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Japan

Japan Guide. Japan Country Profile.

Country Profile: Japan.

Interesting Fact: Japan’s name mean “sun-origin”, which is why Japan is sometimes identified as the “Land of the Rising Sun”.

Japan is located east of China, on the eastern end of the Eurasian Continent between the Sea of Japan and the Pacific Ocean in the Northern Hemisphere. Japan comprises over 3,000 islands making it an archipelago. The major languages include: Japanese, Korean, and Okinawan. A few minor languages are: Kikai, Kunigami, Oki-No-Erabu, and Yonagami. Japanese is the sixth most spoken language in the world, with over 99% percent of the country’s population using it.

Japan is a global player in various fields that address global challenges, it has the world’s second largest economy by nominal GDP and the third largest in purchasing power parity. It is a member of the United Nations, G8, OECD and APEC, with the world’s fifth largest defense budget. It is also the world’s fourth largest exporter and sixth largest importer. Japan is a world leader in technology, machinery, and robotic.

:: Background of Japan ::

In 1603, a Tokugawa shogunate (military dictatorship) ushered in a long period of isolation from foreign influence in order to secure its power. For more than two centuries this policy enabled Japan to enjoy stability and a flowering of its indigenous culture. Following the Treaty of Kanagawa with the US in 1854, Japan opened its ports and began to intensively modernize and industrialize. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Japan became a regional power that was able to defeat the forces of both China and Russia. It occupied Korea, Formosa (Taiwan), and southern Sakhalin Island. In 1931-32 Japan occupied Manchuria, and in 1937 it launched a full-scale invasion of China. Japan attacked US forces in 1941 – triggering America’s entry into World War II – and soon occupied much of East and Southeast Asia. After its defeat in World War II, Japan recovered to become an economic power and a staunch ally of the US. While the emperor retains his throne as a symbol of national unity, elected politicians – with heavy input from bureaucrats and business executives – wield actual decisionmaking power. The economy experienced a major slowdown starting in the 1990s following three decades of unprecedented growth, but Japan still remains a major economic power, both in Asia and globally.

:: Geography of Japan ::

Location: Eastern Asia, island chain between the North Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan, east of the Korean Peninsula

Geographic coordinates: 36 00 N, 138 00 E

Area:
total: 377,835 sq km
land: 374,744 sq km
water: 3,091 sq km
note: includes Bonin Islands (Ogasawara-gunto), Daito-shoto, Minami-jima, Okino-tori-shima, Ryukyu Islands (Nansei-shoto), and Volcano Islands (Kazan-retto)

Area – comparative: slightly smaller than California

Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 29,751 km

Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm; between 3 nm and 12 nm in the international straits – La Perouse or Soya, Tsugaru, Osumi, and Eastern and Western Channels of the Korea or Tsushima Strait, contiguous zone: 24 nm, exclusive economic zone: 200 nm.

Climate: varies from tropical in south to cool temperate in north
Terrain: mostly rugged and mountainous
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Hachiro-gata -4 m, highest point: Mount Fuji 3,776 m

Natural resources: negligible mineral resources, fish. Note: with virtually no energy natural resources, Japan is the world’s largest importer of coal and liquefied natural gas as well as the second largest importer of oil

Land use:
arable land: 11.64%
permanent crops: 0.9%
other: 87.46% (2005)

Natural hazards: many dormant and some active volcanoes; about 1,500 seismic occurrences (mostly tremors) every year; tsunamis; typhoons.

Environment – current issues: air pollution from power plant emissions results in acid rain; acidification of lakes and reservoirs degrading water quality and threatening aquatic life; Japan is one of the largest consumers of fish and tropical timber, contributing to the depletion of these resources in Asia and elsewhere

Environment – international agreements: party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling.

:: People of Japan ::

Population: 127,288,416 (July 2008 est

Age structure:
0-14 years: 13.7% (male 8,926,439/female 8,460,629)
15-64 years: 64.7% (male 41,513,061/female 40,894,057)
65 years and over: 21.6% (male 11,643,845/female 15,850,388) (2008 est.)

Median age:
total: 43.8 years
male: 42.1 years
female: 45.7 years (2008 est.)

Population growth rate: -0.139% (2008 est.)
Birth rate: 7.87 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate: 9.26 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate: NA (2008 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.74 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2008 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 2.8 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 3 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 2.58 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 82.07 years
male: 78.73 years
female: 85.59 years (2008 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.22 children born/woman (2008 est.)
HIV/AIDS – adult prévalence rate: less than 0.1% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS: 12,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS – deaths: 500 (2003 est.)

Nationality: noun: Japanese (singular and plural) adjective: Japanese
Ethnic groups: Japanese 98.5%, Koreans 0.5%, Chinese 0.4%, other 0.6% Note: up to 230,000 Brazilians of Japanese origin migrated to Japan in the 1990s to work in industries; some have returned to Brazil (2004)
Religions: observe both Shinto and Buddhist 84%, other 16% (inc. Christian 0.7%)

Languages: Japanese

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99% (2002)