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  Introduction
  Geography
  People
  Government
  Economy
  Communications
  Transportation
  Military
  Transnational Issues

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Map of Japan

DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Japan
Background:
Definition Field Listing
In 1603, a Tokugawa shogunate (military dictatorship) ushered in a long period of isolation from foreign influence in order to secure its power. For 250 years this policy enabled Japan to enjoy stablity and a flowering of its indigenous culture. Following the Treaty of Kanagawa with the United States 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 1933 Manchuria was occupied and in 1937 a full-scale invasion of China was launched. 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, actual power rests in networks of powerful politicians, bureaucrats, and business executives. The economy experienced a major slowdown starting in the 1990s following three decades of unprecedented growth.

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   Geography    Japan
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Eastern Asia, island chain between the North Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan, east of the Korean Peninsula
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
36 00 N, 138 00 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Asia
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
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:
Definition Field Listing
slightly smaller than California
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
0 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
29,751 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
varies from tropical in south to cool temperate in north
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
mostly rugged and mountainous
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Hachiro-gata -4 m
highest point: Mount Fuji 3,776 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
negligible mineral resources, fish
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 12.19%
permanent crops: 0.96%
other: 86.85% (2001)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
26,790 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
many dormant and some active volcanoes; about 1,500 seismic occurrences (mostly tremors) every year; tsunamis; typhoons
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
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
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
strategic location in northeast Asia

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   People    Japan
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
127,333,002 (July 2004 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 14.3% (male 9,337,867; female 8,876,996)
15-64 years: 66.7% (male 42,697,264; female 42,196,835)
65 years and over: 19% (male 10,169,190; female 14,054,850) (2004 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 42.3 years
male: 40.5 years
female: 44.1 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.08% (2004 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
9.56 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
8.75 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.72 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 3.28 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 3.54 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 81.04 years
male: 77.74 years
female: 84.51 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.38 children born/woman (2004 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
less than 0.1% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
12,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
500 (2003 est.)
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Japanese (singular and plural)
adjective: Japanese
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Japanese 99%, others 1% (Korean 511,262, Chinese 244,241, Brazilian 182,232, Filipino 89,851, other 237,914)
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:
Definition Field Listing
observe both Shinto and Buddhist 84%, other 16% (including Christian 0.7%)
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
Japanese
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99% (2002)

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   Government    Japan
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Japan
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary government
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Tokyo
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
47 prefectures; Aichi, Akita, Aomori, Chiba, Ehime, Fukui, Fukuoka, Fukushima, Gifu, Gumma, Hiroshima, Hokkaido, Hyogo, Ibaraki, Ishikawa, Iwate, Kagawa, Kagoshima, Kanagawa, Kochi, Kumamoto, Kyoto, Mie, Miyagi, Miyazaki, Nagano, Nagasaki, Nara, Niigata, Oita, Okayama, Okinawa, Osaka, Saga, Saitama, Shiga, Shimane, Shizuoka, Tochigi, Tokushima, Tokyo, Tottori, Toyama, Wakayama, Yamagata, Yamaguchi, Yamanashi
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
660 BC (traditional founding by Emperor Jimmu)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Birthday of Emperor AKIHITO, 23 December (1933)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
3 May 1947
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
modeled after European civil law system with English-American influence; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
20 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: Emperor AKIHITO (since 7 January 1989)
head of government: Prime Minister Junichiro KOIZUMI (since 26 April 2001)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; the Diet designates the prime minister; the constitution requires that the prime minister must command a parliamentary majority; therefore, following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of a majority coalition in the House of Representatives usually becomes prime minister
note: following the resignation of Prime Minister Yoshiro MORI, Junichiro KOIZUMI was elected as the new president of the majority Liberal Democratic Party and soon thereafter designated by the Diet to become the prime minister
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
bicameral Diet or Kokkai consists of the House of Councillors or Sangi-in (242 seats - members elected for six-year terms; half reelected every three years; 144 members in multi-seat constituencies and 98 by proportional representation); House of Representatives or Shugi-in (480 seats - members elected for four-year terms; 300 in single-seat constituencies; 180 members by proportional representation in 11 regional blocs)
elections: House of Councillors - last held 11 July 2004 (next to be held in July 2007); House of Representatives - last held 9 November 2003 (next election by November 2007)
election results: House of Councillors - percent of vote by party - LPD 47.52%, DPJ 33.89%, Komeito 9.92%, JCP 3.72%, SDP 2.07%, others 2.88%; seats by party - LDP 115, DPJ 82, Komeito 24, JCP 9, SDP 5, others 7
: House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - LDP 49.38%, DPJ 36.88%, Komeito 7.09%, JCP 1.88%, SDP 1.25%, NCP .84%; seats by party - LDP 237, DPJ 177, Komeito 34, JCP 9, SDP 6, NCP 4, others 13; distribution of seats as of 13 November 2003 was: LDP 244, DPJ 177, Komeito 34, JCP 9, SDP 6, others 10
note: the Liberal Party merged with the Democratic Party of Japan in September 2003; the New Conservative Party merged with the Liberal Democratic Party following the election in November 2003 (2004)
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Supreme Court (chief justice is appointed by the monarch after designation by the cabinet; all other justices are appointed by the cabinet)
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Democratic Party of Japan or DPJ [Katsuya OKADA, leader; Hirohisa FUJII, secretary general]; Japan Communist Party or JCP [Kazuo SHII, chairman; Tadayoshi ICHIDA, secretary general]; Komeito [Takenori KANZAKI, president; Tetsuzo FUYUSHIBA, secretary general]; Liberal Democratic Party or LDP [Junichiro KOIZUMI, president; Shinzo ABE, secretary general]; Social Democratic Party or SDP [Mizuho FUKUSHIMA, chairperson; Seiji MATAICHI, secretary general]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
NA
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
AfDB, APEC, ARF, AsDB, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, CE (observer), CERN (observer), CP, EBRD, FAO, G-5, G-7, G-8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, NAM (guest), NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE (partner), Paris Club, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNMISET, UNMOVIC, UNRWA, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Ryozo KATO
chancery: 2520 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 238-6700
FAX: [1] (202) 328-2187
consulate(s) general: Anchorage, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Hagatna (Guam), Honolulu, Houston, Kansas City (Missouri), Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Portland (Oregon), San Francisco, and Seattle
consulate(s): Saipan (Northern Mariana Islands)
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Howard H. BAKER, Jr.
embassy: 10-5 Akasaka 1-chome, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-8420
mailing address: Unit 45004, Box 258, APO AP 96337-5004
telephone: [81] (03) 3224-5000
FAX: [81] (03) 3505-1862
consulate(s) general: Naha (Okinawa), Osaka-Kobe, Sapporo
consulate(s): Fukuoka, Nagoya
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
white with a large red disk (representing the sun without rays) in the center

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   Economy    Japan
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
Government-industry cooperation, a strong work ethic, mastery of high technology, and a comparatively small defense allocation (1% of GDP) helped Japan advance with extraordinary rapidity to the rank of second most technologically-powerful economy in the world after the US and third-largest economy after the US and China. One notable characteristic of the economy is the working together of manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors in closely-knit groups called keiretsu. A second basic feature has been the guarantee of lifetime employment for a substantial portion of the urban labor force. Both features are now eroding. Industry, the most important sector of the economy, is heavily dependent on imported raw materials and fuels. The much smaller agricultural sector is highly subsidized and protected, with crop yields among the highest in the world. Usually self-sufficient in rice, Japan must import about 50% of its requirements of other grain and fodder crops. Japan maintains one of the world's largest fishing fleets and accounts for nearly 15% of the global catch. For three decades overall real economic growth had been spectacular: a 10% average in the 1960s, a 5% average in the 1970s, and a 4% average in the 1980s. Growth slowed markedly in the 1990s, averaging just 1.7%, largely because of the after effects of overinvestment during the late 1980s and contractionary domestic policies intended to wring speculative excesses from the stock and real estate markets. Government efforts to revive economic growth have met with little success and were further hampered in 2000-2003 by the slowing of the US, European, and Asian economies. Japan's huge government debt, which is approaching 150% of GDP, and the ageing of the population are two major long-run problems. Robotics constitutes a key long-term economic strength with Japan possessing 410,000 of the world's 720,000 "working robots." Internal conflict over the proper way to reform the ailing banking system continues.
GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $3.582 trillion (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.7% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $28,200 (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 1.3%
industry: 25.4%
services: 73.3% (2003 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
23.9% of GDP (2003)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 4.8%
highest 10%: 21.7% (1993)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
24.9 (1993)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
-0.3% (2003 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
66.66 million (2003)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture 5%, industry 25%, services 70% (2002 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.3% (2003)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $1.327 trillion
expenditures: $1.646 trillion, including capital expenditures (public works only) of about $71 billion (2003 est.)
Public debt:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
154.6% of GDP (2003)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
rice, sugar beets, vegetables, fruit, pork, poultry, dairy products, eggs, fish
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
among world's largest and technologically advanced producers of motor vehicles, electronic equipment, machine tools, steel and nonferrous metals, ships, chemicals, textiles, processed foods
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.3% (2003 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.037 trillion kWh (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
964.2 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
17,330 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.29 million bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
93,360 bbl/day (2001)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.449 million bbl/day (2001)
Oil - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
29.29 million bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.519 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
80.42 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
77.73 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
20.02 billion cu m (1 January 2002)
Current account balance:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$135.9 billion (2003)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$447.1 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
motor vehicles, semiconductors, office machinery, chemicals
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 24.8%, China 12.1%, South Korea 7.3%, Taiwan 6.6%, Hong Kong 6.3% (2003 est.)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$346.6 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
machinery and equipment, fuels, foodstuffs, chemicals, textiles, raw materials (2001)
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
China 19.7%, US 15.6%, South Korea 4.7%, Indonesia 4.3% (2003 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange & gold:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$664.6 billion (2003)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2002 est.)
Economic aid - donor:
Definition Field Listing
ODA, $7 billion (FY03/04)
Currency:
Definition Field Listing
yen (JPY)
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
JPY
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
yen per US dollar - 115.933 (2003), 125.388 (2002), 121.529 (2001), 107.765 (2000), 113.907 (1999)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
1 April - 31 March

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   Communications    Japan
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
71.149 million (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
86,658,600 (2003)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: excellent domestic and international service
domestic: high level of modern technology and excellent service of every kind
international: country code - 81; satellite earth stations - 5 Intelsat (4 Pacific Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean), 1 Intersputnik (Indian Ocean region), and 1 Inmarsat (Pacific and Indian Ocean regions); submarine cables to China, Philippines, Russia, and US (via Guam) (1999)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 215 plus 370 repeaters, FM 89 plus 485 repeaters, shortwave 21 (2001)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
211 plus 7,341 repeaters
note: in addition, US Forces are served by 3 TV stations and 2 TV cable services (1999)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.jp
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
12,962,065 (2003)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
57.2 million (2002)

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   Transportation    Japan
Railways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 23,705 km (16,519 km electrified)
standard gauge: 3,204 km 1.435-m gauge (3,204 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 77 km 1.372-m gauge (77 km electrified); 20,393 km 1.067-m gauge (13,227 km electrified); 11 km 0.762-m gauge (11 km electrified) (2003)
Highways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 1,161,894 km
paved: 534,471 km (including 6,455 km of expressways)
unpaved: 627,423 km (1999)
Waterways:
Definition Field Listing
1,770 km (seagoing vessels use inland seas) (2004)
Pipelines:
Definition Field Listing
gas 2,719 km; oil 170 km; oil/gas/water 60 km (2003)
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Akita, Amagasaki, Chiba, Hachinohe, Hakodate, Higashi-Harima, Himeji, Hiroshima, Kawasaki, Kinuura, Kobe, Kushiro, Mizushima, Moji, Nagoya, Osaka, Sakai, Sakaide, Shimizu, Tokyo, Tomakomai
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
total: 568 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 10,149,196 GRT/12,680,544 DWT
by type: bulk 113, cargo 39, chemical tanker 18, combination bulk 31, combination ore/oil 1, container 14, liquefied gas 53, passenger 8, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 170, refrigerated cargo 6, roll on/roll off 58, short-sea/passenger 7, vehicle carrier 49
foreign-owned: China 1, Panama 1, Philippines 1, Singapore 1
registered in other countries: 1,989 (2003 est.)
Airports:
Definition Field Listing
174 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 143
over 3,047 m: 7
2,438 to 3,047 m: 37
1,524 to 2,437 m: 39
914 to 1,523 m: 28
under 914 m: 32 (2003 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 31
over 3047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 26 (2003 est.)
Heliports:
Definition Field Listing
15 (2003 est.)

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   Military    Japan
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Ground Self-Defense Force (Army), Maritime Self-Defense Force (Navy), Air Self-Defense Force (Air Force), Coast Guard
Military manpower - military age:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age (2004 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 29,179,095 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 25,189,438 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males: 700,931 (2004 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$42,488.1 million (2003)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1% (2003)

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   Transnational Issues    Japan
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
The sovereignty dispute over the islands of Etorofu, Kunashiri, and Shikotan, and the Habomai group, known in Japan as the "Northern Territories" and in Russia as the "Southern Kuril Islands", occupied by the Soviet Union in 1945, now administered by Russia and claimed by Japan, remains the primary sticking point to signing a peace treaty formally ending World War II hostilities; intensified media coverage and protests highlight dispute over the fishing-rich Liancourt Rocks (Take-shima/Tok-do) also claimed by South Korea; China and Taiwan have intensified their claims to the Senkaku Islands (Diaoyu Tai) administered by Japan

Large portions of this information is from the US government open source publication "The World Factbook", other content copyright © Stratus-Pikpuk, Inc. You may use this information without permission for educational or other non-profit purposes if you refer to us as the source, contact us if you want to use this commercially.


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