2020s|Emperor – Akihito
Prime Minister – Naoto Kan (D-Tokyo) until September 2, Yoshihiko Noda (D–Chiba)
Chief Cabinet Secretary: Yoshito Sengoku until January 14, Yukio Edano until September 2, Osamu Fujimura
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court: Hironobu Takesaki
President of the House of Representatives: Takahiro Yokomichi (D–Hokkaidō)
President of the House of Councillors: Takeo Nishioka (D–proportional) until November 5, Kenji Hirata (D–Gifu) from November 14
Diet sessions: 177th (regular, January 24 to August 31), 178th (extraordinary, September 13 to September 30), 179th (extraordinary, October 20 to December 9)
January 14 – Prime Minister of Japan Naoto Kan reshuffles his Cabinet.
January 22 – An unmanned Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle HTV-2 Resupply craft was launched atop the H-IIB rocket on a mission to deliver cargo to the International Space Station.
January 26 – Shinmoedake volcano erupts in Shinmoedake and the surrounding areas, continuing until no earlier than March 10, in southern Kyushu Island.
February 6 – The Japan Sumo Association cancels the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament in light of a match fixing scandal, the first time the event has been canceled since 1946.
February 26 – Nintendo's first 3D portable game console "Nintendo 3DS" is released in Japan.
March 7 – Seiji Maehara resigns as Foreign Minister of Japan after becoming involved in an illegal political donation scandal.
March 9 – Takeaki Matsumoto is sworn in as the Foreign Minister of Japan, replacing Seiji Maehara who resigned following a political donations scandal.
March 11 – A 9.0-magnitude earthquake hits offshore of Japan's Miyagi prefecture, resulting in tsunami waves as high as 10 metres, causing an accident at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant
March 12 – Kyushu Shinkansen opens between Yatsushiro and Hakata of Fukuoka, with the start of direct high-speed train between Osaka to Kagoshima.
March 23 – Tokyo tap water became contaminated by radiation due to the Fukushima I nuclear accidents.
March 23 – The Grand Bench of the Supreme Court rules that voting weight disparity in the 2009 general election for the House of Representatives was in an unconstitutional state.
March 25 – Vegetables grown in Tokyo were contaminated by radiation.
March 31 – The Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka was due to be closed on this date, but remained open through June 2011 to house people displaced by the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear alert.
May 4 – Osaka Station City, the largest enclosed shopping mall in Japan, including a cinema complex, a department store, and commercial facilities, opens in Osaka.
May 10 – GoExPanda becomes Mascot of TV Asahi in Tokyo.
May 12 – Worst heist in Japan: 604-million-yen robbery, in which a 36-year-old security company's workers are injured in Tachikawa, Tokyo. Six men are arrested on suspicion the heist on July 31.
July 17 – The Japan women's national football team defeats the United States women's national football team on penalties, after a 2-2 extra-time scoreline, to win the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup.
July 21 – Tatsuya Ichihashi is sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Lindsay Hawker.
July 24 – Analog television ceases operations in 44 of the 47 prefectures of Japan.
August 15 – Japan's Cabinet approves a plan to establish a new energy watchdog under the Environment Ministry.
August 26 – Naoto Kan announces his resignation as Prime Minister of Japan.
September 2 – Yoshihiko Noda becomes Prime Minister of Japan.
September 5 - Typhoon Talas, following massive rains and landslides in Kii Peninsula, resulting to death toll number of 94 persons.
October 26 – Tsuyoshi Kikukawa resigns as the President and Chairman of Olympus Corporation, as financial and law enforcement bodies in Japan, the United States and the United Kingdom investigate the optical equipment company's acquisitions in recent years.
December 23 – Rengō Kantai Shirei Chōkan: Yamamoto Isoroku was released.
Prefectural and selected municipal elections in major cities:
January 30 – Yamanashi gubernatorial election, 2011
February 6 – Triple election in Nagoya, Aichi: Aichi gubernatorial election, 2011, Nagoya mayoral election, 2011 and Nagoya city council recall referendum.
March 13 – Nagoya city council election, 2011
April 10 and 24 – Japanese unified regional elections, 2011 (12 governors, 41 parliaments, mayors and councils in several hundred municipalities)
June 5 – Aomori gubernatorial election, 2011
July 3 – Gunma gubernatorial election, 2011
July 31 – Saitama gubernatorial election, 2011
August 28 – Sendai city council election, 2011 (originally scheduled for the unified elections but postponed following the Tōhoku earthquake)
September 11 -Iwate gubernatorial election, 2011 and Iwate prefectural election, 2011 (originally scheduled for the unified elections but postponed following the Tōhoku earthquake).
November 13 – Miyagi prefectural election, 2011 (originally scheduled for the unified elections but postponed following the Tōhoku earthquake): the LDP loses some seats, but remains strongest party with 28 of the 59 assembly seats.
November 20 – Fukushima prefectural election, 2011 (originally scheduled for the unified elections but postponed following the Tōhoku earthquake): With many voters displaced by earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accidents, turnout reaches a historical low at 47.5 percent; the LDP gains one seat and now holds 27 of the 58 assembly seats.
November 27 – Kōchi gubernatorial election, 2011 (uncontested): With explicit or implicit support of all established parties including the Communists, governor Masanao Ozaki is reelected without vote for a second term – the first uncontested gubernatorial election since Yoshihiro Katayama's reelection in Tottori in 2003.
November 27 – Double election in Osaka: Major issue of both the Osaka gubernatorial election, 2011 and the Osaka city mayoral election, 2011 were resigned governor and mayoral candidate Tōru Hashimoto's Osaka Metropolis plan to dissolve the cities of Osaka and Sakai and reorganize them like Tokyo's wards as special wards of Osaka prefecture. Incumbent Osaka city mayor Kunio Hiramatsu was opposed to the plan and was supported by both major parties; even the JCP nominated no candidate for Osaka mayor for the first time since 1963 to support his reelection. Despite support from all established parties and all other candidates dropping out of the race, Hiramatsu lost the mayoral election to Hashimoto by a wide margin; and Hashimoto's candidate for governor, Ichirō Matsui comfortably won the gubernatorial race against Kaoru Kurata (both major parties), one Communist and several minor independent candidates (including perennial candidate Mac Akasaka).
January 3 – Nakamura Tomijyuro V, 81, Japanese Kabuki actor
January 5 – Keijiro Yamashita, Japanese rockabilly singer
January 11 – Kozo Haraguchi, 100, Japanese track and field athlete, respiratory failure
January 14 – Toshiyuki Hosokawa, Japanese actor, acute subdural hematoma
January 14 – Ben Wada, 80, Japanese television director, esophageal cancer
January 17 – Shinichiro Sakurai, 81, Japanese automotive engineer, heart failure.
February 5 – Hiroko Nagata, 65, Japanese radical and murderer, vice-chairman of United Red Army.
February 13 – Nobutoshi Kihara, Japanese electronics engineer for Sony.
April 17 – Osamu Dezaki, 67, director of anime, lung cancer.
April 21 – Yoshiko Tanaka, 55, actress, breast cancer.
April 23 – Norio Ohga, 81, businessman and CEO of Sony
May 2 – Shigeo Yaegashi, 78, footballer
May 12 – Miyu Uehara, 24, gravure idol and television personality, suicide
May 16 – Kiyoshi Kodama, 77, actor
May 18 – Seiseki Abe, 96, shodo and aikido teacher
May 21 – Hiroyuki Nagato, 77, actor
June 6 – Masashi Ohuchi, 67, Olympic weightlifter
June 9 – Tomoko Kawakami, 41, voice actress
June 28 – Osamu Kobayashi, 76, voice actor and executive director
July 5 – Shinji Wada, 61, manga artist
July 9 – Hideo Tanaka, 78, director
July 17 – Takaji Mori, 67, footballer
July 19 – Yoshio Harada, 71, actor
July 26 – Sakyo Komatsu, 80, science fiction writer
July 27 – Rei Harakami, 40, musician
July 27 – Hideki Irabu, 42, baseball player
August 4 – Naoki Matsuda, 34, football player
August 5 – Takehiko Maeda, 82, television writer
August 15 – Tōru Shōriki, 92, baseball team owner (Tokyo Giants) and former CEO of Yomiuri Newspaper
August 21 – Muga Takewaki, 67, actor
September 6 – Shigeri Akabane, 70, professional wrestler
September 7 – Hiroe Yuki, 62, badminton player
December 31 – Yasutaka Matsudaira, 81, volleyball coach
2011 in Japan Wikipedia
This article lists events in 2011 in Japan.