuclear power policy with new action guidelines, including rebuilding power stations set for decommissioning and setting a new maximum station lifespan of 60 years.
The Diet enacts a new law to ban organizations from malicious solicitation of donations and makes amendments to the Consumer Contract Act, in response to issues surrounding the Unification Church.
Space startup Ispace launches a spacecraft from Cape Canaveral in Florida with the aim of making the first moon landing by a Japanese company around April 2023.
The Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation announces that 戦 (ikusa, or the verb tatakau, meaning “conflict”) has been chosen by voters as the Kanji of the Year for 2022.
Inoue Naoya defeats British boxer Paul Butler with an eleventh-round knockout to take the WBO bantamweight world title, adding it to those for the WBA, WBC, and IBF. He becomes the first Japanese boxer to hold all four titles in a weight class.
The Agency for Cultural Affairs exercises the right under the Religious Corporations Act to ask questions to the Unification Church for the second time.
The Ministry of Defense dismisses five members of a Ground Self-Defense Force unit at Camp Kōriyama, Fukushima Prefecture, for sexual abuse of Gonoi Rina, their female colleague, and suspends the unit’s leader for six months.
The government revises the National Security Strategy and two other key security documents to make clear that Japan has counterstrike capabilities, such as to directly attack missile launch sites. It also approves an increase in defense spending to ¥43 trillion over five years from April 2023.
The Bank of Japan shifts its policy in the tenth year since it instituted radical monetary easing measures, effectively raising interest rates by widening the acceptable range of yields for 10-year Japanese government bonds from between minus 0.25% and 0.25% to between minus 0.5% and 0.5%.
Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker Sonoura Kentarō resigns after underreporting the amount of money he collected through political fundraising parties.
The government decides on an initial general-account budget of ¥114.4 trillion for fiscal 2023
Parts of Japan from Hokkaidō to Chūgoku experience heavy snow, with a new record of 14 centimeters set in Shikoku’s Kōchi Prefecture.
Akiba Ken’ya resigns as minister for reconstruction after a political funding scandal. Prime Minister Kishida replaces him with Watanabe Hiromichi, who previously served in the position under Prime Minister Abe Shinzō.
Architect Isozaki Arata, known for his postmodern style, dies at the age of 91. He won the prestigious Pritzker Prize in 2019.
(Originally published in Japanese. Banner photo: Japan soccer players look despondent after being defeated by Croatia in the round of 16 of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar on December 5, 2022. © Pro Shots/Sipa USA via Reuters C.)