Japan country profile

Engaging and Exciting Japan
Engaging and Exciting Japan
Engaging and Exciting Japan
Engaging and Exciting Japan
Engaging and Exciting JapanJapan is a country located in the eastern part of Asia and is one of the most technologically advanced countries in the region. This archipelago consists of 6,852 islands and is sometimes called the “Land of the Rising Sun”.

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Engaging and Exciting Japan

Japan is a country located in the eastern part of Asia and is one of the most technologically advanced countries in the region. This archipelago consists of 6,852 islands and is sometimes called the “Land of the Rising Sun.” This moniker was given to the country due to the meaning associated with the Japanese characters that make up the country’s name, which is sun-origin. It has been said that Japan is one of the many countries in the region to have been populated early on, with mention of this country found in ancient Chinese texts that date as far back as first century AD.

Today, Japan is considered one of the world’s major economic powers, ranking third worldwide in terms of nominal GDP and fourth in terms of purchasing power parity. The country also earned the distinction of being the country that has people that expect to enjoy the longest life expectancy worldwide and ranks third lowest when it comes to infant mortality rate.


Japan and Its Geographical Statistics


Map References:




Cool temperate in the northern regions and tropical in the southern regions



Mostly mountainous and rugged


Elevation Extremes:

Highest point:

Mt. Fujiyama


Lowest point:


Land Use:

Permanent crops:



Arable land:





Natural Resources:

Fish and negligible mineral resources


Natural Hazards:

A few active and many dormant volcanoes; regular seismic occurrences; typhoons and tsunamis



International agreements:

Party to a number of international agreements like Antarctic seals, biodiversity, desertification, climate change and many more


Current Issues:

Air pollution and the resultant acid rain; degrading water quality that leads to the continuing threat to aquatic life






Political Geography

Located in the east of the Asian continent and in the Pacific Ocean, Japan is found in the Sea of Japan. Its neighbors to the west consist of South Korea, North Korea, China, and Russia while its neighbors to the southwest include the Philippine Islands and Taiwan. Directly south of Japan is Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. The country has almost 7,000 islands; however, 97% of Japan’s land area is distributed among its 4 biggest islands, which are Shikoku, Kyushu, Hokkaido, and Honshu. The country’s capital city of Tokyo is on Honshu, which incidentally houses over 30 million residents and is considered the world’s largest metropolitan area.

The country is located right within the Pacific’s Volcanic Ring of Fire, which accounts for why earthquakes and tremors are a natural occurrence. With 108 active volcanoes and numerous subducting plates underneath the island, most of the structures in the country have been designed and constructed to withstand the constant shaking and movement of the ground.


Landscape and Climate

Japan is a country that has a number of different climactic zones, depending on where you are situated in the country. If you are up north, you can expect to have warm to cool summers and long cold winters due to its humid continental climate. Those along the west coast experience cooler summers than most of the islands in the Pacific and heavy snowfall during the winter months. Central highlands residents go through humid, continental climes with big differences in temperatures between winter and summer as well as between day and night being experienced as well.

While Japan consists mostly of mountainous and rugged terrain, it still is one of the most developed countries around in terms of urbanization and infrastructure. That does not mean however that the country is devoid of forested areas and protected environs. Japan has quite a lot of national parks, wetland sites and forests that serve to house and protect around 90,000 wildlife species. Since 1970, the government has been careful about keeping pollution and environmentally damaging activities to a minimum, and the country is one of the leaders in innovating environment-friendly technology worldwide.


Political and Governmental Facts on Hong Kong


Government Type:

Constitutional Monarchy with Parliamentary Government


Country Name:

Long form (conventional)



Short form (conventional)



Long form (local)

Nihon-koku or Nippon-koku


Short form (local)

Nihon or Nippon





Constitution of May 3, 1947


Administrative Divisions:

47 Prefectures


Executive Body:

Chief of State (emperor), Head of Government (prime minister), Cabinet (prime minister appointed)


Legislative Body:

Bicameral Diet that consists of House of Councilors and House of Representatives


Judicial Body:

Supreme Court






Japan is a country that has a constitutional monarchy type of government where the emperor has very limited power and is considered a ceremonial figurehead that serves to be the symbol of the unity of the people and of the state. The prime minister of Japan is the one that has the governing power along with the elected members of the Bicameral Diet. Japan’s current emperor is Akihito, and his son Naruhito is next in line being the crown prince of the country. The bicameral parliament, which consists of the House of Representatives and the House of Councilors are elected by popular vote, and this election happens every four years and six years respectively.

The country’s judiciary system is influenced greatly by Chinese law. This is also influenced by the judicial systems of countries such as Germany and the civil law of Europe. The court system in the nation is separated into four tiers with the Supreme Court at the very top and three lower courts at the bottom completing the judiciary system.


Japan’s Economy


GDP (Purchasing Power Parity)

US$4.389 trillion (2011 est.)

GDP (Official Exchange rate)

US$5.855 trillion (2011 est.)

GDP Real Growth Rate

-0.5% (2011 est.)

Labor Force:

65.93 million (2011 est.)

Unemployment Rate:

4.6% (2011 est.)


expenditures: $2.495 trillion
revenues: $1.97 trillion (2011 est.)

Public Debt:

208.2% of GDP (2011 est.)




Japan is considered the third largest economy worldwide, following closely behind the U.S. and China when it comes to nominal GDP. In terms of purchasing power parity, it is fourth in rank behind the U.S., China, and India. The country experienced a period of real growth in the 1960s up to the 1990s. This however slowed down in the last decade in what is called the Lost Decade, and efforts made by the government to turn this around in the following decade proved somewhat futile due to the worldwide economic slowdown. It did however show signs of rebounding after 2005 but this was also cut short when the 2008 global economic crisis kicked in.


People and Culture

Japan has a population of 127.3 million with majority of this number living on the island of Honshu. Thirty million people are estimated to be living in the prefecture of Tokyo. The country is home to mostly ethnic Japanese and a few communities of foreign workers that come from all over the world. You can also find mixed minorities of Japanese mixed with different nationalities like Filipinos, Brazilians, Koreans, Chinese, and Peruvians.

People in the country enjoy true religious freedom; however, it has been noted that a huge number of the populace says they do not believe in any religion. Majority of the population that follows a particular religion either belongs to the Shinto religion or Buddhism. There are also a few people who follow Taoism, Confucianism, Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, and Judaism.

Food in this country is popular around the world. The cuisine of Japan revolves mainly around staple foods like noodles and rice being combined with vegetable, fish, or tofu dishes and with a soup. Japanese cuisine focuses on the seasonality of food, presentation, and the quality of the ingredients used.

Japanese culture is also popular worldwide, with people indulging in collecting Japanese artwork and crafts that include ceramics, lacquerware, textiles, dolls, and swords. Performing arts like kabuki, dance, bunraku, and rakugo as well as traditional practices like ikebana, martial arts, tea ceremonies, and many more capture the attention of people both within the country and outside.