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History of Yokohama

Yokohama was known like a small fishing village until the end of the feudal Edo period, a time when Japan had a policy of national having little contact with Western foreigners.

Around 150 years ago, with the approach of American naval fleet commanded by Commodore Matthew Perry in Yokohama, during the last segment of the Edo era (1603-1867), Japan had the chance to open to the world. Until this time, Yokohama only was a small fishing town; but a port was set up and it soon turned into a central point for the modernization of Japan as the gateway to western civilization. Although it has suffered devastating blows such as the Great Kanto Earthquake (1923) and the Second World War (1945), Yokohama has continued to prosper into one of the world's leading international cities. Soon Yokohama developed as one of Japan's eminent cities from a little angling village.

In the middle of the American occupation, Yokohama was a main transshipment base for American resources and personnel, particularly during the Korean War. Next of the occupation, most of local U.S. naval moved from Yokohama to an American base in neighboring Yokosuka.

The city was designated by government ordinance on September 1, of the year of 1956. The city's tram and trolleybus system was eliminated in 1972, the same year when the opening of the first line of Yokohama Municipal Subway was made.

A main urban development project called Minato Mirai 21 "Port Future 21" about recovered land, started in 1983. Minato Mirai 21 hosted the Yokohama Exotic Showcase in 1989, which saw the first public operation of maglev trains in Japan and the opening of CosmoClock 21, at the time the largest ferris wheel in the world. 1989 also saw the opening of the 860m-long Yokohama Bay Bridge.

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