Japan (GPS: 36 00 N, 138 00 E) located in Eastern Asia, an island chain between the North Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan, east of the Korean Peninsula. The country’s area measurements are total: 377,915 sq km; land: 364,485 sq km, water: 13,430 sq km. This sovereign state is slightly smaller than California. The total irrigated land is 24,690 sq km (2012).
One of the essential features of Japan: Strategic location in northeast Asia. They are composed of four main islands – from the north: Hokkaido, Honshu (the largest and most populous), Shikoku, and Kyushu (the “Home Islands”) – and 6,848 smaller islands and islets. Japan annually records the most earthquakes in the world. It is one of the countries along the Ring of Fire, a belt of active volcanoes and earthquake epicenters bordering the Pacific Ocean. Up to 90% of the world’s earthquakes and some 75% of the world’s volcanoes occur within the Ring of Fire.
It’s significant, and at the same time, the principal city, Tokyo’s GPS coordinates are 35 41 N 139 45 E. Tokyo’s local time is 14 hours ahead of Washington DC during Standard Time. The capital’s time difference: UTC+9.
In 1603, after decades of civil warfare, the Tokugawa shogunate (a military-led, dynastic government) ushered in a long period of relative political stability and isolation from foreign influence. For more than two centuries, this policy enabled Japan to enjoy a flowering of its indigenous culture. Japan opened its ports after signing the Treaty of Kanagawa with the US in 1854 and began to modernize and industrialize intensively. 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 an ally of the US. While the emperor retains his throne as a symbol of national unity, elected politicians hold actual decision-making power. Following three decades of unprecedented growth, Japan’s economy experienced a significant slowdown starting in the 1990s, but the country remains an economic power.
In March 2011, Japan’s strongest-ever earthquake, and an accompanying tsunami, devastated the northeast part of Honshu island, killed thousands, and damaged several nuclear power plants. The catastrophe hobbled the country’s economy and energy infrastructure and tested its ability to deal with humanitarian disasters. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was re-elected to office in December 2012 and has since embarked on ambitious economic and security reforms to improve Japan’s economy and bolster its international standing.
Japan’s names conventional long form: none, traditional short form: Japan, local long way: Nihon-koku/Nippon-koku, local transient state: Nihon/Nippon, etymology: the English word for Japan comes via the Chinese name for the country “Cipangu”; both Nihon and Nippon mean “where the sun originates” and are frequently translated as “Land of the rising sun.” The English word for Japan comes via the Chinese name for the country “Cipangu”; Both Nihon and Nippon mean “where the sun originates” and are frequently translated as “Land of the Rising Sun.”
Japan’s terrain is typically mostly rugged and mountainous. The country’s mean elevation: 438 m, elevation extremes; lowest point: Hachiro-gata -4 m, highest point: Mount Fuji 3,776 m.
The general climate in the country; varies from tropical in the south to cool temperate in the north.
The total number of border countries is 0; none are the neighboring nations with the indicated border lengths. Japan’s coastline is 29,751 km. At the same time, its marital claims are territorial sea: 12 nautical miles between 3 nautical miles and 12 nautical miles in the international straits – La Perouse or Soya, Tsugaru, Osumi, and Eastern and Western Channels of the Korea or Tsushima Straitcontiguous zone: 24 nautical miles, exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles. Waterways: 1,770 km (seagoing vessels use inland seas) (2010). Land use: agricultural land: 12.5%; arable land 11.7%; permanent crops 0.8%; permanent pasture 0%; forest: 68.5%; other: 19% (2011 estimate).
The population in Japan 126,168,156 (July 2018 estimate), urban population: 93.5% of total population (2015), central metropolitan area’s population: TOKYO (capital) 38.001 million; Osaka-Kobe 20.238 million; Nagoya 9.406 million; Kitakyushu-Fukuoka 5.51 million; Shizuoka-Hamamatsu 3.369 million; Sapporo 2.571 million (2015), while Japan has N/A. Their spoken languages are Japanese. Main religions in Japan are Shintoism 79.2%, Buddhism 66.8%, Christianity 1.5%, other 7.1%note: total adherents exceeds 100% because many people practice both Shintoism and Buddhism (2012 estimate). The nation uses civil law system based on the German model; the system also reflects Anglo-American influence and Japanese traditions, judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court. It is a(n) parliamentary constitutional monarchy, National holiday(s) Birthday of Emperor AKIHITO, 23 December (1933).
Economic overview for the country: Over the past 70 years, government-industry cooperation, a strong work ethic, mastery of high technology, and a comparatively small defense allocation (slightly less than 1% of GDP) have helped Japan develop an advanced economy. Two notable characteristics of the post-World War II economy were the close interlocking structures of manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors, known as keiretsu, and the guarantee of lifetime employment for a substantial portion of the urban labor force. Both features have significantly eroded under the dual pressures of global competition and domestic demographic change. Measured on a purchasing power parity basis that adjusts for price differences, Japan in 2017 stood as the fourth-largest economy in the world after first-place China, which surpassed Japan in 2001, and third-place India, which edged out Japan in 2012.
For three postwar decades, overall real economic growth was impressive – averaging 10% in the 1960s, 5% in the 1970s, and 4% in the 1980s. Growth slowed markedly in the 1990s, averaging just 1.7%, mainly because of the aftereffects of inefficient investment and the collapse of an asset price bubble in the late 1980s, which resulted in several years of economic stagnation as firms sought to reduce excess debt, capital, and labor. Modest economic growth continued after 2000, but the economy has fallen into recession four times since 2008. Japan enjoyed an uptick in development since 2013, supported by Prime Minister Shinzo ABE’s “Three Arrows” economic revitalization agenda – dubbed “Abenomics” – of monetary easing, “flexible” fiscal policy, and structural reform. Led by the Bank of Japan’s aggressive monetary easing, Japan is making modest progress in ending deflation. Still, demographic decline, a low birthrate, and an aging, shrinking population poses a major long-term challenge for the economy.
The government currently faces the difficulty of balancing its efforts to stimulate growth and institute economic reforms with the need to address its sizable public debt, which stands at 235% of GDP. To help raise government revenue, Japan adopted legislation in 2012 to gradually raise the consumption tax rate. However, the first such increase, in April 2014, led to a sharp contraction, so Prime Minister ABE has twice postponed the next expansion, which is now scheduled for October 2019. Structural reforms to unlock productivity are seen as central to strengthening the economy in the long-run. Scarce in critical natural resources, Japan has long been dependent on imported energy and raw materials. After the complete shutdown of Japan’s nuclear reactors following the earthquake and tsunami disaster in 2011, Japan’s industrial sector has become even more dependent than before on imported fossil fuels. However, ABE’s government seeks to restart nuclear power plants that meet strict new safety standards and emphasize atomic energy’s importance as a base-load electricity source. In August 2015, Japan successfully restarted one nuclear reactor at the Sendai Nuclear Power Plant in Kagoshima prefecture. Several other reactors worldwide have since resumed operations; however, opposition from local governments has delayed several more restarts that remain pending.
Reforms of the electricity and gas sectors, including full liberalization of Japan’s energy market in April 2016 and the gas market in April 2017, constitute an essential part of Prime Minister Abe’s economic program. Under the Abe Administration, Japan’s government sought to open the country’s economy to greater foreign competition and create new export opportunities for Japanese businesses, including joining 11 trading partners in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Japan became the first country to ratify the TPP in December 2016, but the United States signaled its withdrawal from the agreement in January 2017. In November 2017, the remaining 11 countries agreed on a modified agreement’s core elements, which they renamed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Japan also reached a deal with the European Union on an Economic Partnership Agreement in July 2017 and is likely to ratify both agreements in the Diet this year.
Natural resources of Japan: negligible mineral resources, fish. Note: with virtually no natural energy resources, Japan is the world’s largest importer of coal and liquefied natural gas and the second-largest importer of oil.
Main export partners for Japan, Asia are US 20.2%, China 17.5%, South Korea 7.1%, Hong Kong 5.6%, Thailand 4.5% (2015) for motor vehicles 14.9%; iron and steel products 5.4%; semiconductors 5%; auto parts 4.8%; power generating machinery 3.5%; plastic materials 3.3% (2014 estimate), while the main import partners for the country are: China 24.8%, US 10.5%, Australia 5.4%, South Korea 4.1% (2015) for petroleum 16.1%; liquid natural gas 9.1%; clothing 3.8%; semiconductors 3.3%; coal 2.4%; audio and visual apparatus 1.4% (2014 estimate).
When you visit this country in Asia, consider the natural hazards in Japan: Many dormant and some active volcanoes, about 1,500 seismic occurrences (mostly tremors but occasional severe earthquakes) every year, tsunamis, typhoonsvolcanism: both Unzen (elevation 1,500 m) and Sakura-jima (elevation 1,117 m), which lies near the densely populated city of Kagoshima, have been deemed Decade Volcanoes by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior, worthy of study due to their tumultuous history and proximity to human populations, other notable historically active volcanoes include Asama, Honshu Island’s most active volcano, Aso, Bandai, Fuji, Iwo-Jima, Kikai, Kirishima, Komaga-take, Oshima, Suwanosejima, Tokachi, Yake-dake, and Usu, while infectious diseases are N/A.
Also, note that Japan faces the following environmental 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, Following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, Japan originally planned to phase out nuclear power, but it has now implemented a new policy of seeking to restart nuclear power plants that meet strict new safety standards, waste management is an ongoing issue, Japanese municipal facilities used to burn high volumes of trash, but air pollution issues forced the government to adopt an aggressive recycling policy.
You may also be interested in Japan’s surrounding countries around its 0 km border – No border countries.