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For over two centuries, spanning from the 16th to the 19th centuries, Japan adopted a strict policy that prohibited foreigners, particularly Europeans, from entering the country. This restriction also extended to Japanese citizens, preventing them from leaving the nation. This stringent approach, implemented during the Edo period, aimed to curb the spread of Christianity and shield Japanese society from the perceived colonial and religious threats posed by European nations. The authorities feared that such influences could destabilize the shogunate's power and disrupt peace in the archipelago.

A Dutch trade ship approaches Dejima Island. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons


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