1998 in Japan
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List of years in Japan
- Emperor: Akihito
- Prime Minister: Ryutaro Hashimoto (L–Okayama) until July 30, Keizo Obuchi (L–Gunma)
- Chief Cabinet Secretary: Kanezō Muraoka (L–Akita) until July 30, Hiromu Nonaka (L–Kyōto)
- Chief Justice of the Supreme Court: Shigeru Yamaguchi
- President of the House of Representatives: Sōichirō Itō (L–Miyagi)
- President of the House of Councillors: Jūrō Saitō (L–Mie) until July 25 and again from August 4
- Diet sessions: 142nd (regular, January 12 to June 18), 143rd (extraordinary, August 7 to October 16), 144th (extraordinary, November 27 to December 14)
- February 7 – February 22: The 1998 Winter Olympics are held in Nagano.
- March 5 - March 14: The 1998 Winter Paralympics are held in Nagano.
- April 1: Toyota City, Fukuyama City, Kōchi City and Miyazaki City become core cities.
- April 5: The Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge linking Shikoku with Honshū and costing about ¥ 500 billion (US$3.8 billion), opens to traffic, becoming the largest suspension bridge in the world.
- May 26: Takashi Imai is inaugurated as the 9th head of the Keidanren.
- June 22: Financial Services Agency established.
- July 5: Japan launches the Nozomi probe to Mars, joining the United States and Russia as an outer space-exploring nation.
- July 12: Election for the House of Councillors held.
- July 25: Masumi Hayashi poisons a curry pot at a festival in Wakayama, causing the death of two adults and two children.
- October 8: Japan-South Korea Joint Declaration of 1998.
- November 13: Free solo climber Alain Robert scales the Shinjuku Center Building and is arrested on its roof.
- November 26: Japan-China Joint Declaration On Building a Partnership of Friendship and Cooperation for Peace and Development.
- March 19 - Sakura Miyawaki, singer
- March 26 - Satoko Miyahara, figure skater
- April 6 - Rina Katsuta, singer
- April 10 - Airi Kinoshita, murder victim (d. 2005)
- May 13 - Karen Iwata, singer and voice actress
- May 15 - Rena Nozawa, actress and singer
- May 28 - Riho Sayashi, J-pop singer
- June 14 - Taishi Nakagawa, actor and model
- July 9 - Tiger Onitsuka, jazz drummer
- July 17 - Shione Sawada, actress
- July 26 - Maya Sakura, singer
- August 5 - Kanon Suzuki, singer
- August 28 - Haruka Fukuhara, actress, model and singer
- October 30 - Meimi Tamura, singer and actress
- November 12 - Yuna Taira, actress
- November 29 - Ayumu Hirano, snowboarder
- December 9 - Mika Dela Cruz, Filipino actress
- December 30 - Akari Uemura, pop singer
- January 9 - Kenichi Fukui, Japanese chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1918)
- January 21 - Yoshifumi Kondō, animator (b. 1950)
- January 26 - Shinichi Suzuki, violinist (b. 1898)
- January 27 - Tamio Kageyama, novelist (b. 1947)
- January 28 - Shotaro Ishinomori, Manga artist, "Father of Henshin heroes." (b. 1938)
- February 5 - Takahashi Chikuzan, Tsugaru-jamisen performer and composer (b. 1910)
- March 10 - Kenkō Satoshi, Sumo wrestler (b. 1967)
- March 13 - Kosho Uchiyama, Sōtō priest (b. 1912)
- April 20 - Yoshio Inaba, actor (b. 1920)
- May 2 - Matsumoto Hideto (hide), Japanese musician (b. 1964)
- May 10 - Nekojiru, manga artist (b. 1967)
- May 19 - Sōsuke Uno, Prime Minister (b. 1922)
- August 3 - Reizo Koike, breaststroke swimmer (b. 1915)
- August 28 - Hirokazu Kobayashi, aikidoka (b. 1929)
- September 6 - Akira Kurosawa, screenwriter, producer, and director (b. 1910)
- September 27 - Narita Bryan, racehorse (b. 1991)
- October 12 - Ineko Sata, communist and feminist author of proletarian literature (b. 1904)
- November 1 - Silence Suzuka, racehorse (b. 1994)
- November 5 - Momoko Kōchi, actress (b. 1932)
- November 18 - Tase Matsunaga, supercentenarian (b. 1884)
- December 1 - Shōji Nakayama, actor (b. 1928)
- December 2 - Mikio Oda, athlete (b. 1905)
- December 30 - Keisuke Kinoshita, film director (b. 1912)
- "Public Roads - World's Longest Suspension Bridge Opens in Japan , July/August 1998". Fhwa.dot.gov. Retrieved 2016-04-08.