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Background: 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 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, 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, but Japan still remains a major economic power, both in Asia and globally. In 2005, Japan began a two-year term as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.
Common Name: Japan Local Official Name: nippon
Abbreviated Name: Japan Official Name: Nippon-koku
Official Script Name: Japan Local Common Name: Japan
Former Name: Japan Territory of: NA
Head of State: Emperor AKIHITO
Government Type: constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary government
Independence: 660 BC (traditional founding by Emperor Jimmu)
Constitution: 1947 May 3
National Holiday: Birthday of Emperor AKIHITO, 23 December
International Organization Participation: AfDB, APEC, APT, ARF, AsDB, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, CE (observer), CERN (observer), CP, EAS, 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, IPU, ISO, ITU, LAIA, MIGA, NAM (guest), NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE (partner), Paris Club, PCA, PIF (partner), SAARC (observer), UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNMOVIC, UNRWA, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO, ZC
Administrative Divisions: 47 prefectures; Aichi, Akita, Aomori, Chiba, Ehime, Fukui, Fukuoka, Fukushima, Gifu, Gunma, 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
Dependent Areas: NA
Legal System: 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: 20 years
Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches: Executive Branch: Chief of state: Emperor AKIHITO (since 7 January 1989) head of government: Prime Minister Shinzo ABE (since 26 September 2006) Cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister Elections: Diet designates prime minister; constitution requires that prime minister commands parliamentary majority; following legislative elections, leader of majority party or leader of majority coalition in House of Representatives usually becomes prime minister; monarch is hereditary Election results: ABE was elected prime minister with 339 of 476 votes cast in the House of Representatives and 136 of 240 votes cast in the House of Councilors. Legislative Branch: 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; 146 members in multi-seat constituencies and 96 by proportional representation) and the 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 11 September 2005 (next election by September 2009) election results: House of Councillors - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - LDP 115, DPJ 82, Komeito 24, JCP 9, SDP 5, others 7; distribution of seats as of January 2006 - LDP 112, DPJ 83, Komeito 24, JCP 9, SDP 6, others 8 : House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - LDP 47.8%, DPJ 36.4%, others 15.8%; seats by party - LDP 296, DPJ 113, Komeito 31, JCP 9, SDP 7, others 24; distribution of seats as of January 2006 - LDP 294, DPJ 112, Komeito 31, JCP 9, SDP 7, others 27 Judicial Branch: Supreme Court (chief justice is appointed by the monarch after designation by the cabinet; all other justices are appointed by the cabinet)
Party Leaders: Democratic Party of Japan or DPJ [Ichiro OZAWA]; Japan Communist Party or JCP [Kazuo SHII]; Komeito [Akihoro OTA]; Liberal Democratic Party or LDP [Shinzo ABE]; Social Democratic Party or SDP [Mizuho FUKUSHIMA]
International Disputes: 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; Japan and South Korea claim Liancourt Rocks (Take-shima/Tok-do) occupied by South Korea since 1954; China and Taiwan dispute both Japan's claims to the uninhabited islands of the Senkaku-shoto (Diaoyu Tai) and Japan's unilaterally declared exclusive economic zone in the East China Sea, the site of intensive hydrocarbon prospecting
Illicit Drugs: NA 
  Japan Facts |  Japan Information | Japan Statistics  
Location of Japan: Eastern Asia, island chain between the North Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan, east of the Korean Peninsula
Continent: Asia Land Area Total: 377,835 sq km 
Region: North East Asia Land Area Land: 374,744 sq km
Capitol City: Tokyo Land Area Water: 3,091 sq km
Latitude: 036 00 N Border Boundary Land: 0 km
Longitude: 138 00 E Border Boundary Coastline: 29,751 km 
Arable Land: 11.64 % Pastures: 0.00 %
Crops: 0.90 % Woodlands and Forests: 0.00
Highest Elevation: 3,776 m Location: Mount Fuji
Lowest Elevation: -4 m Location: Hachiro-gata
Largest City in Japan: Tokyo Tokyo Largest City Population: 26,356,000
Threatened Species: 177
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
Environmental 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
Irrigated Land: 25,920
Bordering Countries: NA
Natural Resources: negligible mineral resources, fish
Geographical Terrain: mostly rugged and mountainous
Comparative Area of Japan: slightly smaller than California
Japan's Geography: strategic location in northeast Asia

  Japan Facts |  Japan Information | Japan Statistics  
General Climate: varies from tropical in south to cool temperate in north
Natural Hazards: many dormant and some active volcanoes; about 1,500 seismic occurrences (mostly tremors) every year; tsunamis; typhoons
  Japan Facts |  Japan Information | Japan Statistics  
Economic Overview: 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 the third-largest economy in the world after the US and China, measured on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis. One notable characteristic of the economy is how manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors work together 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. Japan's industrial sector is heavily dependent on imported raw materials and fuels. The tiny 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 60% of its food on a caloric basis. 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 and to force a restructuring of the economy. From 2000 to 2003, government efforts to revive economic growth met with little success and were further hampered by the slowing of the US, European, and Asian economies. In 2004 and 2005, growth improved and the lingering fears of deflation in prices and economic activity lessened. Japan's huge government debt, which totals 170% of GDP, and the aging of the population are two major long-run problems. Some fear that a rise in taxes could endanger the current economic recovery. Internal conflict over the proper way to reform the financial system will continue as Japan Post's banking, insurance, and delivery services undergo privatization between 2007 and 2017.
GDP: $401,800,000,000 USD Currency: yen
GDP per Capita: $31,500 USD Currency Code: JPY
GDP Growth Rate: 2.70 %
Currency Exchange Rate History: yen per US dollar - 110.22 (2005), 108.19 (2004), 115.93 (2003), 125.39 (2002), 121.53 (2001)
GDP of Agriculture: 1.70 % GDP of Industry: 25.80 %
GDP of Services: 72.50 %  
Inflation Rate: -0.30 % Population in Poverty: 0.00 %
Unemployment Rate: 4.40 % Tourism: 4,438,000.00 visitors each year
Consumption by lowest 10%: 4.80 % Budget Revenue in USD: $1,429,000,000,000 USD
Consumption by upper 10%: 21.70 % Budget Expenditures in USD: $1,775,000,000,000 USD
Electricity Production: 1,017,000,000,000 kWh Electricity Exports: 0 kWh
Electricity Consumption: 946,300,000,000 kWh Electricity Imports: 0 kWh

Electricity Production by Source:
Fossil Fuel Electricity Production: 60.69% Nuclear Electricity Production: 28.95%
Hydro Electricity Production: 8.54% Other Electricity Production: 1.82%
Oil Production: 120,700 barrels per day Natural Gas Production: 2,814,000,000 cu m
Oil Consumption: 5,578,000 barrels per day Natural Gas Consumption: 86,510,000,000 cu m
Oil Exports: 93,360 barrels per day Natural Gas Exports: 0 cu m
Oil Imports: 5,449,000 barrels per day Natural Gas Imports: 77,730,000,000 cu m
Proven Oil Reserves: 29,290,000 barrels Proven Natural Gas Reserves: 39,640,000,000 cu m
External Debt: $1,545,000,000,000 USD Received in economic aid: $8,900,000,000 USD
  Donated in economic aid: $9,100,000,000 USD
Agricultural Products: rice, sugar beets, vegetables, fruit; pork, poultry, dairy products, eggs; fish
Primary Industries: 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 Growth Rate: 1.50 %
Import Amount in USD: $451,100,000 USD - machinery and equipment, fuels, foodstuffs, chemicals, textiles, raw materials
Import Partners: China 21%, US 12.7%, Saudi Arabia 5.5%, UAE 4.9%, Australia 4.7%, South Korea 4.7%, Indonesia 4%
Export Amount in USD: $550,500,000,000 USD - transport equipment, motor vehicles, semiconductors, electrical machinery, chemicals
Export Partners: US 22.9%, China 13.4%, South Korea 7.8%, Taiwan 7.3%, Hong Kong 6.1%
GINI Index: 37.90%
Labor Force Number of People: 66,400,000
Labor Force by Occupations: services 67.7%, industry 27.8%, agriculture 4.6%
  Japan Facts |  Japan Information | Japan Statistics  
Radio Broadcast Stations: 325 Number of People with Radios: 120,500,000
Television Broadcast Stations: 211 Number of People with Televisions: 86,500,000
Number of People with Mainline Telephones: 58,788,000 Number of People with Mobile Phones: 91,473,900
Internet Service Providers: 21,304,292 Internet Users: 86,300,000
Internet Country Code: .jp Newspapers: 578
Two Letter Country Code: JA Weights and Measures:
Phone Country Code: 81 Electricity Voltage: Volts
Telephone Systems: 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)
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Highways: 925,000 km Railways: 26,556 km
Gas And Oil Pipelines: 2,949 km Waterways: 1,770 km
Airports: 145 Heliports: 15
Motor Vehicles: 554 per 1,000 people CO2 Emissions: 1,230,831,000 Metric Tons of CO2 per year
  Per capita CO2 emissions: 9.20 Metric Tons of CO2 per year
Merchant Marines: total: 683 ships (1000 GRT or over) 10,415,892 GRT/11,765,038 DWT by type: bulk carrier 134, cargo 30, chemical tanker 20, container 11, liquefied gas 59, passenger 14, passenger/cargo 149, petroleum tanker 156, refrigerated cargo 3, roll on/roll off 51, vehicle carrier 56 registered in other countries: 2,459 (Australia 1, Bahamas 51, Belize 2, Burma 4, Cambodia 4, Cayman Islands 1, China 3, Cyprus 17, French Southern and Antarctic Lands 4, Honduras 4, Hong Kong 67, Indonesia 3, Isle of Man 4, South Korea 1, Liberia 102, Malaysia 4, Malta 1, Marshall Islands 7, Mongolia 1, Norway 1, Panama 2007, Philippines 26, Portugal 9, Singapore 100, Sweden 2, Thailand 4, Vanuatu 28, unknown 1)
Ports and Harbors: Chiba, Kawasaki, Kiire, Kisarazu, Kobe, Mizushima, Nagoya, Osaka, Tokyo, Yohohama
  Japan Facts |  Japan Information | Japan Statistics  
Population: 127,463,611 people type - nationality Birth Rate: 9.37 births per 1,000 people
Population Density: 338.00 people per sq km Death Rate: 9.16 deaths per 1,000 people
Population Growth: 0.02% per year Fertility Rate per Women: 1.40 babies born per woman
Population Male 0-14: 9,309,524 Population Female 0-14: 8,849,476
Population Male 15-64: 42,158,122 Population Female 15-64: 41,611,754
Population Male 65+: 10,762,585 Population Female 65+: 14,772,150
Population 0-14: 14.20% Literacy Rate: 99.00%
Population 15-64: 65.70% Literacy rate of Males: 99.00%
Population 65+: 20.00% Literacy rate of Females: 99.00%
Population that is Male: 52.50 % Population that is Female: 47.50%
Life expectancy at birth in years: 81.25 years Infant mortality rate - baby deaths per 1000 births: 3.24 Babies die per 1,000 births
Life expectancy at birth for Males: 77.96 years Life expectancy at birth for Females: 84.70 years
Rate of AIDS/HIV infection: 0.10% Number of people living with AIDS or HIV: 12,000
Number of people who died of AIDS: 500
Disease Risk:
Net Migration Rate per 1,000 people: 0.00
Nationality: JAPANESE
Ethnic Groups: 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 
Primary Language: Japanese
Other Languages: Japanese
Primary Religion: Shinto and Buddhist
Other Religions: other 16% (including Christian 0.7%)
  Japan Facts |  Japan Information | Japan Statistics  
Branches: Japanese Defense Agency (JDA): Ground Self-Defense Force (Rikujou Jietai, GSDF), Maritime Self-Defense Force (Kaijou Jietai, MSDF), Air Self-Defense Force (Koukuu Jietai, ASDF)
Manpower Fit to Serve: 18 years
Manpower Available: 53,156,594 People
Manpower Fit to Serve: 43,729,610 People
Amount of Manpower Available each Year: 1,333,304 People per year
Expenditures: $44,310,000,000 USD per year
Expenditures as a Percentage of GDP: 1.00
Note: Phrasebase uses a variety of sources when compiling the facts and information presented above. This information is continually updated throughout the year.
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