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Japan
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{{about|the country|other uses|Japan (disambiguation)}}{{redirect|Nippon}}{{pp-semi-indef}}{{pp-move-indef}}{{short description|Constitutional monarchy in East Asia}}{{Use American English|date=August 2017}}{{Use mdy dates|date=January 2018}}







factoids
{{smallNippon}} {{small>or}} {{small|Nihon}}| image_flag = Flag of Japan.svgQUOTE=THE RISING SUN FLAG AND "KIMI GA YO" ARE RESPECTIVELY THE NATIONAL FLAG AND ANTHEM OF JAPAN. THIS WAS FORMALIZED IN 1999 WITH THE LAW REGARDING THE NATIONAL FLAG AND NATIONAL ANTHEM., January 29, 2017, | image_coat = Imperial Seal of Japan.svg| alt_coat = Golden circle subdivided by golden wedges with rounded outer edges and thin black outlines| symbol_type = Imperial Seal(File:Goshichi no kiri.svgSeal of the Office of the Prime Minister and the Government of Japan){{nihongo五七桐|Go-Shichi no Kiri}}}}}}| other_symbol_type = Government Seal of Japan"Kimigayo"0.25em{{Nihongo2"His Imperial Majesty's Reign"}}EXPLORE JAPAN NATIONAL FLAG AND NATIONAL ANTHEM>URL=HTTP://WEB-JAPAN.ORG/KIDSWEB/EXPLORE/NATIONAL/INDEX.HTMLACCESSDATE=JANUARY 29, 2017ARCHIVEURL=HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20170202040038/HTTP://WWW.JAPAN-GUIDE.COM/E/E2270.HTMLDF=MDY-ALL, (File:Kimi ga Yo instrumental.ogg)| image_map = Japan (orthographic projection).svg| map_width = 220px| alt_map = Projection of Asia with Japan's Area coloured green| map_caption = Area controlled by Japan shown in green—claimed, but uncontrolled shown in light greenTokyoHISTORY OF TOKYOQUOTE=THE EDO PERIOD LASTED FOR NEARLY 260 YEARS UNTIL THE MEIJI RESTORATION IN 1868, WHEN THE TOKUGAWA SHOGUNATE ENDED AND IMPERIAL RULE WAS RESTORED. THE EMPEROR MOVED TO EDO, WHICH WAS RENAMED TOKYO. THUS, TOKYO BECAME THE CAPITAL OF JAPAN, January 29, 2017, 35N46type:city}}| largest_city = capitalPUBLISHER=LEGISLATIVE BUREAU OF THE HOUSE OF COUNCILLORSLANGUAGE=JAPANESE, | languages_type = National languageJapanese language>Japanese| ethnic_groups = {{unbulleted list
|98.5% Japanese
|0.5% Korean
|0.4% Chinese
|0.6% other
}}| ethnic_groups_year = 2011| ethnic_groups_ref = | religion_ref = Japanese people>JapaneseUnitary state>Unitary Dominant-party system Parliamentary system>parliamentary constitutional monarchyEmperor of Japan>Emperor| leader_name1 = AkihitoLine of succession to the Japanese throne>Crown PrinceNaruhito, Crown Prince of Japan>NaruhitoPrime Minister of Japan>Prime Minister| leader_name3 = Shinzō AbeDeputy Prime Minister of Japan>Deputy Prime Minister| leader_name4 = Tarō AsōList of Speakers of the House of Representatives of Japan>Speaker of the House| leader_name5 = Tadamori OshimaList of Presidents of the House of Councillors (Japan)>President of the House of Councillors| leader_name6 = Chuichi DateChief Justice of Japan>Chief Justice| leader_name7 = Naoto ÅŒtani| legislature = National DietHouse of Councillors (Japan)>House of CouncillorsHouse of Representatives (Japan)>House of RepresentativesHistory of Japan>Formation| established_event1 = National Foundation Day| established_date1 = February 11, 660 BCEAccording to legend, Japan was founded on this date by Emperor Jimmu, the country's first Emperor.| established_event2 = Meiji Constitution| established_date2 = November 29, 1890Current constitution}}| established_date3 = May 3, 1947San FranciscoPeace Treaty}}| established_date4 = April 28, 1952| established_event5 = | established_date5 = | area_km2 = 377,972ACCESSDATE=JANUARY 29, 2017, | area_rank = 61st 377972sqmi|disp=output number only}}| percent_water = 0.8PUBLISHER=STATISTICS BUREAU OF JAPAN, April 27, 2016, | population_census_year = 2017| population_census_rank = 10th| population_density_km2 = 336| population_density_rank = 36thPUBLISHER=INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF), April 2018, | GDP_PPP_year = 2018| GDP_PPP_rank = 4th| GDP_PPP_per_capita = $44,426| GDP_PPP_per_capita_rank = 27th| GDP_nominal = $5.167 trillion| GDP_nominal_year = 2018| GDP_nominal_rank = 3rd| GDP_nominal_per_capita = $40,849| GDP_nominal_per_capita_rank = 20th| Gini = 37.9 | Gini_year = 2011| Gini_change = PUBLISHER=CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY >ACCESSDATE=MAY 11, 2011, | Gini_rank = 76th| HDI = 0.903 | HDI_year = 2015| HDI_change = increase YEAR=2016 PUBLISHER=UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME, | HDI_rank = 17thJapanese yen>Yen (Â¥){{}}''{{translEn}}'' | currency_code = JPYJapan Standard Time>JST| utc_offset = +9| utc_offset_DST = +9| time_zone_DST = not observedyyyy-mm-ddJapanese era name  {{small>(CE−1988)}}}}Right- and left-hand traffic#Japan>leftTelephone numbers in Japan>+81| cctld = .jp| official_website = www.japan.go.jpitem_style=white-space:nowrap;Shinto>34.9% Buddhism in Japan>4% Shinto sects and schools>2.3% Christianity in Japan>7.0% No answer}}| area_magnitude = 1 E11| population_density_sq_mi = 882.7 | country_code = JPN| iso3166code = JP| religion_year = 2000}}







factoids
Japan (; Nippon {{IPA-ja|ɲippoɴ|}} or Nihon {{IPA-ja|ɲihoɴ|}}; formally {{audio|help=no|Ja-nippon_nihonkoku.ogg|Nippon-koku}} or Nihon-koku, lit. "State of Japan") is a
sovereign island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian mainland and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and China in the southwest.{{Coord|35|N|136|E|type:country_region:JP|display=title}}The kanji that make up Japan's name mean "sun origin", and it is often called the "Land of the Rising Sun". Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago consisting of about 6,852 islands. The four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Shikoku, which make up about ninety-seven percent of Japan's land area and often are referred to as home islands. The country is divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions, with Hokkaido being the northernmost prefecture and Okinawa being the southernmost one. The population of 127 million is the world's tenth largest. Japanese people make up 98.5% of Japan's total population. About 9.1 million people live in Tokyo,WEB, ja:「東京都の人口(推計)」の概要(平成26å¹´2月1日現在) (2014),weblink Tokyo Metropolitan Government (JPN), March 20, 2014, the capital of Japan.Archaeological research indicates that Japan was inhabited as early as the Upper Paleolithic period. The first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD. Influence from other regions, mainly China, followed by periods of isolation, particularly from Western Europe, has characterized Japan's history.From the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive feudal military shōguns who ruled in the name of the Emperor. Japan entered into a long period of isolation in the early 17th century, which was ended in 1853 when a United States fleet pressured Japan to open to the West. After nearly two decades of internal conflict and insurrection, the Imperial Court regained its political power in 1868 through the help of several clans from ChōshÅ« and Satsuma—and the Empire of Japan was established. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, victories in the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War and World War I allowed Japan to expand its empire during a period of increasing militarism. The Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937 expanded into part of World War II in 1941, which came to an end in 1945 following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Japanese surrender. Since adopting its revised constitution on May 3, 1947, during the occupation by the SCAP, Japan has maintained a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy with an Emperor and an elected legislature called the National Diet.Japan is a member of the ASEAN Plus mechanism, UN, the OECD, the G7, the G8 and the G20—and is considered a great power.WEB,weblink The Seven Great Powers, American-Interest, July 1, 2015, BOOK, T. V. Paul, James J. Wirtz, Michel Fortmann, Balance of Power, State University of New York Press, 2005, 2005, United States of America, 59, 282, 978-0-7914-6401-4,weblink"Great+power", Accordingly, the great powers after the Cold War are Britain, China, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, and the United States p.59BOOK, Baron, Joshua, Great Power Peace and American Primacy: The Origins and Future of a New International Order, January 22, 2014, Palgrave Macmillan, United States, 978-1-137-29948-2,weblink The country has the world's third-largest economy by nominal GDP and the world's fourth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It is also the world's fourth-largest exporter and fourth-largest importer.The country benefits from a highly skilled workforce and is among the most highly educated countries in the world, with one of the highest percentages of its citizens holding a tertiary education degree.WEB, OECD.Stat Education and Training > Education at a Glance > Educational attainment and labor-force status > Educational attainment of 25–64 year-olds, OECD,weblink Although Japan has officially renounced its right to declare war, it maintains a modern military with the world's eighth-largest military budget,WEB,weblink SIPRI Yearbook 2012–15 countries with the highest military expenditure in 2011, Sipri.org, April 27, 2013, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20100328104327weblink">weblink March 28, 2010, mdy-all, used for self-defense and peacekeeping roles. Japan is a highly developed country with a very high standard of living and Human Development Index. Its population enjoys the highest life expectancy and the third lowest infant mortality rate in the world. Japan is renowned for its historical and extensive cinema, influential music industry, rich cuisine and its major contributions to science and modern-day technology.WEB,weblink WHO Life expectancy, World Health Organization, June 1, 2013, June 1, 2013, WEB, Table A.17,weblink United Nations World Population Prospects, 2006 revision, UN, January 15, 2011,

Etymology

The Japanese word for Japan is {{nihongo2|日本}}, which is pronounced Nihon or Nippon and literally means "the origin of the sun". The character {{nihongo||日|nichi}} means "sun" or "day"; {{nihongo||本|hon}} means "base" or "origin".WEB, Where does the name Japan come from?,weblink January 29, 2017, The compound therefore means "origin of the sun" and is the source of the popular Western epithet "Land of the Rising Sun".BOOK, The emergence of Japanese kingship, Joan R., Piggott, 1997, Stanford University Press, 978-0-8047-2832-4, 143–144,weblink The earliest record of the name Nihon appears in the Chinese historical records of the Tang dynasty, the Old Book of Tang. At the end of the seventh century, a delegation from Japan requested that Nihon be used as the name of their country. This name may have its origin in a letter sent in 607 and recorded in the official history of the Sui dynasty. Prince Shōtoku, the Regent of Japan, sent a mission to China with a letter in which he called himself "the Emperor of the Land where the Sun rises" (日出處天子). The message said: "Here, I, the emperor of the country where the sun rises, send a letter to the emperor of the country where the sun sets. How are you[?]”.File:King of Na gold seal faces.jpg|thumb|The "King of Na gold seal", said to have been granted to Na king of Wa (Japan) by Emperor Guangwu of Han in 57 CE. The seal reads "漢委奴國王". Tokyo National MuseumTokyo National MuseumPrior to the adoption of Nihon, other terms such as {{Nihongo|Yamato|大和||extra=or "Great Wa"}} and {{Nihongo|Wakoku|倭国}} were used. The term {{Nihongo|Wa|和}} is a homophone of Wo 倭 (pronounced "Wa" by the Japanese), which has been used by the Chinese as a designation for the Japanese as early as the third century Three Kingdoms period. Another form of Wa (委, Wei in Chinese) was used for an early state in Japan called Nakoku during the Han dynasty.WEB, 121 AD: Wakoku, The Land Of The Submissive Dwarf People?,weblink January 29, 2017, However, the Japanese disliked some connotation of Wa 倭 (which has been associated in China with concepts like "dwarf" or "pygmy"), and it was therefore replaced with the substitute character {{Nihongo|Wa|和}}, meaning "togetherness, harmony".WEB, Why Japan is Japan? How Japan became Japan?,weblink January 29, 2017, WEB, Wa: The Spirit of Harmony and Japanese Design Today | Concept, Works, and Catalogue,weblink January 29, 2017, The English word Japan possibly derives from the historical Chinese pronunciation of 日本. The Old Mandarin or possibly early Wu Chinese pronunciation of Japan was recorded by Marco Polo as Cipangu. In modern Shanghainese, a Wu dialect, the pronunciation of characters {{nihongo2|日本}} Japan is Zeppen {{IPA-wuu|zəʔpən|}}. The old Malay word for Japan, Japun or Japang, was borrowed from a southern coastal Chinese dialect, probably Fukienese or NingpoBOOK, Boxer, Charles Ralph, The Christian century in Japan 1549–1650, 1951, University of California Press, 978-1-85754-035-2,weblink 1–14, —and this Malay word was encountered by Portuguese traders in Southeast Asia in the 16th century.BOOK,weblink Word Histories and Mysteries: From Abracadabra to Zeus, Editors of the American Heritage Dictionaries, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, October 13, 2004, 9780547350271, These Early Portuguese traders then brought the word to Europe.C. R. Boxer, The Christian Century In Japan 1549–1650, University of California Press, 1951p. 11, 28–36, 49–51, {{ISBN|1-85754-035-2}} The first record of this name in English is in a book published in 1577 and spelled Giapan, in a translation of a 1565 letter written by a Portuguese Jesuit Luís Fróis.BOOK, Mancall, Peter C., Travel narratives from the age of discovery: an anthology, 2006, Oxford University Press, 156–157, Of the Ilande of Giapan, 1565, BOOK,weblink London: The Selden Map and the Making of a Global City, 1549–1689, Robert K., Batchelor, 76, 79, University of Chicago Press, 978-0226080796, January 6, 2014, In Richard Wille's 1577 book "The History of Travalye in the West and East Indies"From the Meiji Restoration until the end of World War II, the full title of Japan was {{nihongo||大日本帝國|Dai Nippon Teikoku}}, meaning "the Empire of Great Japan".BOOK, Frédéric, Louis, 2002, Japan Encyclopedia, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 978-0674007703, 143,weblink January 29, 2017, en, Today, the name {{nihongo||日本国|Nihon-koku/Nippon-koku}} is used as a formal modern-day equivalent with the meaning of "the State of Japan". Countries like Japan whose long form does not contain a descriptive designation are generally given a name appended by the character {{nihongo||国|koku}}, meaning "country", "nation" or "state".

History

{{History of Japan}}

Prehistory and ancient history

File:Emperor_Jimmu.jpg|thumb|left|{{Nihongo|Emperor Jimmu|神武天皇|Jinmu-tennō}}, the first Emperor of Japan dated as 660 BCEWEB, Keally, Charles T., Kofun Culture,weblink www.t-net.ne.jp, Japanese Archaeology, 28 July 2018, 27 April 2009, BOOK, Kitagawa, Joseph Mitsuo, On Understanding Japanese Religion, 1987, Princeton University Press, 978-0691102290, 145,weblink 28 July 2018, emphasis on the undisrupted chronological continuity from myths to legends and from legends to history, it is difficult to determine where one ends and the next begins. At any rate, the first ten legendary emperors are clearly not reliable historical records., JOURNAL, Szczesniak, Boleslaw, The Sumu-Sanu Myth. Notes and Remarks on the Jimmu Tenno Myth, Monumenta Nipponica, 1954, 10, 1/2, 107–126, 10.2307/2382794, 2382794, —in modern Japan his accession is marked as National Foundation DayNational Foundation DayA Paleolithic culture around 30,000 BC constitutes the first known habitation of the Japanese archipelago. This was followed from around 14,000 BC (the start of the Jōmon period) by a Mesolithic to Neolithic semi-sedentary hunter-gatherer culture characterized by pit dwelling and rudimentary agriculture,WEB,weblink Jomon Genes, Travis, John, University of Pittsburgh, January 15, 2011, including by ancestors of contemporary Ainu people and Yamato people.JOURNAL, Matsumara, Hirofumi; Dodo, Yukio,weblink Dental characteristics of Tohoku residents in Japan: implications for biological affinity with ancient Emishi, Anthropological Science, 2009, 117, 2, 95–105, 10.1537/ase.080325, Dodo, Yukio, JOURNAL, Hammer, Michael F.,weblink Dual origins of the Japanese: common ground for hunter-gatherer and farmer Y chromosomes, Journal of Human Genetics, 2006, 51, 1, 47–58, 10.1007/s10038-005-0322-0, 16328082, Karafet, TM, Park, H, Omoto, K, Harihara, S, Stoneking, M, Horai, S, etal, Decorated clay vessels from this period are some of the oldest surviving examples of pottery in the world. Around 300 BC, the Yayoi people began to enter the Japanese islands, intermingling with the Jōmon.BOOK, Denoon, Donald; Hudson, Mark, Multicultural Japan: palaeolithic to postmodern, Cambridge University Press, 2001, 978-0-521-00362-9, 22–23,weblink The Yayoi period, starting around 500 BC, saw the introduction of practices like wet-rice farming,WEB, Road of rice plant,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110430010530weblink">weblink April 30, 2011, National Science Museum of Japan, January 15, 2011, a new style of potteryWEB, Kofun Period,weblink Metropolitan Museum of Art, January 15, 2011, and metallurgy, introduced from China and Korea.WEB, Yayoi Culture,weblink Metropolitan Museum of Art, January 15, 2011, Japan first appears in written history in the Chinese Book of Han.BOOK, Takashi, Okazaki, Goodwin, Janet, The Cambridge history of Japan, Volume 1: Ancient Japan, 1993, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 978-0-521-22352-2, 275, Japan and the continent,weblink According to the Records of the Three Kingdoms, the most powerful kingdom on the archipelago during the third century was called Yamataikoku. Buddhism was introduced to Japan from Baekje, Korea and was promoted by Prince Shōtoku, but the subsequent development of Japanese Buddhism was primarily influenced by China.BOOK, Brown, Delmer M., 1993, The Cambridge History of Japan, Cambridge University Press, 140–149, Despite early resistance, Buddhism was promoted by the ruling class and gained widespread acceptance beginning in the Asuka period (592–710).BOOK, The Japanese Experience: A Short History of Japan, William Gerald, Beasley, University of California Press, 1999, 42, 978-0-520-22560-2,weblink The Nara period (710–784) marked an emergence of the centralized Japanese state centered on the Imperial Court in Heijō-kyō (modern Nara). The Nara period is characterized by the appearance of a nascent literature as well as the development of Buddhist-inspired art and architecture.BOOK, Conrad, Totman, 2002, A History of Japan, Blackwell, 64–79, 978-1-4051-2359-4,weblink The smallpox epidemic of 735–737 is believed to have killed as much as one-third of Japan's population.BOOK, Hays, J.N., Epidemics and pandemics: their impacts on human history, 2005, ABC-CLIO, 978-1-85109-658-9, 31,weblink In 784, Emperor Kanmu moved the capital from Nara to Nagaoka-kyō, then to Heian-kyō (modern Kyoto) in 794.This marked the beginning of the Heian period (794–1185), during which a distinctly indigenous Japanese culture emerged, noted for its art, poetry and prose. Murasaki Shikibu's The Tale of Genji and the lyrics of Japan's national anthem "Kimigayo" were written during this time.BOOK, Conrad, Totman, 2002, A History of Japan, Blackwell, 79–87, 122–123, 978-1-4051-2359-4,weblink Buddhism began to spread during the Heian era chiefly through two major sects, Tendai by Saichō and Shingon by KÅ«kai. Pure Land Buddhism (Jōdo-shÅ«, Jōdo ShinshÅ«) became greatly popular in the latter half of the 11th century.

Feudal era

File:Mōko Shūrai Ekotoba 2.jpg|thumb|Samurai warriors facing Mongols during the Mongol invasions of Japan; Suenaga, 1293]]Japan's feudal era was characterized by the emergence and dominance of a ruling class of warriors, the samurai. In 1185, following the defeat of the Taira clan in the Genpei War, sung in the epic Tale of Heike, samurai Minamoto no Yoritomo was appointed shōgun by Emperor Go-Toba, and Yoritomo established a base of power in Kamakura. After his death, the Hōjō clan came to power as regents for the shōguns. The Zen school of Buddhism was introduced from China in the Kamakura period (1185–1333) and became popular among the samurai class.BOOK, Totman, Conrad, A History of Japan (2nd ed.), 2005, Blackwell, 978-1-4051-2359-4, 106–112,weblink The Kamakura shogunate repelled Mongol invasions in 1274 and 1281, but was eventually overthrown by Emperor Go-Daigo. Emperor Go-Daigo was himself defeated by Ashikaga Takauji in 1336.File: Samurai.jpg|thumb|right|Samurais could kill a commoner for the slightest insult and were widely feared by the Japanese population. Edo periodEdo periodAshikaga Takauji established the shogunate in Muromachi, Kyoto. This was the start of the Muromachi period (1336–1573). The Ashikaga shogunate achieved glory at the age of Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, and the culture based on Zen Buddhism (the art of Miyabi) prospered. This evolved to Higashiyama Culture, and prospered until the 16th century. On the other hand, the succeeding Ashikaga shogunate failed to control the feudal warlords (daimyōs) and a civil war (the Ōnin War) began in 1467, opening the century-long Sengoku period ("Warring States").BOOK, George, Sansom, 1961, A History of Japan: 1334–1615, Stanford University Press, 42, 217, 978-0-8047-0525-7,weblink During the 16th century, traders and Jesuit missionaries from Portugal reached Japan for the first time, initiating direct commercial and cultural exchange between Japan and the West. This allowed Oda Nobunaga to obtain European technology and firearms, which he used to conquer many other daimyōs. His consolidation of power began what was known as the Azuchi–Momoyama period (1573–1603). After Nobunaga was assassinated in 1582 by Akechi Mitsuhide, his successor Toyotomi Hideyoshi unified the nation in 1590 and launched two unsuccessful invasions of Korea in 1592 and 1597.Tokugawa Ieyasu served as regent for Hideyoshi's son and used his position to gain political and military support. When open war broke out, Ieyasu defeated rival clans in the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600. Tokugawa Ieyasu was appointed shōgun by Emperor Go-Yōzei in 1603 and established the Tokugawa shogunate in Edo (modern Tokyo).BOOK, Turnbull, Stephen, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, 2010, Osprey Publishing, 978-1-84603-960-7, 61,weblink The shogunate enacted measures including buke shohatto, as a code of conduct to control the autonomous daimyōs;BOOK, Totman, Conrad, A History of Japan (2nd ed.), 2005, Blackwell, 978-1-4051-2359-4, 142–143,weblink and in 1639 the isolationist sakoku ("closed country") policy that spanned the two and a half centuries of tenuous political unity known as the Edo period (1603–1868).JOURNAL, Toby, Ronald P., Reopening the Question of Sakoku: Diplomacy in the Legitimation of the Tokugawa Bakufu, Journal of Japanese Studies, 1977, 3, 2, 323–363, 10.2307/132115, 132115, The study of Western sciences, known as rangaku, continued through contact with the Dutch enclave at Dejima in Nagasaki. The Edo period also gave rise to kokugaku ("national studies"), the study of Japan by the Japanese.JOURNAL, Ohtsu, M., Japanese National Values and Confucianism, Japanese Economy, 1999, 27, 2, 45–59, 10.2753/JES1097-203X270245, Ohtsu, Makoto,

Modern era

File:Meiji tenno1.jpg|thumb|upright|left|Emperor Meiji (1868–1912), in whose name imperial rule was restored at the end of the Tokugawa shogunateTokugawa shogunateOn March 31, 1854, Commodore Matthew Perry and the "Black Ships" of the United States Navy forced the opening of Japan to the outside world with the Convention of Kanagawa. Subsequent similar treaties with Western countries in the Bakumatsu period brought economic and political crises. The resignation of the shōgun led to the Boshin War and the establishment of a centralized state nominally unified under the Emperor (the Meiji Restoration).BOOK, Totman, Conrad, A History of Japan (2nd ed.), 2005, Blackwell, 978-1-4051-2359-4, 289–296,weblink Plunging itself through an active process of Westernization during the Meiji Restoration in 1868, Japan adopted Western political, judicial and military institutions and Western cultural influences integrated with its traditional culture for modern industrialization. The Cabinet organized the Privy Council, introduced the Meiji Constitution, and assembled the Imperial Diet. The Meiji Restoration transformed the Empire of Japan into an industrialized world power that pursued military conflict to expand its sphere of influence. Although France and Britain showed some interest, the European powers largely ignored Japan and instead concentrated on the much greater attractions of China. France was also set back by its failures in Mexico and defeat by the Germans.BOOK, Japan's Emergence as a Modern State, Herbert Norman, E., Inst. Pacific Relations, 1946, New York, 46, After victories in the First Sino-Japanese War (1894–1895) and the Russo-Japanese War (1904–1905), Japan gained control of Taiwan, Korea and the southern half of Sakhalin.BOOK, Matsusaka, Y. Tak, Companion to Japanese History, 2009, Blackwell, 978-1-4051-1690-9, 224–241, Tsutsui, William M., The Japanese Empire, In addition to imperialistic success, Japan also invested much more heavily in its own economic growth, leading to a period of economic flourishing in the country which lasted until the Great Depression.BOOK, The Political Economy of Growth, A. Baran, Paul, Monthly Review Press, 1962, New York, 160, Japan's population grew from 35 million in 1873 to 70 million in 1935.BOOK, Hiroshi, Shimizu, Japan and Singapore in the world economy: Japan's economic advance into Singapore, 1870–1965, 1999, Routledge, 978-0-415-19236-1, Hitoshi, Hirakawa, 17,weblink File:Generals Pyongyang MigitaToshihide October1894.jpg|thumb|Chinese generals surrendering to the Japanese in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894–1895]]In World War I, Japan joined the Allies and captured German possessions, and made advances into China. The early 20th century saw a period of Taishō democracy (1912–1926), but the 1920s saw a fragile democracy buckle under a political shift towards statism, the passing of laws against political dissent and a series of attempted coups. This process accelerated during the 1930s, spawning a number of new Radical Nationalist groups which shared a hostility to liberal democracy and a dedication to expansion in Asia. Japanese expansionism and militarization along with the totalitarianism and ultranationalism reshaped the country. In 1931 Japan invaded and occupied Manchuria and following international condemnation of this occupation, it quit the League of Nations in 1933. In 1936, Japan signed the Anti-Comintern Pact with Germany and the 1940 Tripartite Pact made it one of the Axis Powers.(File:Umezu.jpg|thumb|Japanese officials surrendering to the Allies on September 2, 1945, in Tokyo Bay, ending World War II)The Empire of Japan invaded other parts of China in 1937, precipitating the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945). The Imperial Japanese Army swiftly captured the capital Nanjing and conducted the Nanking Massacre.WEB,weblink Judgment International Military Tribunal for the Far East, Chapter VIII: Conventional War Crimes (Atrocities), iBiblio, November 1948, In 1940, the Empire invaded French Indochina, after which the United States placed an oil embargo on Japan.BOOK, Roland H., Jr., Worth, No Choice But War: the United States Embargo Against Japan and the Eruption of War in the Pacific, McFarland, 1995, 56, 86, 978-0-7864-0141-3,weblink On December 7–8, 1941, Japanese forces carried out surprise attacks on Pearl Harbor, British forces in Malaya, Singapore and Hong Kong and declared war on the United States and the British Empire, bringing the United States and the United Kingdom into World War II in the Pacific. After Allied victories across the Pacific during the next four years, which culminated in the Soviet invasion of Manchuria and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, Japan agreed to an unconditional surrender on August 15.JOURNAL, Pape, Robert A., Why Japan Surrendered, International Security, 1993, 18, 2, 154–201, 10.2307/2539100, 2539100, The war cost Japan, its colonies, China and the war's other combatants tens of millions of lives and left much of Japan's industry and infrastructure destroyed. The Allies (led by the United States) repatriated millions of ethnic Japanese from colonies and military camps throughout Asia, largely eliminating the Japanese empire and restoring the independence of its conquered territories.BOOK, Watt, Lori, When Empire Comes Home: Repatriation and Reintegration in Postwar Japan, Harvard University Press, 2010, 978-0-674-05598-8, 1–4,weblink The Allies also convened the International Military Tribunal for the Far East on May 3, 1946, to prosecute some senior generals for war crimes.In 1947, Japan adopted a new constitution emphasizing liberal democratic practices. The Allied occupation ended with the Treaty of San Francisco in 1952WEB,weblink '52 coup plot bid to rearm Japan: CIA, Joseph, Coleman, March 6, 2007, The Japan Times, April 3, 2007, and Japan was granted membership in the United Nations in 1956. Japan later achieved rapid growth to become the second-largest economy in the world, until surpassed by China in 2010. This ended in the mid-1990s when Japan suffered a major recession. In the beginning of the 21st century, positive growth has signaled a gradual economic recovery.NEWS,weblink Japan scraps zero interest rates, BBC News, July 14, 2006, December 28, 2006, On March 11, 2011, Japan suffered one of the largest earthquakes in its recorded history; this triggered the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, one of the worst disasters in the history of nuclear power.NEWS, Fackler, Martin; Drew, Kevin, Devastation as Tsunami Crashes Into Japan,weblink March 11, 2011, The New York Times, March 11, 2011,

Geography

File:Satellite View of Japan 1999.jpg|thumb|Japanese archipelagoJapanese archipelagoJapan has a total of 6,852 islands extending along the Pacific coast of East Asia. The country, including all of the islands it controls, lies between latitudes 24° and 46°N, and longitudes 122° and 146°E. The main islands, from north to south, are Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu. The Ryukyu Islands, which include Okinawa, are a chain to the south of Kyushu. The Nanpō Islands are south of the main islands of Japan. Together they are often known as the Japanese archipelago.BOOK, McCargo, Duncan, Contemporary Japan, 2000, Macmillan, 978-0-333-71000-5, 8–11,weblink As of 2006, Japan's territory is {{convert|377923.1|km²|sqmi|abbr=on}} and, due to its many far-flung outlying islands, Japan has the eighth largest Exclusive Economic Zone in the world covering {{convert|4470000|km²|sqmi|abbr=on}}.WEB,weblink 日本の領海等概念図, 海上保安庁海洋情報部, 12 August 2018, About 73 percent of Japan is forested, mountainous and unsuitable for agricultural, industrial or residential use.WEB, Japan,weblink US Department of State, January 16, 2011, As a result, the habitable zones, mainly located in coastal areas, have extremely high population densities. Japan is one of the most densely populated countries in the world.WEB,weblink World Population Prospects, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, March 27, 2007,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070321013235weblink">weblink March 21, 2007, The islands of Japan are located in a volcanic zone on the Pacific Ring of Fire. They are primarily the result of large oceanic movements occurring over hundreds of millions of years from the mid-Silurian to the Pleistocene as a result of the subduction of the Philippine Sea Plate beneath the continental Amurian Plate and Okinawa Plate to the south, and subduction of the Pacific Plate under the Okhotsk Plate to the north. The Boso Triple Junction off the coast of Japan is a triple junction where the North American Plate, the Pacific Plate and the Philippine Sea Plate meets. Japan was originally attached to the eastern coast of the Eurasian continent. The subducting plates pulled Japan eastward, opening the Sea of Japan around 15 million years ago.WEB,weblink Barnes, Gina L., Origins of the Japanese Islands, University of Durham, 2003, August 11, 2009, Japan has 108 active volcanoes. During the twentieth century several new volcanoes emerged, including Shōwa-shinzan on Hokkaido and Myōjin-shō off the Bayonnaise Rocks in the Pacific. Destructive earthquakes, often resulting in tsunami, occur several times each century.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070204064754weblink">weblink February 4, 2007, Tectonics and Volcanoes of Japan, Oregon State University, March 27, 2007, The 1923 Tokyo earthquake killed over 140,000 people.WEB, James, C.D., The 1923 Tokyo Earthquake and Fire,weblink University of California Berkeley, January 16, 2011, 2002, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070316050633weblink">weblink March 16, 2007, More recent major quakes are the 1995 Great Hanshin earthquake and the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake, a 9.1-magnitudeWEB,weblink M 9.1 – near the east coast of Honshu, Japan, Earthquake.usgs.gov, July 11, 2016, August 29, 2017, quake which hit Japan on March 11, 2011, and triggered a large tsunami. Japan is substantially prone to earthquakes, tsunami and volcanoes due to its location along the Pacific Ring of Fire.WEB,weblink Japan's Explosive Geology Explained, Live Science, Israel, Brett, March 14, 2011, June 17, 2016, It has the 15th highest natural disaster risk as measured in the 2013 World Risk Index.2013 World Risk Report {{webarchive |url=https://web.archive.org/web/20140816173655weblink |date=August 16, 2014 }}

Climate

{{Multiple image|direction=vertical|width=200|image1=Cherry blossoms at Yoshinoyama 01.jpgCherry blossoms of Mount Yoshino have been the subject of many plays and Waka (poetry)>waka poetry|image2=Kongobuji Koyasan07n3200.jpgMaple tree>maple leaves (momiji) at Kongōbu-ji on Mount Kōya, a UNESCO World Heritage Site}}The climate of Japan is predominantly temperate, but varies greatly from north to south. Japan's geographical features divide it into six principal climatic zones: Hokkaido, Sea of Japan, Central Highland, Seto Inland Sea, Pacific Ocean, and Ryukyu Islands. The northernmost zone, Hokkaido, has a humid continental climate with long, cold winters and very warm to cool summers. Precipitation is not heavy, but the islands usually develop deep snowbanks in the winter.BOOK, Karan, Pradyumna Prasad, Japan in the 21st century, 2005, University Press of Kentucky, 978-0-8131-2342-4, 18–21, 41, Gilbreath, Dick,weblink In the Sea of Japan zone on Honshu's west coast, northwest winter winds bring heavy snowfall. In the summer, the region is cooler than the Pacific area, though it sometimes experiences extremely hot temperatures because of the foehn. The Central Highland has a typical inland humid continental climate, with large temperature differences between summer and winter seasons, as well as large diurnal variation; precipitation is light, though winters are usually snowy. The mountains of the Chūgoku and Shikoku regions shelter the Seto Inland Sea from seasonal winds, bringing mild weather year-round.The Pacific coast features a humid subtropical climate that experiences milder winters with occasional snowfall and hot, humid summers because of the southeast seasonal wind. The Ryukyu Islands and Nanpō Islands have a subtropical climate, with warm winters and hot summers. Precipitation is very heavy, especially during the rainy season.The average winter temperature in Japan is {{convert|5.1|C|°F}} and the average summer temperature is {{convert|25.2|C|°F}}.WEB, Climate,weblink Japan National Tourism Organization, JNTO, March 2, 2011, The highest temperature ever measured in Japan {{convert|41.1|°C}} was recorded on July 23, 2018weblink The main rainy season begins in early May in Okinawa, and the rain front gradually moves north until reaching Hokkaido in late July. In most of Honshu, the rainy season begins before the middle of June and lasts about six weeks. In late summer and early autumn, typhoons often bring heavy rain.

Biodiversity

File:Jigokudani hotspring in Nagano Japan 001.jpg|thumb|left|The Japanese macaques at Jigokudani hot spring are notable for visiting the spa in the winter]]Japan has nine forest ecoregions which reflect the climate and geography of the islands. They range from subtropical moist broadleaf forests in the RyÅ«kyÅ« and Bonin Islands, to temperate broadleaf and mixed forests in the mild climate regions of the main islands, to temperate coniferous forests in the cold, winter portions of the northern islands.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070213035135weblink">weblink February 13, 2007, Flora and Fauna: Diversity and regional uniqueness, Embassy of Japan in the USA, April 1, 2007, Japan has over 90,000 species of wildlife, including the brown bear, the Japanese macaque, the Japanese raccoon dog, the large Japanese field mouse, and the Japanese giant salamander.WEB, The Wildlife in Japan,weblink Ministry of the Environment (Japan), Ministry of the Environment, February 19, 2011, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110323165908weblink">weblink March 23, 2011, A large network of national parks has been established to protect important areas of flora and fauna as well as thirty-seven Ramsar wetland sites.WEB,weblink National Parks of Japan, Ministry of the Environment, May 11, 2011, WEB,weblink^16573_4000_0__, The Annotated Ramsar List: Japan, Ramsar, May 11, 2011, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110917191036weblink">weblink September 17, 2011, Four sites have been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List for their outstanding natural value.WEB,weblink Japan â€“ Properties Inscribed on the World Heritage List, UNESCO, July 5, 2011,

Environment

In the period of rapid economic growth after World War II, environmental policies were downplayed by the government and industrial corporations; as a result, environmental pollution was widespread in the 1950s and 1960s. Responding to rising concern about the problem, the government introduced several environmental protection laws in 1970.WEB, ja:日本の大気汚染の歴史,weblink Environmental Restoration and Conservation Agency, March 2, 2014, Japanese, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110501085231weblink">weblink May 1, 2011, The oil crisis in 1973 also encouraged the efficient use of energy because of Japan's lack of natural resources.WEB, Sekiyama, Takeshi, Japan's international cooperation for energy efficiency and conservation in Asian region,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20080216005103weblink">weblink February 16, 2008, Energy Conservation Center, January 16, 2011, Current environmental issues include urban air pollution (NOx, suspended particulate matter, and toxics), waste management, water eutrophication, nature conservation, climate change, chemical management and international co-operation for conservation.WEB, Environmental Performance Review of Japan,weblink Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD, January 16, 2011, As of June 2015, more than 40 coal-fired power plants are planned or under construction in Japan. The NGO Climate Action Network announced Japan as the winner of its "Fossil of the Day" award for "doing the most to block progress on climate action".NEWS, At G-7, Japan's energy plan is not all that green, Elaine Kurtenbach, June 6, 2015, Associated Press, Japan ranks 20th in the 2018 Environmental Performance Index, which measures a nation's commitment to environmental sustainability.WEB, Environmental Performance Index: Japan,weblink Yale University, February 26, 2018, As the host and signatory of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, Japan is under treaty obligation to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions and to take other steps to curb climate change.NEWS,weblink Japan sees extra emission cuts to 2020 goal – minister, June 24, 2009, Reuters,

Politics

{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:left; float:right; margin-right:9px; margin-left:2px;" (File:Emperor Akihito cropped 2 Barack Obama Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko 20140424 1.jpg (File:Shinzo Abe (2017).jpg|140px)Akihito Emperor since 1989Shinzō AbePrime Minister since 2012

Government

Japan is a constitutional monarchy whereby the power of the Emperor is very limited. As a ceremonial figurehead, he is defined by the constitution to be "the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people". Executive power is wielded chiefly by the Prime Minister and his cabinet, while sovereignty is vested in the Japanese people.WEB,weblink The Constitution of Japan, Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet, November 3, 1946, February 14, 2014, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20131214104438weblink">weblink December 14, 2013, Japan's legislative body is the National Diet, seated in Chiyoda, Tokyo. The Diet is a bicameral body, comprising the lower House of Representatives with 465 seats, elected by popular vote every four years or when dissolved; and the upper House of Councillors with 242 seats, whose popularly elected members serve six-year terms. There is universal suffrage for adults over 18 years of age,WEB,weblink Japan lowers voting age from 20 to 18 to better reflect young people's opinions in policies, The Straits Times, June 20, 2015, August 28, 2017, with a secret ballot for all elected offices. The Diet is dominated by the social liberal Constitutional Democratic Party (CDP) and the conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). The LDP has enjoyed near-continuous electoral success since 1955, except for brief periods between 1993 and 1994 and from 2009 to 2012. As of November 2017, it holds 283 seats in the lower house and 125 seats in the upper house.File:Diet_of_Japan_Kokkai_2009.jpg|thumb|left|National Diet BuildingNational Diet BuildingThe Prime Minister of Japan is the head of government and is appointed by the Emperor after being designated by the Diet from among its members. The Prime Minister is the head of the Cabinet, and appoints and dismisses the Ministers of State. Following the LDP's landslide victory in the 2012 general election, Shinzō Abe replaced Yoshihiko Noda as the Prime Minister on December 26, 2012.NEWS, Fackler, Martin, Ex-Premier Is Chosen To Govern Japan Again,weblink March 12, 2013, The New York Times, December 27, 2013, New York, Historically influenced by Chinese law, the Japanese legal system developed independently during the Edo period through texts such as Kujikata Osadamegaki.BOOK, Dean, Meryll, Japanese legal system: text, cases & materials, 2002, Cavendish, 978-1-85941-673-0, 55–58, 2nd,weblink However, since the late 19th century the judicial system has been largely based on the civil law of Europe, notably Germany. For example, in 1896, the Japanese government established a civil code based on a draft of the German Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch; with the code remaining in effect with post–World War II modifications.JOURNAL, Kanamori, Shigenari, German influences on Japanese Pre-War Constitution and Civil Code, European Journal of Law and Economics, January 1, 1999, 7, 1, 93–95, 10.1023/A:1008688209052, Statutory law originates in Japan's legislature and has the rubber stamp of the Emperor. Japan's court system is divided into four basic tiers: the Supreme Court and three levels of lower courts.WEB,weblink Office of the Prime Minister of Japan, The Japanese Judicial System, March 27, 2007, The main body of Japanese statutory law is called the Six Codes.BOOK, Dean, Meryll, Japanese legal system: text, cases & materials, 2002, Cavendish, 978-1-85941-673-0, 131, 2nd,weblink

Administrative divisions

{{See also|Prefectures of Japan}}Japan is divided into 47 prefectures, each overseen by an elected governor, legislature and administrative bureaucracy.In Japanese, 43 of the prefectures are called "ken" (県), Kyoto and Osaka are "fu" (府), Hokkaido is a "dō" (道) and Tokyo is a "to" (都). Although different in name they are functionally the same. Each prefecture is further divided into cities, towns and villages.BOOK, McCargo, Duncan, Contemporary Japan, 2000, Macmillan, 978-0-333-71000-5, 84–85,weblink The nation is currently undergoing administrative reorganization by merging many of the cities, towns and villages with each other. This process will reduce the number of sub-prefecture administrative regions and is expected to cut administrative costs.WEB, Mabuchi, Masaru,weblink Municipal Amalgamation in Japan, World Bank, May 2001, December 28, 2006, {{Japan Regions and Prefectures Labelled Map}}

Foreign relations

File:Donald Trump and Shinzō Abe at 43rd G7 summit.jpg|thumb|Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe and U.S. President Donald TrumpDonald TrumpFile:Liancourt walleye view.jpg|thumb|The Liancourt Rocks known as Takeshima in Japan, has become an issue known as the Liancourt Rocks disputeLiancourt Rocks disputeJapan has diplomatic relations with nearly all independent nations and has been an active member of the United Nations since December 1956. Japan is a member of the G8, APEC, and "ASEAN Plus Three", and is a participant in the East Asia Summit. Japan signed a security pact with Australia in March 2007WEB,weblink Japan-Australia Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, August 25, 2010, and with India in October 2008.WEB,weblink Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation between Japan and India, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, October 22, 2008, August 25, 2010, It is the world's fifth largest donor of official development assistance, donating US$9.2 billion in 2014.WEB, Statistics from the Development Co-operation Report 2015,weblink Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD, November 15, 2015, Japan has close ties to the United States. Since Japan's defeat by the United States and allies in World War II, the two countries have maintained close economic and defense relations. The United States is a major market for Japanese exports and the primary source of Japanese imports, and is committed to defending the country, having military bases in Japan for partially that purpose.WEB, Japan's Foreign Relations and Role in the World Today,weblink Asia for Educators, November 13, 2016, Japan contests Russia's control of the Southern Kuril Islands (including Etorofu, Kunashiri, Shikotan, and the Habomai group) which were occupied by the Soviet Union in 1945.MOFA, Japan's Northern Territories South Korea's control of Liancourt Rocks (Japanese: Takeshima, Korean: Dokdo) are acknowledged, but not accepted and are claimed by Japan.MOFA, The Issue of Takeshima Japan has strained relations with the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC) over the Senkaku Islands;MOFA, The Basic View on the Sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands and with the People's Republic of China over the status of Okinotorishima.Japan's relationship with South Korea has been strained due to Japan's treatment of Koreans during Japanese colonial rule, particularly over the issue of comfort women.NEWS,weblink Japan and South Korea agree WW2 'comfort women' deal, December 28, 2015, BBC News, July 8, 2017, en-GB, These women were essentially sex slaves, and although there is no exact number on how many women were subjected to this treatment, experts believe it could be in the tens or hundreds of thousands. Between 1910 and 1945, the Japanese government rebuilt Korean infrastructure. Despite this, modernization in Korea was always linked to Japanese interests and therefore did not imply a "revolutionization" of social structures. For instance, Japan kept Korea's primitive feudalistic agriculture because it served Japanese interests.BOOK, Korea Today, McCune, George, Harvard University Press, 1950, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 33, Further developments on Japan's imperialism in Korea included establishing a slew of police stations all over the country, replacing taxes in kind with taxes in fixed money, and taking much of the communal land which had belonged to villages to give them to private companies in JapanBOOK, The Historical Experience of the Agrarian Reform in Our Country, 1974, Pyongyang, 6–7, (causing many peasants to loose their land.BOOK, Korea's Heritage, McCune, Shannon, Charles Tuttle, 1964, Rutland, 86, ) Japan also introduced over 800,000 Japanese immigrants onto the peninsula and carried out a campaign of cultural suppression through efforts to ban the Korean language in schools and force Koreans to adopt Japanese names.WEB,weblink Japanese Colony 1910–1945, koreanhistory.info, July 8, 2017, With the surrender of Japan and the Axis at the end of WWII in 1945, the Korean Peninsula was once again independent. Despite their historical tensions, in December 2015, Japan agreed to settle the comfort women dispute with South Korea by issuing a formal apology, taking responsibility for the issue and paying money to the surviving comfort women. Today, South Korea and Japan have a stronger and more economically-driven relationship. Since the 1990s, the Korean Wave has created a large fanbase in East Asia, but most notably in Japan. Japan is the number one importer of Korean music (K-pop), television (K-dramas), and films, but this was only made possible after the South Korean government lifted the 30-year ban on cultural exchange with Japan that had been in place since 1948.JOURNAL, Ju, Hyujung, 2014, Transformations of the Korean Media Industry by the Korean Wave: The Perspective of Glocalization, Korean Popular Culture in Global Context, ProQuest ebrary, Korean pop cultural products' success in the Japanese market is partially explained by the borrowing of Japanese ideas such as the star-marketing system and heavy promotion of new television shows and music. Korean dramas such as Winter Sonata and Coffee Prince, as well as K-pop artists such as BIGBANG and SHINee are extremely popular with Japanese consumers. Most recently, South Korean President Moon Jae-in met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the 2017 G-20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany to discuss the future of their relationship and specifically how to cooperate on finding solutions for North Korean aggression in the region. Both leaders restated their commitment to solving the comfort women dispute, building positive relations in the region, and pressuring China to be more assertive with North Korea as it continues to test nuclear weapons and isolate themselves further form the international community.NEWS,weblink Abe and Moon hold first talks in Hamburg, agree to resume reciprocal visits, July 7, 2017, The Japan Times Online, July 8, 2017, en-US, 0447-5763,

Military

File:US Navy 051115-N-8492C-125 The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) destroyer JDS Kongou (DDG 173) sails in formation with other JMSDF ships and ships assigned to the USS Kitty Hawk Carrier Strike Group.jpg|thumb|left|JMSDF Kongō class destroyer ]]{{Multiple image|direction=vertical|width=220|image1=SM3 from JDS Kongo.jpgJDS Kongō>JDS Kongō (DDG-173), a guided missile destroyer, launching a Standard Missile 3 anti-ballistic missile in 2007|image2=Mitsubishi_F-2_landing.JPGMitsubishi F-2>F-2, a multirole combat aircraft}}Japan maintains one of the largest military budgets of any country in the world.WEB, The 15 countries with the highest military expenditure in 2009,weblink Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, January 16, 2011, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110217084451weblink">weblink February 17, 2011, mdy-all, The country's military (the Japan Self-Defense Forces – JSDF) is restricted by Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, which renounces Japan's right to declare war or use military force in international disputes. Accordingly, Japan's Self-Defense Forces is an unusual military that has never fired shots outside Japan.正論, May 2014 (171). Japan is the highest-ranked Asian country in the Global Peace Index.Institute for Economics and Peace (2015). Global Peace Index 2015. {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20151006145259weblink |date=October 6, 2015 }} Retrieved October 5, 2015The military is governed by the Ministry of Defense, and primarily consists of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF), the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF). The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) is a regular participant in RIMPAC maritime exercises.WEB, About RIMPAC,weblink Government of Singapore, March 2, 2014, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130806203903weblink">weblink August 6, 2013, The forces have been recently used in peacekeeping operations; the deployment of troops to Iraq marked the first overseas use of Japan's military since World War II.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070416075509weblink">weblink April 16, 2007, Tokyo says it will bring troops home from Iraq, International Herald Tribune, June 20, 2006, March 28, 2007, Japan Business Federation has called on the government to lift the ban on arms exports so that Japan can join multinational projects such as the Joint Strike Fighter.NEWS,weblink Japan business lobby wants weapon export ban eased, Reuters, July 13, 2010, April 12, 2011, The 21st century is witnessing a rapid change in global power balance along with globalization. The security environment around Japan has become increasingly severe as represented by nuclear and missile development by North Korea. Transnational threats grounded on technological progress including international terrorism and cyber attacks are also increasing their significance.NEWS, Japan's Security Policy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan,weblink Japan, including its Self-Defense Forces, has contributed to the maximum extent possible to the efforts to maintain and restore international peace and security, such as UN peacekeeping operations. Building on the ongoing efforts as a peaceful state, the Government of Japan has been making various efforts on its security policy which include: the establishment of the National Security Council (NSC), the adoption of the National Security Strategy (NSS), and the National Defense Program Guidelines (NDPG). These efforts are made based on the belief that Japan, as a "Proactive Contributor to Peace", needs to contribute more actively to the peace and stability of the region and the international community, while coordinating with other countries including its ally, the United States.Japan has close economic and military relations with the United States; the US-Japan security alliance acts as the cornerstone of the nation's foreign policy.WEB,weblink Japan Is Back: Why Tokyo's New Assertiveness Is Good for Washington, Michael Green, Real Clear Politics, March 28, 2007, A member state of the United Nations since 1956, Japan has served as a non-permanent Security Council member for a total of 20 years, most recently for 2009 and 2010. It is one of the G4 nations seeking permanent membership in the Security Council.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070221044357weblink">weblink February 21, 2007, UK backs Japan for UNSC bid, Central Chronicle, March 28, 2007, In May 2014, Prime Minister Shinzō Abe said Japan wanted to shed the passiveness it has maintained since the end of World War II and take more responsibility for regional security. He said Japan wanted to play a key role and offered neighboring countries Japan's support.NEWS, Abe offers Japan's help in maintaining regional security,weblink May 31, 2014, Japan Herald, In recent years, they have been engaged in international peacekeeping operations including the UN peacekeeping.WEB,weblink Japan – Introduction, Globalsecurity.org, March 5, 2006, Recent tensions, particularly with North Korea,NEWS, Japan fires on 'intruding' boat, December 22, 2001, BBC,weblink have reignited the debate over the status of the JSDF and its relation to Japanese society.NEWS, Japan Mulls Constitutional Reform, Herman, Steve, Tokyo, February 15, 2006, Voice of America,weblink yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20060216032116weblink">weblink February 16, 2006, New military guidelines, announced in December 2010, will direct the JSDF away from its Cold War focus on the former Soviet Union to a focus on China, especially regarding the territorial dispute over the Senkaku Islands.NEWS, Fackler, Martin,weblink Japan Announces Defense Policy to Counter China, The New York Times, December 16, 2010, December 17, 2010,

Economy

File:Bank of Japan headquarters in Tokyo, Japan.jpg|thumb|left|Bank of Japan headquarters in Chuo, TokyoTokyoFile:Tokyo stock exchange.jpg|thumb|The Tokyo Stock ExchangeTokyo Stock ExchangeFile:Ginza Wako Clock.jpg|thumb|GinzaGinzaJapan is the third largest national economy in the world, after the United States and China, in terms of nominal GDP,NEWS, China confirmed as World's Second Largest Economy, The Guardian, January 21, 2011,weblink January 21, 2011, James, Inman, London, and the fourth largest national economy in the world, after the United States, China and India, in terms of purchasing power parity. {{As of|2016}}, Japan's public debt was estimated at more than 230 percent of its annual gross domestic product, the largest of any nation in the world.WEB,weblink CIA, World Factbook, Country comparison: Public debt, August 20, 2017, In August 2011, Moody's rating has cut Japan's long-term sovereign debt rating one notch from Aa3 to Aa2 inline with the size of the country's deficit and borrowing level. The large budget deficits and government debt since the 2009 global recession and followed by the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 caused the rating downgrade.NEWS,weblink Moody's cuts Japan's debt rating on deficit concerns, August 24, 2011, BBC News, The service sector accounts for three quarters of the gross domestic product.WEB, Manufacturing and Construction,weblink Statistical Handbook of Japan, Statistics Bureau, January 16, 2011, Japan has a large industrial capacity, and is home to some of the largest and most technologically advanced producers of motor vehicles, electronics, machine tools, steel and nonferrous metals, ships, chemical substances, textiles, and processed foods. Agricultural businesses in Japan cultivate 13 percent of Japan's land, and Japan accounts for nearly 15 percent of the global fish catch, second only to China. {{As of|2016}}, Japan's labor force consisted of some 65.9 million workers. Japan has a low unemployment rate of around four percent. Some 20 million people, around 17 per cent of the population, were below the poverty line in 2007.NEWS, Japan Tries to Face Up to Growing Poverty Problem,weblink January 16, 2011, The New York Times, April 21, 2010, Martin, Fackler, Housing in Japan is characterized by limited land supply in urban areas.WEB, 2008 Housing and Land Survey,weblink Statistics Bureau, January 20, 2011, Japan's exports amounted to US$4,210 per capita in 2005. {{as of|2014}}, Japan's main export markets were the United States (20.2 percent), China (17.5 percent), South Korea (7.1 percent), Hong Kong (5.6 percent) and Thailand (4.5 percent). Its main exports are transportation equipment, motor vehicles, iron and steel products, semiconductors and auto parts. Japan's main import markets {{as of|2015|lc=y}} were China (24.8 percent), the United States (10.5 percent), Australia (5.4 percent) and South Korea (4.1 percent).Japan's main imports are machinery and equipment, fossil fuels, foodstuffs (in particular beef), chemicals, textiles and raw materials for its industries. By market share measures, domestic markets are the least open of any OECD country. Junichirō Koizumi's administration began some pro-competition reforms, and foreign investment in Japan has soared.NEWS, Foreign investment in Japan soars,weblink January 16, 2011, BBC, June 29, 2005, Japan ranks 27th of 189 countries in the 2014 ease of doing business index and has one of the smallest tax revenues of the developed world. The Japanese variant of capitalism has many distinct features: keiretsu enterprises are influential, and lifetime employment and seniority-based career advancement are relatively common in the Japanese work environment.WEB,weblink Economic survey of Japan 2008, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD, August 25, 2010, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20101109122744weblink">weblink November 9, 2010, mdy-all, NEWS,weblink Japan's Economy: Free at last, The Economist, July 20, 2006, January 23, 2011, Japanese companies are known for management methods like "The Toyota Way", and shareholder activism is rare.NEWS, Activist shareholders swarm in Japan,weblink January 23, 2011, June 28, 2007, The Economist, Japan's top global brands include Toyota, Honda, Canon, Nissan, Sony, Mitsubishi UFJ (MUFG), Panasonic, Uniqlo, Lexus, Subaru, Nintendo, Bridgestone, Mazda and Suzuki.WEB,weblink Japan's Best Global Brands 2017, February 17, 2017, November 2, 2017, Ranking the Brands,

Economic history

Modern Japan's economic growth began in the Edo period. Some of the surviving elements of the Edo period are roads and water transportation routes, as well as financial instruments such as futures contracts, banking and insurance of the Osaka rice brokers.BOOK, The Origins of Japanese Trade Supremacy, Howe, Christopher, Hurst & Company, 1996, 978-1-85065-538-1, 58f,weblink During the Meiji period from 1868, Japan expanded economically with the embrace of the market economy.BOOK, Totman, Conrad, A History of Japan (2nd ed.), 2005, Blackwell, 978-1-4051-2359-4, 312–314,weblink Many of today's enterprises were founded at the time, and Japan emerged as the most developed nation in Asia.BOOK, McCargo, Duncan, Contemporary Japan, 2000, Macmillan, 978-0-333-71000-5, 18–19,weblink The period of overall real economic growth from the 1960s to the 1980s has been called the Japanese post-war economic miracle: it averaged 7.5 percent in the 1960s and 1970s, and 3.2 percent in the 1980s and early 1990s.JOURNAL, Ryan, Liam, The "Asian economic miracle" unmasked: The political economy of the reality, International Journal of Social Economics, January 1, 2000, 27, 7–10, 802–815, 10.1108/03068290010335235, Growth slowed in the 1990s during the "Lost Decade" due to after-effects of the Japanese asset price bubble and government policies intended to wring speculative excesses from the stock and real estate markets. Efforts to revive economic growth were unsuccessful and further hampered by the global slowdown in 2000. The economy recovered after 2005; GDP growth for that year was 2.8 percent, surpassing the growth rates of the US and European Union during the same period.NEWS, Masake, Hisane, A farewell to zero,weblink January 16, 2011, Asia Times, March 2, 2006, Today, Japan ranks highly for competitiveness and economic freedom. It is ranked sixth in the Global Competitiveness Report for 2015–2016.WEB,weblink Country/Economy Profiles: Japan, World Economic Forum, February 24, 2016, English, WEB,weblink Competitiveness Rankings, World Economic Forum, February 24, 2016, English,

Agriculture and fishery

File:Rice_Paddies_In_Aizu,_Japan.JPG|thumb|A rice paddy in Aizu, Fukushima PrefectureFukushima PrefectureThe Japanese agricultural sector accounts for about 1.4% of the total country's GDP. Only 12% of Japan's land is suitable for cultivation.WEB,weblink As Farmers Age, Japan Rethinks Relationship With Food, Fields, PBS, June 12, 2012, November 21, 2013, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20131121103417weblink">weblink November 21, 2013, mdy-all, WEB,weblink Trip Report – Japan Agricultural Situation, United States Department of Agriculture, August 17, 2012, November 21, 2013, Due to this lack of arable land, a system of terraces is used to farm in small areas.WEB,weblink Urbanites Help Sustain Japan's Historic Rice Paddy Terraces, Our World, May 22, 2012, November 21, 2013, Nagata, Akira, Chen, Bixia, This results in one of the world's highest levels of crop yields per unit area, with an overall agricultural self-sufficiency rate of about 50% on fewer than {{convert|56000|km²|acres|lk=out|abbr=off}} cultivated.Japan's small agricultural sector, however, is also highly subsidized and protected, with government regulations that favor small-scale cultivation instead of large-scale agriculture as practiced in North America. There has been a growing concern about farming as the current farmers are aging with a difficult time finding successors.WEB,weblink How will Japan's farms survive?, The Japan Times, June 28, 2013, November 21, 2013, Rice accounts for almost all of Japan's cereal production.WEB,weblink Japan – Agriculture, Nations Encyclopedia, November 21, 2013, Japan is the second-largest agricultural product importer in the world. Rice, the most protected crop, is subject to tariffs of 777.7%.NEWS,weblink With fewer, bigger plots and fewer part-time farmers, agriculture could compete, The Economist, April 13, 2013, November 21, 2013, In 1996, Japan ranked fourth in the world in tonnage of fish caught.WEB,weblink World review of fisheries and aquaculture, Food and Agriculture Organization, January 18, 2014, Japan captured 4,074,580 metric tons of fish in 2005, down from 4,987,703 tons in 2000, 9,558,615 tons in 1990, 9,864,422 tons in 1980, 8,520,397 tons in 1970, 5,583,796 tons in 1960 and 2,881,855 tons in 1950.WEB,weblink Fish capture by country, The Guardian, September 2, 2003, January 18, 2014, Brown, Felicity, In 2003, the total aquaculture production was predicted at 1,301,437 tonnes.WEB,weblink Japan, Food and Agriculture Organization, January 18, 2014, In 2010, Japan's total fisheries production was 4,762,469 fish.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="wayback.archive-it.org/all/20170525161431weblink">weblink yes, May 25, 2017, World fisheries production, by capture and aquaculture, by country (2010), Food and Agriculture Organization, January 18, 2014, mdy-all, Offshore fisheries accounted for an average of 50% of the nation's total fish catches in the late 1980s although they experienced repeated ups and downs during that period.Today, Japan maintains one of the world's largest fishing fleets and accounts for nearly 15% of the global catch,WEB,weblink The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency, February 1, 2014, prompting some claims that Japan's fishing is leading to depletion in fish stocks such as tuna.WEB,weblink UN tribunal halts Japanese tuna over-fishing, Asia Times, August 31, 1999, February 1, 2014, Japan has also sparked controversy by supporting quasi-commercial whaling.NEWS,weblink Japanese whaling 'science' rapped, BBC News, June 22, 2005, February 1, 2014, Black, Richard,

Industry

File:Toyota_Plant_Ohira_Sendai.jpg|thumb|Toyota factory in Ohira, Miyagi PrefectureMiyagi PrefectureJapan's industrial sector makes up approximately 27.5% of its GDP.WEB,weblink Japan, November 3, 2016, CIA World Factbook, November 13, 2016, Japan's major industries are motor vehicles, electronics, machine tools, metals, ships, chemicals and processed foods; some major Japanese industrial companies include Toyota, Canon Inc., Toshiba and Nippon Steel.WEB, Forbes Global 2000,weblink Forbes, November 14, 2016, Japan is the third largest automobile producer in the world, and is home to Toyota, the world's largest automobile company.WEB,weblink Production Statistics, OICA, 2016, November 13, 2016, WEB,weblink 2015 Global 2000: The World's Biggest Auto Companies, May 6, 2015, Forbes, November 13, 2016, The Japanese consumer electronics industry, once considered the strongest in the world, is currently in a state of decline as competition arises in countries like South Korea, the United States and China.WEB, The era of Japanese consumer electronics giants is dead,weblink cnet, November 13, 2016, NEWS, What happened to Japan's electronic giants?,weblink November 13, 2016, BBC News, April 2, 2013, However, despite also facing similar competition from South Korea and China, the Japanese shipbuilding industry is expected to remain strong due to an increased focus on specialized, high-tech designs.WEB, Why the sun has yet to set on Japanese shipbuilding,weblink Seatrade Maritime News, November 13, 2016,

Services

Japan's service sector accounts for about three-quarters of its total economic output.WEB,weblink Japan Country Report, Global Finance, November 16, 2013, Banking, insurance, real estate, retailing, transportation, and telecommunications are all major industries, with companies such as Mitsubishi UFJ, Mizuho, NTT, TEPCO, Nomura, Mitsubishi Estate, ÆON, Mitsui Sumitomo, Softbank, JR East, Seven & I, KDDI and Japan Airlines listed as some of the largest in the world.NEWS,weblink Fortune Global 500, CNNMoney, November 16, 2013, NEWS,weblink The World's Biggest Public Companies, Forbes, November 16, 2013, Four of the five most circulated newspapers in the world are Japanese newspapers.WEB,weblink National Newspapers Total Circulation 2011, International Federation of Audit Bureaux of Circulations, February 2, 2014, Japan Post Holdings, one of the country's largest providers of savings and insurance services, was slated for privatization by 2015.NEWS,weblink Japan govt aims to list Japan Post in three years, Reuters, October 26, 2013, November 16, 2013, Fujita, Junko, The six major keiretsus are the Mitsubishi, Sumitomo, Fuyo, Mitsui, Dai-Ichi Kangyo and Sanwa Groups.WEB,weblink The Keiretsu of Japan, San José State University,

Tourism

File:Tokyo Skytree 2014 Ⅲ.jpg|thumb|left|upright|Tokyo Sky Tree, the tallest tower in the world]]{{Multiple image| align =|direction=vertical|width=220|image1=Chuurei-tou Fujiyoshida 17025277650 c59733d6ba o.jpg|caption1=Mount Fuji, the highest peak, is considered as one of the most iconic landmarks of Japan|image2=Castle_Himeji_sakura01_adjusted.jpg|caption2=Cherry blossom with Himeji Castle in the background, a UNESCO World Heritage Site|image3=KyotoFushimiInariLarge.jpg|caption3=Fushimi Inari-taisha in Kyoto|image4=The A-Bomb Dome and oyster boat "Kanawa"(2015.08.22).JPG|caption4=Hiroshima Peace Memorial}}Japan attracted 19.73 million international tourists in 2015WEB,weblink Visitors to Japan surge to record 19.73 million, spend all-time high ¥3.48 trillion, Tomoko, Otake, January 19, 2016, Japan Times Online, and increased by 21.8% to attract 24.03 million international tourists in 2016.WEB,weblink 2016 Foreign Visitors & Japanese Departures, January 29, 2017, Japan National Tourism Organization, WEB,weblink Number of foreign visitors to Japan tops 20 million mark for first time, Tomoko, Otake, January 29, 2017, Japan Times Online, WEB,weblink Japan Total Visitor Numbers Over 24 Million in 2016!, January 29, 2017, Japan National Tourism Organization-UK Global Office, Japan Times Online, Tourism from abroad is one of the few promising businesses in Japan. Foreign visitors to Japan doubled in last decade and reached 10 million people for the first time in 2013, led by increase of Asian visitors.In 2008, the Japanese government has set up Japan Tourism Agency and set the initial goal to increase foreign visitors to 20 million in 2020. In 2016, having met the 20 million target, the government has revised up its target to 40 million by 2020 and to 60 million by 2030.WEB,weblink Number of visitors to Japan, January 29, 2017, Japan Macro Advisors, WEB,weblink SMAM Market Keyword (No.139), SMAM-jp.com, January 29, 2017, Japan has 20 World Heritage Sites, including Himeji Castle, Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto and Nara.WEB,weblink Japan Properties inscribed on the World Heritage List, January 29, 2017, UNESCO, Popular tourist attractions include Tokyo and Hiroshima, Mount Fuji, ski resorts such as Niseko in Hokkaido, Okinawa, riding the shinkansen and taking advantage of Japan's hotel and hotspring network.For inbound tourism, Japan was ranked 16th in the world in 2015.PRESS RELEASE, UNWTO Tourism Highlights 2015 Edition, UNWTO, June 25, 2015,weblink July 3, 2015, In 2009, the Yomiuri Shimbun published a modern list of famous sights under the name Heisei Hyakkei (the Hundred Views of the Heisei period). The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017 ranks Japan 4th out of 141 countries overall, which was the best in Asia. Japan gained relatively high scores in almost all aspects, especially health and hygiene, safety and security, cultural resources and business travel.WEB, The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017, World Economic Forum,weblink April 2017, In 2016, 24,039,053 foreign tourists visited Japan.WEB,weblink 2015年推計値,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20160508231752weblink">weblink May 8, 2016, Japan National Tourism Organization, Neighbouring South Korea is Japan's most important source of foreign tourists. In 2010, the 2.4 million arrivals made up 27% of the tourists visiting Japan.NEWS, Dickie, Mure, Tourists flock to Japan despite China spat,weblink March 16, 2012, The Financial Times, January 26, 2011, Chinese travelers are the highest spenders in Japan by country, spending an estimated 196.4 billion yen (US$2.4 billion) in 2011, or almost a quarter of total expenditure by foreign visitors, according to data from the Japan Tourism Agency.WEB, Tokyu Group in steadfast pursuit of Chinese tourists,weblink TTGmice, April 18, 2013, The Japanese government hopes to receive 40 million foreign tourists every year by 2020.WEB,weblink Japan to offer 10-year multi-entry visas for Chinese as part of tourism push, International Business Times, May 17, 2016, May 17, 2016, Bhattacharjya, Samhati, {| class="wikitable"! Rank !! Country !! Number (people)in 2016 !! Percentage change2015 to 2016 !! Number (people)in 2015 !! Percentage change2014 to 2015China}} 6,373,000 27.6% 4,993,689 107.3%South Korea}} 5,090,300 27.2% 4,002,095 45.3%Taiwan}} 4,167,400 13.3% 3,677,075 29.9%Hong Kong}} 1,839,200 20.7% 1,524,292 64.6%United States}} 1,242,700 20.3% 1,033,258 15.9%Thailand}} 901,400 13.1% 796,731 21.2%Australia}} 445,200 18.4% 376,075 24.3%Malaysia}} 394,200 29.1% 305,447 22.4%Singapore}} 361,800 17.2% 308,783 35.5%Philippines}} 347,800 29.6% 268,361 45.7%United Kingdom}} 292,500 13.2% 258,488 17.5%Canada}} 273,100 18.0% 231,390 26.5%| 47.1%

Science and technology

File:HTV-6 grappled by the International Space Station's robotic arm (2).jpg|thumb|Kounotori 6Kounotori 6Japan is a leading nation in scientific research, particularly in fields related to the natural sciences and engineering. The country ranks second among the most innovative countries in the Bloomberg Innovation Index.NEWS,weblink Bloomberg, The Bloomberg Innovation Index, WEB,weblink Bloomberg: Israel Is World's 5th Most Innovative Country, Ahead Of US, UK, No Camels, February 4, 2015, October 29, 2016, David Shamah, Nearly 700,000 researchers share a US$130 billion research and development budget.NEWS, McDonald, Joe, China to spend $136 billion on R&D, BusinessWeek, December 4, 2006, The amount spent on research and development relative to gross domestic product is the third highest in the world.WEB,weblink Invest in Israel – Where Breakthroughs Happen, December 4, 2011, Investment Promotion Center, Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry, 17, October 14, 2012, The country is a world leader in fundamental scientific research, having produced twenty-two Nobel laureates in either physics, chemistry or medicineWEB, Japanese Nobel Laureates, Kyoto University, 2009,weblink November 7, 2009, and three Fields medalists.WEB, Japanese Fields Medalists, Kyoto University, 2009,weblink November 7, 2009, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20100310203313weblink">weblink March 10, 2010, Japanese scientists and engineers have contributed to the advancement of agricultural sciences, electronics, industrial robotics, optics, chemicals, semiconductors, life sciences and various fields of engineering. Japan leads the world in robotics production and use, possessing more than 20% (300,000 of 1.3 million) of the world's industrial robots {{as of|2013|lc=y}}WEB,weblink Statistics – IFR International Federation of Robotics, October 5, 2016, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20160327031517weblink">weblink March 27, 2016, —though its share was historically even higher, representing one-half of all industrial robots worldwide in 2000.WEB, The Boom in Robot Investment Continues,weblink UN Economic Commission for Europe, December 28, 2006, October 17, 2000, Japan boasts the third highest number of scientists, technicians, and engineers per capita in the world with 83 scientists, technicians and engineers per 10,000 employees.WEB,weblink R&D and Innovation as a Growth Engine, Shteinbuk, Eduard, July 22, 2011, National Research University – Higher School of Economics, May 11, 2013, WEB,weblink InvestinIsrael, WEB,weblink Investing in Israel, Ettinger, Yoram, New York Jewish Times,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130509230619weblink">weblink May 9, 2013, yes, March 18, 2013, mdy-all,

Electronics and automotive engineering

File:2017 Toyota Camry TRD.jpg|thumb|A plug-in hybrid car manufactured by ToyotaToyotaFile:Sony Xperia M4 Aqua (17135823901).jpg|thumb|Sony XperiaSony XperiaThe Japanese electronics and automotive manufacturing industry is well known throughout the world, and the country's electronic and automotive products account for a large share in the global market, compared to a majority of other countries. Brands such as Fujifilm, Canon, Sony, Nintendo, Panasonic, Toyota, Nissan and Honda are internationally famous. It is estimated that 16% of the world's gold and 22% of the world's silver is contained in Japanese electronics.WEB,weblink Japan wants citizens to donate their old phone to make 2020 Olympics medals, Japan has started a project to build the world's fastest supercomputer by the end of 2017.WEB, CNN, Temujin Doran and Katy Scott,, Japan is building the fastest supercomputer in the world,weblink CNN, November 19, 2017, {{update inline|date=August 2018}}

Aerospace

File:Kibo PM and ELM-PS.jpg|thumb|The Japanese Experiment Module (Kibo) at the International Space StationInternational Space StationThe Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is Japan's national space agency; it conducts space, planetary, and aviation research, and leads development of rockets and satellites. It is a participant in the International Space Station: the Japanese Experiment Module (Kibo) was added to the station during Space Shuttle assembly flights in 2008.WEB, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Homepage, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, August 3, 2006,weblink March 28, 2007, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070321160909weblink">weblink March 21, 2007, The space probe Akatsuki was launched May 20, 2010, and achieved orbit around Venus on December 9, 2015. Japan's plans in space exploration include: developing the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter to be launched in 2018;WEB,weblink ESA Science & Technology: Fact Sheet, esa.int, February 5, 2014, and building a moon base by 2030.WEB, Japan Plans Moon Base by 2030, MoonDaily, August 3, 2006,weblink March 27, 2007, On September 14, 2007, it launched lunar explorer SELENE (Selenological and Engineering Explorer) on a H-IIA (Model H2A2022) carrier rocket from Tanegashima Space Center. SELENE is also known as Kaguya, after the lunar princess of The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter.WEB,weblink "KAGUYA" selected as SELENE's nickname, October 13, 2007, Kaguya is the largest lunar mission since the Apollo program. Its purpose is to gather data on the moon's origin and evolution. It entered a lunar orbit on October 4,WEB,weblink Japan Successfully Launches Lunar Explorer "Kaguya", Japan Corporate News Network, August 25, 2010, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110430010519weblink">weblink April 30, 2011, NEWS,weblink Japan launches first lunar probe, BBC News, September 14, 2007, August 25, 2010, flying at an altitude of about {{convert|100|km|0|abbr=on}}.WEB,weblink JAXA, KAGUYA (SELENE) Image Taking of "Full Earth-Rise" by HDTV, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, August 25, 2010, The probe's mission was ended when it was deliberately crashed by JAXA into the Moon on June 11, 2009.NEWS,weblink Japanese probe crashes into Moon, BBC News, June 11, 2009, April 12, 2011,

Nobel laureates

Japan has received the most science Nobel Prizes in Asia and ranked 8th in the world.WEB,weblink Nobel Laureates and Country of Birth, Hideki Yukawa, educated at Kyoto University, was awarded the prize in physics in 1949. Shin'ichirō Tomonaga followed in 1965. Solid-state physicist Leo Esaki, educated at the University of Tokyo, received the prize in 1973. Kenichi Fukui of Kyoto University shared the 1981 prize in chemistry, and Susumu Tonegawa, also educated at Kyoto University, became Japan's first laureate in physiology or medicine in 1987. Japanese chemists took prizes in 2000 and 2001: first Hideki Shirakawa (Tokyo Institute of Technology) and then Ryōji Noyori (Kyoto University). In 2002, Masatoshi Koshiba (University of Tokyo) and Koichi Tanaka (Tohoku University) won in physics and chemistry, respectively. Makoto Kobayashi, Toshihide Masukawa and Yoichiro Nambu, who was an American citizen when awarded, shared the physics prize and Osamu Shimomura also won the chemistry prize in 2008. Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura, who is an American citizen when awarded, shared the physics prize in 2014 and the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Yoshinori Ohsumi in 2016.WEB,weblink Nobel Prizes 2016,

Infrastructure

Transportation

File:Japan Airlines, Boeing 787-9 JA861J NRT (19455285040).jpg|thumb|left|Japan Airlines, flag carrierflag carrierFile:Series L0.JPG|thumb|right|A JR Central L0 Series maglevmaglevJapan's road spending has been extensive.NEWS, Japan's Road to Deep Deficit is Paved with Public Works,weblink January 16, 2011, The New York Times, Andrew, Pollack, March 1, 1997, Its {{convert|1.2|e6km|abbr=off}} of paved road are the main means of transportation.WEB, Transport,weblink Statistical Handbook of Japan 2007, Statistics Bureau, March 2, 2014, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110427071603weblink">weblink April 27, 2011, As of April 2012, Japan has approximately {{convert|1215000|km|abbr=off}} of roads made up of {{convert|1022000|km|abbr=off}} of city, town and village roads, {{convert|129000|km|abbr=off}} of prefectural roads, {{convert|55000|km|abbr=off}} of general national highways and {{convert|8050|km|abbr=off}} of national expressways.Chapter 12 Transport – Microsoft Excel Sheet, Statistical Handbook of JapanWEB,weblink Road Bureau – MLIT Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, A single network of high-speed, divided, limited-access toll roads connects major cities on Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu. Hokkaido has a separate network, and Okinawa Island has a highway of this type. A single network of high-speed, divided, limited-access toll roads connects major cities and is operated by toll-collecting enterprises. New and used cars are inexpensive; car ownership fees and fuel levies are used to promote energy efficiency. However, at just 50 percent of all distance traveled, car usage is the lowest of all G8 countries.WEB,weblink Transport in Japan, February 17, 2009, International Transport Statistics Database, International Road Assessment Program, {{subscription required}}Since privatisation in 1987, dozens of Japanese railway companies compete in regional and local passenger transportation markets; major companies include seven JR enterprises, Kintetsu, Seibu Railway and Keio Corporation. Some 250 high-speed Shinkansen trains connect major cities and Japanese trains are known for their safety and punctuality.WEB,weblink About the Shinkansen â€“ Safety, October 17, 2011, Central Japan Railway Company, WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20080513230217weblink">weblink May 13, 2008, Corporate Culture as Strong Diving Force for Punctuality- Another "Just in Time", April 19, 2009, Hitachi, Proposals for a new Maglev route between Tokyo and Osaka are at an advanced stage.NEWS,weblink Japan to approve plans for a new super-train, The Independent, April 27, 2011, May 11, 2011, London, There are 175 airports in Japan; the largest domestic airport, Haneda Airport, is Asia's second-busiest airport.WEB,weblink Year to Date Passenger Traffic, Airports Council International, November 11, 2010, March 2, 2014, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110111152406weblink">weblink January 11, 2011, The largest international gateways are Narita International Airport, Kansai International Airport and ChÅ«bu Centrair International Airport.BOOK, Nakagawa, Dai, Transport Policy and Funding, 2006, Elsevier, 978-0-08-044852-7, 63, Matsunaka, Ryoji,weblink Nagoya Port is the country's largest and busiest port, accounting for 10 percent of Japan's trade value.WEB, Port Profile,weblink Port of Nagoya, January 7, 2011, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20101130050032weblink">weblink November 30, 2010, mdy-all,

Energy

File:Kashiwazaki-Kariwa 04780017 (8388173865).jpg|thumb|The Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power PlantKashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant{{As of|2011}}, 46.1% of energy in Japan was produced from petroleum, 21.3% from coal, 21.4% from natural gas, 4.0% from nuclear power and 3.3% from hydropower. Nuclear power produced 9.2 percent of Japan's electricity, {{As of|2011|lc=y}}, down from 24.9 percent the previous year.WEB, Energy,weblink Statistical Handbook of Japan 2013, Statistics Bureau, February 14, 2014, However, by May 2012 all of the country's nuclear power plants had been taken offline because of ongoing public opposition following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in March 2011, though government officials continued to try to sway public opinion in favor of returning at least some of Japan's 50 nuclear reactors to service.NEWS, Tsukimori, Osamu, Japan nuclear power-free as last reactor shuts,weblink May 8, 2012, Reuters, May 5, 2012, {{As of|November 2014}}, two reactors at Sendai are likely to restart in early 2015.NEWS,weblink Japan governor approves Sendai reactor restart, BBC News, November 7, 2014, Japan lacks significant domestic reserves and so has a heavy dependence on imported energy.WEB, Can nuclear power save Japan from peak oil?,weblink Our World 2.0, March 15, 2011, February 2, 2011, Japan has therefore aimed to diversify its sources and maintain high levels of energy efficiency.WEB, Japan,weblink U.S. Department of State, March 15, 2011,

Water supply and sanitation

File:Tokuyama Dam under involved construction.jpg|thumb|Tokuyama Dam in Gifu PrefectureGifu PrefectureThe government took responsibility for regulating the water and sanitation sector is shared between the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare in charge of water supply for domestic use; the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in charge of water resources development as well as sanitation; the Ministry of the Environment in charge of ambient water quality and environmental preservation; and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications in charge of performance benchmarking of utilities.Waterworks Vision Summary, June 2004, retrieved on January 6, 2011Access to an improved water source is universal in Japan. 97% of the population receives piped water supply from public utilities and 3% receive water from their own wells or unregulated small systems, mainly in rural areas.Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare:Coverage, retrieved on January 6, 2011Access to improved sanitation is also universal, either through sewers or on-site sanitation. All collected waste water is treated at secondary-level treatment plants. All effluents discharged to closed or semi-closed water bodies, such as Tokyo Bay, Osaka Bay, or Lake Biwa, are further treated to tertiary level. This applies to about 15% of waste water. The effluent quality is remarkably good at 3–10 mg/l of BOD for secondary-level treatment, well below the national effluent standard of 20 mg/l.Water supply and sanitation in Japan is facing some challenges, such as a decreasing population, declining investment, fiscal constraints, ageing facilities, an ageing workforce, a fragmentation of service provision among thousands of municipal utilities, and the vulnerability of parts of the country to droughts that are expected to become more frequent due to climate change.

Demographics

Population

File:Tokyo from the top of the SkyTree.JPG|thumb|left|View of TokyoTokyoFile:Bjs48 02 Ainu.jpg|thumb|Ainu, an ethnic minority people from Japan]]Japan's population is estimated at around {{#expr:{{replace|{{UN_Population|Japan}}|,||}}/1e6 round 0}} million,{{UN_Population|ref}} with 80% of the population living on Honshū. Japanese society is linguistically, ethnically and culturally homogeneous,NEWS, 'Multicultural Japan' remains a pipe dream,weblink January 16, 2011, Japan Times, March 27, 2007, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110414035203weblink">weblink April 14, 2011, mdy-all, Atsushi Kotani The Fascination of the Japanese Cultural Theory (日本文化論のインチキ) {{ISBN|978-4-344-98166-9}} (Gentensei Shinko Shinbun, 2010) composed of 98.5% ethnic Japanese,WEB,weblink CIA Factbook: Japan, Cia.gov, November 9, 2011, with small populations of foreign workers. Zainichi Koreans,NEWS, Japan-born Koreans live in limbo,weblink January 16, 2011, The New York Times, April 2, 2005, Chinese, Filipinos, Brazilians mostly of Japanese descent,NEWS, An Enclave of Brazilians Is Testing Insular Japan,weblink January 16, 2011, The New York Times, November 1, 2008, Norimitsu, Onishi, Peruvians mostly of Japanese descent and Americans are among the small minority groups in Japan.NEWS, 'Home' is where the heartbreak is for Japanese-Peruvians,weblink January 16, 2011, Asia Times, October 16, 1999, In 2003, there were about 134,700 non-Latin American Western (not including more than 33,000 American military personnel and their dependents stationed throughout the country)NEWS, Global Partners Report: 80,000 Americans Reside in Japan,weblink June 15, 2015, and 345,500 Latin American expatriates, 274,700 of whom were Brazilians (said to be primarily Japanese descendants, or nikkeijin, along with their spouses), the largest community of Westerners.WEB, Registered Foreigners in Japan by Nationality,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20050824195238weblink">weblink August 24, 2005, Statistics Bureau, January 16, 2011, The most dominant native ethnic group is the Yamato people; primary minority groups include the indigenous AinuNEWS, Philippa, Fogarty, Recognition at last for Japan's Ainu,weblink BBC, June 6, 2008, June 7, 2008, and Ryukyuan peoples, as well as social minority groups like the burakumin.NEWS, The Invisible Race,weblink January 16, 2011, Time, January 8, 1973, There are persons of mixed ancestry incorporated among the Yamato, such as those from Ogasawara Archipelago.McCormack, Gavan. "Dilemmas of Development on The Ogasawara Islands," JPRI Occasional Paper, No. 15 (August 1999). In 2014, foreign-born non-naturalized workers made up only 1.5% of the total population."Japan Statistical Yearbook 2016 {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20160519215124weblink |date=May 19, 2016 }}". Japan is widely regarded as ethnically homogeneous, and does not compile ethnicity or race statistics for Japanese nationals; sources varies regarding such claim, with at least one analysis describing Japan as a multiethnic societyJohn Lie Multiethnic Japan (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2001) while another analysis put the number of Japanese nationals of recent foreign descent to be minimal. Most Japanese continue to see Japan as a monocultural society. Former Japanese Prime Minister and current Finance Minister Tarō Asō described Japan as being a nation of "one race, one civilization, one language and one culture", which drew criticism from representatives of ethnic minorities such as the Ainu."Aso says Japan is nation of 'one race'". The Japan Times. October 18, 2005.Japan has the second longest overall life expectancy at birth of any country in the world: 83.5 years for persons born in the period 2010–2015.NEWS, WHO: Life expectancy in Israel among highest in the world,weblink January 15, 2011, Haaretz, May 2009, The Japanese population is rapidly aging as a result of a post–World War II baby boom followed by a decrease in birth rates. In 2012, about 24.1 percent of the population was over 65, and the proportion is projected to rise to almost 40 percent by 2050.WEB,weblink Statistical Handbook of Japan 2013: Chapter 2—Population, Statistics Bureau, February 14, 2014, {{Largest cities of Japan}}

Religion

{{Pie chart|thumb = right|caption = Religion in Japan (data from 2000)Dentsu Communication Institute, Japan Research Center: Sixty Countries' Values Databook (世界60カ国価値観データブック) (2000).Shinto, or "not religious"{{refn>group=noteRoutledge Handbook of Japanese Culture and Society (2011) edited by Victoria Bestor, Theodore C. Bestor, and Akiko Yamagata, pp. 66–67 {{ISBN>978-0-415-43649-6}}: 無宗教 mushūkyō, "no religion", in Japanese language and mindset identifies those people who do not belong to organised religion. To the Japanese, the term "religion" or "faith" means organized religions on the model of Christianity, that is a religion with specific doctrines and requirement for church membership. So, when asked "what is their religion", most of the Japanese answer that they "do not belong to any religion". According to NHK studies, those Japanese who identify with mushūkyō and therefore do not belong to any organised religion, actually take part in the folk ritual dimension of Shinto. Ama Toshimaru in Nihonjin wa naze mushukyo na no ka ("Why are the Japanese non-religious?") of 1996, explains that people who do not belong to organised religions but regularly pray and make offerings to ancestors and protective deities at private altars or Shinto shrines will identify themselves as mushukyo. Ama designates "natural religion" what NHK studies define as "folk religion", and other scholars have named "Nipponism" (Nipponkyō) or "common religion".}}|value1 = 51.82|color1 = FireBrickBuddhism in Japan>Buddhism|value2 = 34.9|color2 = YellowShinto sects and schools#Shintō inspired religions>Shinto organisations and others|value3 = 4|color3 = GreenYellowChristianity in Japan>Christianity|value4 = 2.3|color4 = DodgerBlue|label5 = No answer|value5 = 6.98|color5 = Black}}File:Itsukushima Gate.jpg|thumb|left|The torii of Itsukushima Shinto Shrine near Hiroshima, one of the Three Views of JapanThree Views of JapanFile:Phoenix Hall, Byodo-in, November 2016 -01.jpg|thumb|left|The Byōdō-in Buddhist temple, located in Uji, KyotoUji, KyotoJapan has full religious freedom based on Article 20 of its Constitution. Upper estimates suggest that 84–96 percent of the Japanese population subscribe to Shinto as its indigenous religion (50% to 80% of which considering degrees of syncretism with Buddhism, shinbutsu-shūgō).WEB, A View of Religion in Japan,weblink January 29, 2017, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20160123023617weblink">weblink January 23, 2016, mdy-all, BOOK, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 978-0-674-47184-9, Edwin O., Reischauer, Edwin O. Reischauer, Marius B., Jansen, Marius Jansen, The Japanese today: change and continuity, 1988, 2nd, 215,weblink However, these estimates are based on people affiliated with a temple, rather than the number of true believers. The number of Shinto shrines in Japan is estimated to be around 100,000. Other studies have suggested that only 30 percent of the population identify themselves as belonging to a religion.BOOK, Kisala, Robert, Wargo, Robert, The Logic Of Nothingness: A Study of Nishida Kitarō, University of Hawaii Press, 2005, 3–4, 978-0-8248-2284-2,weblink According to Edwin Reischauer and Marius Jansen, some 70–80% of the Japanese do not consider themselves believers in any religion. Nevertheless, the level of participation remains high, especially during festivals and occasions such as the first shrine visit of the New Year. Taoism and Confucianism from China have also influenced Japanese beliefs and customs.BOOK, Totman, Conrad, A History of Japan (2nd ed.), 2005, Blackwell, 978-1-4051-2359-4, 72,weblink Japanese streets are decorated on Tanabata, Obon and Christmas.Shinto is the largest religion in Japan, practiced by nearly 80% of the population, yet only a small percentage of these identify themselves as "Shintoists" in surveys. This is due to the fact that "Shinto" has different meanings in Japan: most of the Japanese attend Shinto shrines and beseech kami without belonging to Shinto organisations, and since there are no formal rituals to become a member of folk Shinto, Shinto membership is often estimated counting those who join organised Shinto sects. Shinto has 100,000 shrines and 78,890 priests in the country.Routledge Handbook of Japanese Culture and Society (2011) edited by Victoria Bestor, Theodore C. Bestor, and Akiko Yamagata, p. 65 {{ISBN|978-0-415-43649-6}} Buddhism first arrived in Japan in the 6th century; it was introduced in the year 538 or 552Brown, 1993. p. 455 from the kingdom of Baekje in Korea.Christianity was first introduced into Japan by Jesuit missions starting in 1549.Higashibaba, 2002. p. 1 Today, fewer than 1%WEB, Christianity's long history in the margins,weblink The Japan Times, February 24, 2009, Mariko Kato, The Christian community itself counts only those who have been baptized and are currently regular churchgoers — some 1 million people, or less than 1 percent of the population, according to Nobuhisa Yamakita, moderator of the United Church of Christ in Japan, WEB, Mission Network News, Christians use English to reach Japanese youth, September 3, 2007,weblink The population of Japan is less than one-percent Christian, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20100611060608weblink">weblink June 11, 2010, mdy-all, BOOK,weblink Transactions, transgressions, transformations: American culture in Western Europe and Japan, 62, Berghahn Books, 2000, 978-1-57181-108-0, ... followers of the Christian faith constitute only about a half percent of the Japanese population, Heide Fehrenbach, Uta G. Poiger, to 2.3% are Christians,{{refn|group=note| According to the Dentsu survey of 2006: 1% Protestants, 0.8% members of the Catholic Church, and 0.5% members of the Orthodox Church.}} most of them living in the western part of the country, where the missionaries' activities were greatest during the 16th century. Nagasaki Prefecture has the highest percentage of Christians: about 5.1% in 1996.Religion in Japan by prefecture. 1996 statistics. {{As of|2007}}, there are 32,036 Christian priests and pastors in Japan. Throughout the latest century, some Western customs originally related to Christianity (including Western style weddings, Valentine's Day and Christmas) have become popular as secular customs among many Japanese.NEWS, Kato, Mariko, Christianity's long history in the margins, Japan Times, February 24, 2009, Islam in Japan is estimated to constitute, about 80–90%, of foreign born migrants and their children, primarily from Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Iran.Emile A. Nakhleh, Keiko Sakurai and Michael Penn; "Islam in Japan: A Cause for Concern?", Asia Policy 5, January 2008 Much of the ethnic Japanese Muslims are those who convert upon marrying immigrant Muslims.WEB,weblink Local Mosques and the Lives of Muslims in Japan - The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, Yasunori, Kawakami, www.japanfocus.org, The Pew Research Center estimated that there were 185,000 Muslims in Japan in 2010.WEB,weblink Table: Muslim Population by Country, Pew Research Center, January 27, 2011, March 19, 2017, Other minority religions include Hinduism, Sikhism and Judaism, Bahá'í Faith,WEB,weblink Japan Bahá'í Network, and since the mid-19th century numerous new religious movements have emerged in Japan.BOOK, The World's religions : understanding the living faiths, 1993, Reader's Digest, 978-0-89577-501-6, Clarke, Peter, 208,weblink

Languages

More than 99 percent of the population speaks Japanese as their first language. Japanese is an agglutinative language distinguished by a system of honorifics reflecting the hierarchical nature of Japanese society, with verb forms and particular vocabulary indicating the relative status of speaker and listener. Japanese writing uses kanji (Chinese characters) and two sets of kana (syllabaries based on cursive script and radical of kanji), as well as the Latin alphabet and Arabic numerals.WEB, Miyagawa, Shigeru, The Japanese Language,weblink Massachusetts Institute of Technology, January 16, 2011, Besides Japanese, the Ryukyuan languages (Amami, Kunigami, Okinawan, Miyako, Yaeyama, Yonaguni), also part of the Japonic language family, are spoken in the Ryukyu Islands chain. Few children learn these languages,JOURNAL, Heinrich, Patrick, Language Planning and Language Ideology in the Ryūkyū Islands, Language Policy, January 2004, 3, 2, 153–179, 10.1023/B:LPOL.0000036192.53709.fc, but in recent years the local governments have sought to increase awareness of the traditional languages. The Okinawan Japanese dialect is also spoken in the region. The Ainu language, which has no proven relationship to Japanese or any other language, is moribund, with only a few elderly native speakers remaining in Hokkaido.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20080106062419weblink">weblink January 6, 2008, 15 families keep ancient language alive in Japan, UN, March 27, 2007, Public and private schools generally require students to take Japanese language classes as well as English language courses.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20060427225148weblink">weblink April 27, 2006, Japan Digest: Japanese Education, September 1, 2005, Lucien, Ellington, Indiana University, April 27, 2006, Ambasciata d'Italia a Tokio: Lo studio della lingua e della cultura italiana in Giappone.

Problems

The changes in demographic structure have created a number of social issues, particularly a potential decline in workforce population and increase in the cost of social security benefits such as the public pension plan.Gonzalo Garland et al. "Dynamics of Demographic Development and its impact on Personal Saving : case of Japan", with Albert Ando, Andrea Moro, Juan Pablo Cordoba, in Ricerche Economiche, Vol 49, August 1995 A growing number of younger Japanese are not marrying or remain childless. In 2011, Japan's population dropped for a fifth year, falling by 204,000 people to 126.24 million people. This was the greatest decline since at least 1947, when comparable figures were first compiled.WEB,weblink Japan Population Drops Most Since World War II, January 2, 2012, This decline was made worse by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, which killed nearly 16,000 people.NEWS, Ryall, Julian, Japan's population contracts at fastest rate since at least 1947,weblink October 29, 2013, The Telegraph, January 3, 2012, Japan's population is expected to drop to 95 million by 2050;WEB,weblink'Population,%20History%20and%20Forecast'&HistFor=True&GrpOp=0&Dim1=81&File=0, frm_Message, October 5, 2016, demographers and government planners are currently in a heated debate over how to cope with this problem.WEB, Ogawa, Naohiro, Demographic Trends and their implications for Japan's future,weblink Transcript of speech delivered on 7 March 1997, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, May 14, 2006, Immigration and birth incentives are sometimes suggested as a solution to provide younger workers to support the nation's ageing population.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070929222250weblink">weblink September 29, 2007, Japan Immigration Policy Institute: Director's message, Hidenori, Sakanaka, Japan Immigration Policy Institute, October 5, 2005, January 5, 2007, NEWS, French, Howard, Insular Japan Needs, but Resists, Immigration,weblink February 21, 2007, The New York Times, July 24, 2003, Japan accepts an average flow of 9,500 new Japanese citizens by naturalization per year.WEB, ja:帰化許可申請者数等の推移,weblink Ministry of Justice, March 17, 2011, Japanese, According to the UNHCR, in 2012 Japan accepted just 18 refugees for resettlement,NEWS, 2012 saw record-high 2,545 people apply for refugee status in Japan,weblink Japan Times, March 20, 2013, while the United States took in 76,000.WEB, Presidential Memorandum—Fiscal Year 2012 Refugee Admissions Numbers and Authorizations of In-Country Refugee Status,weblink The White House, September 30, 2011, Japan suffers from a high suicide rate.NEWS,weblink In Japan, Mired in Recession, Suicides Soar, Strom, Stephanie, July 15, 1999, The New York Times, September 20, 2008, NEWS,weblink Japan gripped by suicide epidemic, Lewis, Leo, June 19, 2008, The Times (London), The Times, September 20, 2008, In 2009, the number of suicides exceeded 30,000 for the twelfth successive year.NEWS, Bare statistics mask human cost of Japan's high suicide rate, Japan Today, March 31, 2010,weblink February 3, 2014, Suicide is the leading cause of death for people under 30.JOURNAL, Ozawa-de Silva, Chikako
, Too Lonely to Die Alone: Internet Suicide Pacts and Existential Suffering in Japan, Cult Med Psychiatry, 32, 4, 516–551, December 2008, 10.1007/s11013-008-9108-0, 18800195,

Education

File:Tokyo University Entrance Exam Results 6.JPG|thumb|Students celebrating after the announcement of the results of the entrance examinations to the University of TokyoUniversity of TokyoPrimary schools, secondary schools and universities were introduced in 1872 as a result of the Meiji Restoration.WEB,weblink Beyond the Rhetoric: Essential Questions About Japanese Education, Lucien, Ellington, Foreign Policy Research Institute, December 1, 2003, April 1, 2007, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070405075716weblink">weblink April 5, 2007, Since 1947, compulsory education in Japan comprises elementary and junior high school, which together last for nine years (from age 6 to age 15). Almost all children continue their education at a three-year senior high school.Japan's education system played a central part in the country's recovery and rapid economic growth in the decades following the end of World War II. After World War II, the Fundamental Law of Education and the School Education Law were enacted. The latter law defined the school system that would be in effect for many decades: six years of elementary school, three years of junior high school, three years of high school, and two or four years of university. Starting in April 2016, various schools began the academic year with elementary school and junior high school integrated into one nine-year compulsory schooling program, in hopes to mitigate bullying and truancy; MEXT plans for this approach to be adopted nationwide in the coming years.WEB,weblink Compulsory nine-year school system kicks off in Japan, Jiji Press Staff, June 10, 2016, The Japan Times, August 31, 2016, In Japan, having a strong educational background greatly improves the likelihood of finding a job and earning enough money to support oneself. Highly educated individuals are less affected by unemployment trends as higher levels of educational attainment make an individual more attractive in the workforce. The lifetime earnings also increase with each level of education attained. Furthermore, skills needed in the modern 21st century labor market are becoming more knowledge-based and strong aptitude in science and mathematics are more strong predictors of employment prospects in Japan's highly technological economy.WEB,weblink Japan, OECD, October 28, 2016, Japan is one of the top-performing OECD countries in reading literacy, maths and sciences with the average student scoring 540 and has one of the worlds highest-educated labor forces among OECD countries.WEB,weblink Education OECD Better Life, OECD, May 29, 2016, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20160531152015weblink">weblink May 31, 2016, mdy-all, The Japanese populace is well educated and its society highly values education as a platform for social mobility and for gaining employment in the country's competitive high-tech economy. The country's large pool of highly educated and skilled individuals is largely responsible for ushering Japan's post-war economic growth. Tertiary-educated adults in Japan, particularly graduates in sciences and engineering benefit economically and socially from their education and skills in the country's high tech economy. Spending on education as a proportion of GDP is below the OECD average. Although expenditure per student is comparatively high in Japan, total expenditure relative to GDP remains small. In 2015, Japan's public spending on education amounted to just 3.5 percent of its GDP, below the OECD average of 4.7%.WEB,weblink Public education spending in Japan lowest in OECD for sixth straight year, The Japan Times, October 28, 2016, Tomoko Otake, In 2014, the country ranked fourth for the percentage of 25- to 64-year-olds that have attained tertiary education with 48 percent. In addition, bachelor's degrees are held by 59 percent of Japanese aged 25–34, the second most in the OECD after South Korea. As the Japanese economy is largely scientific and technological based, the labor market demands people who have achieved some form of higher education, particularly related to science and engineering in order to gain a competitive edge when searching for employment opportunities. About 75.9 percent of high school graduates attended a university, junior college, trade school, or other higher education institution.WEB,weblink School Education, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (Japan), MEXT, March 2, 2014, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20080102112620weblink">weblink January 2, 2008, The two top-ranking universities in Japan are the University of Tokyo and Kyoto University,WEB,weblink TOP â€“ 100, Global Universities Ranking, 2009, March 22, 2010, WEB,weblink QS World University Rankings 2010, QS TopUniversities, 2010, January 15, 2010, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110403044940weblink">weblink April 3, 2011, mdy-all, which have produced 16 Nobel Prize laureates. The Programme for International Student Assessment coordinated by the OECD currently ranks the overall knowledge and skills of Japanese 15-year-olds as sixth best in the world.WEB, OECD's PISA survey shows some countries making significant gains in learning outcomes,weblink OECD, January 16, 2011,

Health

In Japan, health care is provided by national and local governments. Payment for personal medical services is offered through a universal health insurance system that provides relative equality of access, with fees set by a government committee. People without insurance through employers can participate in a national health insurance program administered by local governments. Since 1973, all elderly persons have been covered by government-sponsored insurance.WEB,weblink Victor, Rodwin, Health Care in Japan, New York University, March 10, 2007, Patients are free to select the physicians or facilities of their choice.WEB,weblink Health Insurance: General Characteristics, National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, March 28, 2007,

Culture

{{See also|Japanese popular culture}}{{Culture of Japan}}Japanese culture has evolved greatly from its origins. Contemporary culture combines influences from Asia, Europe and North America. Traditional Japanese arts include crafts such as ceramics, textiles, lacquerware, swords and dolls; performances of bunraku, kabuki, noh, dance, and rakugo; and other practices, the tea ceremony, ikebana, martial arts, calligraphy, origami, onsen, Geisha and games. Japan has a developed system for the protection and promotion of both tangible and intangible Cultural Properties and National Treasures.WEB,weblink Administration of Cultural Affairs in Japan, Agency for Cultural Affairs, May 11, 2011, Nineteen sites have been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, fifteen of which are of cultural significance.

Architecture

File:Kinkaku-ji 01.jpg|thumb|left|Kinkaku-ji or "The Temple of the Golden Pavilion" in Kyoto, Special Historic Site, Special Place of Scenic Beauty and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, whose torching by a monk in 1950 is the subject of a novel by Mishima ]]Japanese architecture is a combination between local and other influences. It has traditionally been typified by wooden structures, elevated slightly off the ground, with tiled or thatched roofs. Sliding doors (fusuma) were used in place of walls, allowing the internal configuration of a space to be customized for different occasions. People usually sat on cushions or otherwise on the floor, traditionally; chairs and high tables were not widely used until the 20th century. Since the 19th century, however, Japan has incorporated much of Western, modern, and post-modern architecture into construction and design, and is today a leader in cutting-edge architectural design and technology.The introduction of Buddhism during the sixth century was a catalyst for large-scale temple building using complicated techniques in wood. Influence from the Chinese Tang and Sui dynasties led to the foundation of the first permanent capital in Nara. Its checkerboard street layout used the Chinese capital of Chang'an as a template for its design. A gradual increase in the size of buildings led to standard units of measurement as well as refinements in layout and garden design. The introduction of the tea ceremony emphasised simplicity and modest design as a counterpoint to the excesses of the aristocracy.During the Meiji Restoration of 1868 the history of Japanese architecture was radically changed by two important events. The first was the Kami and Buddhas Separation Act of 1868, which formally separated Buddhism from Shinto and Buddhist temples from Shinto shrines, breaking an association between the two which had lasted well over a thousand years.JOURNAL, Stone, Jacqueline, Review of Of Heretics and Martyrs in Meiji Japan: Muslim and Its Persecution by James Edward Ketelaar, Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, 53, 2, 582–598, December 1993,weblink June 13, 2011, Second, it was then that Japan underwent a period of intense Westernization in order to compete with other developed countries. Initially architects and styles from abroad were imported to Japan but gradually the country taught its own architects and began to express its own style. Architects returning from study with western architects introduced the International Style of modernism into Japan. However, it was not until after the Second World War that Japanese architects made an impression on the international scene, firstly with the work of architects like Kenzō Tange and then with theoretical movements like Metabolism.

Art

{{Further|Japanese art|Japanese garden|Japanese aesthetics}}The Shrines of Ise have been celebrated as the prototype of Japanese architecture.BOOK, Ise: Prototype of Japanese Architecture, Tange, Kenzo, Kawazoe, Noboru, 1965, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, Largely of wood, traditional housing and many temple buildings see the use of tatami mats and sliding doors that break down the distinction between rooms and indoor and outdoor space.BOOK, What is Japanese Architecture?: A Survey of Traditional Japanese Architecture with a List of Sites and a Map, Kazuo, Nishi, Kazuo, Hozumi, 1995, Kodansha, 978-4-7700-1992-9,weblink Japanese sculpture, largely of wood, and Japanese painting are among the oldest of the Japanese arts, with early figurative paintings dating back to at least 300 BC. The history of Japanese painting exhibits synthesis and competition between native Japanese aesthetics and adaptation of imported ideas.BOOK, Arrowsmith, Rupert Richard, Modernism and the Museum: Asian, African, and Pacific Art and the London Avant-Garde, 2010, Oxford University Press, 978-0-19-959369-9,weblink The interaction between Japanese and European art has been significant: for example ukiyo-e prints, which began to be exported in the 19th century in the movement known as Japonism, had a significant influence on the development of modern art in the West, most notably on post-Impressionism. Famous ukiyo-e artists include Hokusai and Hiroshige.Japanese comics, known as manga, developed in the 20th century and have become popular worldwide.JOURNAL, Kinko Ito, A History of Manga in the Context of Japanese Culture and Society, Journal of Popular Culture, 38, 3, 456–475, February 2005, 10.1111/j.0022-3840.2005.00123.x, Rakuten Kitazawa was first to use the word "manga" in the modern sense.{{Harvnb|Shimizu|1985|pp=53–54, 102–103}} Japanese-made video game consoles have been popular since the 1980s.WEB,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070929122934weblink">weblinkweblink The History of Video Games, Leonard, Herman, Horwitz, Jer, Kent, Steve, Miller, Skyler, GameSpot, 2002, September 29, 2007, April 1, 2007, yes, mdy-all, File:HIRADO PORCELAIN CENSER AND COVER.JPG|Hirado ware porcelain censers in the form of tiger and figurine with fan, brown and blue glazesFile:The Great Wave off Kanagawa.jpg|19th-century ukiyo-e woodblock print The Great Wave off KanagawaFile:Japanese-Calligraphy-art.jpg|Example of Japanese calligraphy (書道 shodō)File:Anime-Store-In-Akihabara.jpg|An anime store in Akihabara, TokyoFile:Gojira 1954 Japanese poster.jpg|thumb|Godzilla (Ishirō HondaIshirō Honda

Animation

Japanese animated films and television series, known as anime for short, were largely influenced by Japanese manga comic books and have been extensively popular in the West. Japan is a world-renowned powerhouse of animation.If you want to know Japan, See Animation Dong-ah-news, November 5, 2005 language = Korean Famous anime directors include Hayao Miyazaki, Osamu Tezuka and Isao Takahata.

Cinema

Japan has one of the oldest and largest film industries in the world; movies have been produced in Japan since 1897.WEB, Top 50 countries ranked by number of feature films produced, 2005–2010,weblink Screen Australia, 2012-07-14, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20121027152501weblink">weblink October 27, 2012, Three Japanese films (Rashomon, Seven Samurai and Tokyo Story) made the Sight & Sound's 2002 Critics and Directors Poll for the best films of all time.weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20021222042917weblink">BFI | Sight & Sound | Top Ten Poll 2002 Ishirō Honda's Godzilla became an international icon of Japan and spawned an entire subgenre of kaiju films, as well as the longest-running film franchise in history. The most acclaimed Japanese film directors include Akira Kurosawa, Kenji Mizoguchi, Yasujiro Ozu and Shohei Imamura. Japan has won the Academy Award for the Best Foreign Language Film four times, more than any other Asian country.

Music

File:KotoPlayer.jpg|thumb|right|Masayo Ishigure playing 13-strings Koto ]]Japanese music is eclectic and diverse. Many instruments, such as the koto, were introduced in the 9th and 10th centuries. The accompanied recitative of the Noh drama dates from the 14th century and the popular folk music, with the guitar-like shamisen, from the sixteenth.BOOK, Malm, William P., Traditional Japanese music and musical instruments, 2000, Kodansha International, 978-4-7700-2395-7, 31–45, New, Western classical music, introduced in the late 19th century, now forms an integral part of Japanese culture. The imperial court ensemble Gagaku has influenced the work of some modern Western composers.See for example, Olivier Messiaen, Sept haïkaï (1962), (Olivier Messiaen: a research and information guide, Routledge, 2008, By Vincent Perez Benitez, p. 67) and (Messiaen the Theologian, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2010, pp. 243–265, By Andrew Shenton)Notable classical composers from Japan include Toru Takemitsu and Rentarō Taki. Popular music in post-war Japan has been heavily influenced by American and European trends, which has led to the evolution of J-pop, or Japanese popular music.NEWS,weblink J-Pop History, The Observer, April 1, 2007, Chris, Campion, August 22, 2005, London, Karaoke is the most widely practiced cultural activity in Japan. A 1993 survey by the Cultural Affairs Agency found that more Japanese had sung karaoke that year than had participated in traditional pursuits such as flower arranging (ikebana) or tea ceremonies.BOOK, The worlds of Japanese popular culture: gender, shifting boundaries and global cultures, 1998, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-63729-9, 76, Repr., Martinez, D.P.,weblink

Literature

File:Genji emaki 01003 001.jpg|thumb|12th-century illustrated handscroll of The Tale of Genji, a National Treasure ]]The earliest works of Japanese literature include the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki chronicles and the Man'yōshū poetry anthology, all from the 8th century and written in Chinese characters.BOOK, Seeds in the Heart: Japanese Literature from Earliest Times to the Late Sixteenth Century, Keene, Donald, Columbia University Press, 2000, 978-0-231-11441-7,weblink WEB,weblink Asian Studies Conference, Japan (2000), Meiji Gakuin University, April 1, 2007, In the early Heian period, the system of phonograms known as kana (hiragana and katakana) was developed. The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter is considered the oldest Japanese narrative.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20051203034125weblink">weblink December 3, 2005, Windows on Asia—Literature : Antiquity to Middle Ages: Recent Past, Michigan State University, December 28, 2007, An account of Heian court life is given in The Pillow Book by Sei Shōnagon, while The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu is often described as the world's first novel.BOOK, Totman, Conrad, A History of Japan, 2nd, 2005, Blackwell, 978-1-4051-2359-4, 126–127,weblink BOOK, The Tale of Genji, Royall, Tyler, Penguin Classics, 2003, 978-0-14-243714-8, i–ii, xii,weblink During the Edo period, the chōnin ("townspeople") overtook the samurai aristocracy as producers and consumers of literature. The popularity of the works of Saikaku, for example, reveals this change in readership and authorship, while Bashō revivified the poetic tradition of the Kokinshū with his haikai (haiku) and wrote the poetic travelogue Oku no Hosomichi.BOOK, World Within Walls: Japanese Literature of the Pre-Modern Era, 1600–1867, Keene, Donald, Columbia University Press, 1999, 978-0-231-11467-7,weblink The Meiji era saw the decline of traditional literary forms as Japanese literature integrated Western influences. Natsume Sōseki and Mori Ōgai were the first "modern" novelists of Japan, followed by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, Jun'ichirō Tanizaki, Yukio Mishima and, more recently, Haruki Murakami. Japan has two Nobel Prize-winning authors—Yasunari Kawabata (1968) and Kenzaburō Ōe (1994).

Philosophy

File:Kitaro_Nishidain_in_Feb._1943.jpg|thumb|Kitaro NishidaKitaro NishidaJapanese Philosophy has historically been a fusion of both foreign; particularly Chinese and Western, and uniquely Japanese elements. In its literary forms, Japanese philosophy began about fourteen centuries ago.Archaeological evidence and early historical accounts suggest that Japan was originally an animistic culture, which viewed the world as infused with kami (神) or sacred presence as taught by Shinto, though it is not a philosophy as such, but has greatly influenced all other philosophies in their Japanese interpretationsweblinkConfucianism entered Japan from China around the 5th century A.D., as did Buddhism.plato.stanford.edu/entries/japanese-confucian/ Confucian ideals are still evident today in the Japanese concept of society and the self, and in the organization of the government and the structure of society. Buddhism has profoundly impacted Japanese psychology, metaphysics, and aesthetics.BOOK,weblink The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Graham, Parkes, Edward N., Zalta, January 1, 2011, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Indigenous ideas of loyalty and honour have been held since the 16th century. Western philosophy has had its major impact in Japan only since the middle of the 19th century.

Cuisine

File:Breakfast at Tamahan Ryokan, Kyoto.jpg|thumb|right|Breakfast at a ryokan or inn]]File:Toshihana tea ceremony.jpg|thumb|left|MaikoMaikoJapanese cuisine is based on combining staple foods, typically Japanese rice or noodles, with a soup and okazu—dishes made from fish, vegetable, tofu and the like—to add flavor to the staple food. In the early modern era ingredients such as red meats that had previously not been widely used in Japan were introduced. Japanese cuisine is known for its emphasis on seasonality of food,"A Day in the Life: Seasonal Foods" {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20130116212751weblink |date=January 16, 2013 }}, 'The Japan Forum Newsletter, September 14, 1999. quality of ingredients and presentation. Japanese cuisine offers a vast array of regional specialties that use traditional recipes and local ingredients. The phrase {{Nihongo|ichijū-sansai|一汁三菜||"one soup, three sides"}} refers to the makeup of a typical meal served, but has roots in classic kaiseki, honzen, and yūsoku cuisine. The term is also used to describe the first course served in standard kaiseki'' cuisine nowadays.BOOK, harv, 読売新聞大阪本社, 雑学新聞, ja:雑学新聞, PHP研究所, 2005,weblink 978-4-569-64432-5, , p.158, explains that in the tea kaiseki, theTraditional Japanese sweets are known as wagashi. Ingredients such as red bean paste and mochi are used. More modern-day tastes includes green tea ice cream, a very popular flavor. Almost all manufacturers produce a version of it. Kakigori is a shaved ice dessert flavored with syrup or condensed milk. It is usually sold and eaten at summer festivals. Popular Japanese beverages such as sake, which is a brewed rice beverage that, typically, contains 15%~17% alcohol and is made by multiple fermentation of rice. Beer has been brewed in Japan since the late 1800s and is produced in many regions by companies including Asahi Breweries, Kirin Brewery, and Sapporo Brewery – the oldest brand of beer in Japan.File:2007feb-sushi-odaiba-manytypes.jpg|Sushi (寿司)File:Soy_ramen.jpg|Ramen (ラーメン)File:Tempurainjapan-ikebukuro-dec312007.jpg|Tempura (天ぷら)File:Matcha_and_wagashi_by_MShades_at_Daigoji,_Kyoto.jpg|Wagashi (和菓子) served with matcha (抹茶)

Holidays

File:Young_ladies_at_Harajuku.jpg|thumb|Young ladies celebrate Coming of Age Day (成人の日 Seijin no Hi) in Harajuku, TokyoTokyoOfficially, Japan has 16 national, government-recognized holidays. Public holidays in Japan are regulated by the Public Holiday Law (国民の祝日に関する法律 Kokumin no Shukujitsu ni Kansuru Hōritsu) of 1948.Nakamura, Akemi, "National holidays trace roots to China, ancients, harvests {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20090713203247weblink |date=July 13, 2009 }}", Japan Times, April 8, 2008. Beginning in 2000, Japan implemented the Happy Monday System, which moved a number of national holidays to Monday in order to obtain a long weekend. In 2006, the country decided to add Shōwa Day, a new national holiday, in place of Greenery Day on April 29, and to move Greenery Day to May 4. These changes took effect in 2007. In 2014, the House of Councillors decided to add {{nihongo|Mountain Day|山の日|Yama no Hi}} to the Japanese calendar on August 11, after lobbying by the Japanese Alpine Club. It is intended to coincide with the Bon Festival vacation time, giving Japanese people an opportunity to appreciate Japan's mountains.WEB,weblink 「海の日」あるなら…「山の日」も、16年から : 政治 : 読売新聞(YOMIURI ONLINE), Yomiuri.co.jp, May 23, 2014, May 23, 2014, WEB,weblink 8月11日「山の日」に=16年から、改正祝日法成立 (時事通信) – Yahoo!ニュース, Headlines.yahoo.co.jp, May 23, 2014, May 23, 2014, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20140524003624weblink">weblink May 24, 2014, The national holidays in Japan are New Year's Day on January 1, Coming of Age Day on Second Monday of January, National Foundation Day on February 11, Vernal Equinox Day on March 20 or 21, Shōwa Day on April 29, Constitution Memorial Day on May 3, Greenery Day on May 4, Children's Day on May 5, Marine Day on Third Monday of July, Mountain Day on August 11, Respect for the Aged Day on Third Monday of September, Autumnal Equinox on September 23 or 24, Health and Sports Day on Second Monday of October, Culture Day on November 3, Labour Thanksgiving Day on November 23, and The Emperor's Birthday on December 23.WEB,weblink Public Holidays in Japan in 2016 – Office Holidays,

Festivals

File:UenoParkHanami.jpg|thumb|Popular Japanese festival, Hanami celebration at Ueno Park, TokyoTokyoThere are many festivals in Japan, which are called in Japanese as matsuri (祭) which celebrate annually. There are no specific festival days for all of Japan; dates vary from area to area, and even within a specific area, but festival days do tend to cluster around traditional holidays such as Setsubun or Obon. Festivals are often based around one event, with food stalls, entertainment, and carnival games to keep people entertained. Its usually sponsored by a local shrine or temple, though they can be secular.WEB,weblink Saidai-ji Eyo Hadaka Matsuri – Japan National Tourism Organization, Notable festival often feature processions which may include elaborate floats. Preparation for these processions is usually organised at the level of neighborhoods, or machi (町). Prior to these, the local kami may be ritually installed in mikoshi and paraded through the streets, such as Gion in Kyoto, and Hadaka in Okayama.

Sports

File:Sumo ceremony.jpg|thumb|SumoSumoFile:Hanshin Koshien Stadium 2007-21.jpg|thumb|left|National High School Baseball Championship at Koshien StadiumKoshien StadiumTraditionally, sumo is considered Japan's national sport.WEB,weblink Sumo: East and West, PBS, March 10, 2007, Japanese martial arts such as judo, karate and kendo are also widely practiced and enjoyed by spectators in the country. After the Meiji Restoration, many Western sports were introduced in Japan and began to spread through the education system.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070317192109weblink">weblink March 17, 2007, Culture and Daily Life, Embassy of Japan in the UK, March 27, 2007, yes, Japan hosted the Summer Olympics in Tokyo in 1964 and the Winter Olympics in Sapporo in 1972 and Nagano in 1998.WEB, Olympic History in Japan,weblink Japanese Olympic Committee, January 7, 2011, Further, the country hosted the official 2006 Basketball World Championship.WEB, 2006 FIBA World Championship,weblink FIBA, May 10, 2017, Tokyo will host the 2020 Summer Olympics, making Tokyo the first Asian city to host the Olympics twice.WEB,weblink IOC selects Tokyo as host of 2020 Summer Olympic Games, July 21, 2016, October 5, 2016, The country gained the hosting rights for the official Women's Volleyball World Championship on five occasions (1967, 1998, 2006, 2010, 2018), more than any other nation.WEB, The Game – World Championships – FIVB WOMEN'S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS FINALS,weblink FIVB, June 13, 2017, Japan is the most successful Asian Rugby Union country, winning the Asian Five Nations a record 6 times and winning the newly formed IRB Pacific Nations Cup in 2011. Japan will host the 2019 IRB Rugby World Cup.WEB,weblink rugbyworldcup.com, November 1, 2013, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20131217224929weblink">weblink December 17, 2013, mdy-all, Baseball is currently the most popular spectator sport in the country. Japan's top professional league, now known as Nippon Professional Baseball, was established in 1936BOOK, Nagata, Yoichi, Holway, John B., Palmer, Pete, Total Baseball, 4th, 1995, Viking Press, 547, Japanese Baseball, and is widely considered to be the highest level of professional baseball in the world outside of the North American Major Leagues. Since the establishment of the Japan Professional Football League in 1992, association football has also gained a wide following.WEB,weblink Soccer as a Popular Sport: Putting Down Roots in Japan, The Japan Forum, April 1, 2007, Japan was a venue of the Intercontinental Cup from 1981 to 2004 and co-hosted the 2002 FIFA World Cup with South Korea.WEB, Previous FIFA World Cups,weblink FIFA, January 7, 2011, Japan has one of the most successful football teams in Asia, winning the Asian Cup four times.WEB, Team Japan,weblink Asian Football Confederation, March 2, 2014, Also, Japan recently won the FIFA Women's World Cup in 2011.WEB,weblink Japan edge USA for maiden title, July 17, 2011, FIFA, July 17, 2011, Golf is also popular in Japan,WEB,weblink Japanese Golf Gets Friendly, Metropolis (English magazine in Japan), Metropolis, Fred, Varcoe, April 1, 2007,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070926215517weblink">weblink September 26, 2007, as are forms of auto racing like the Super GT series and Formula Nippon.WEB,weblink Japanese Omnibus: Sports, Metropolis, Len, Clarke, April 1, 2007,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070926215524weblink">weblink September 26, 2007, The country has produced one NBA player, Yuta Tabuse.NEWS,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20101203204908weblink">weblink December 3, 2010, Hoop Dreams â€“ Yuta Tabuse, "The Jordan of Japan", Consulate General of Japan in New York, December 2004 – January 2005, January 19, 2009,

Media

File:Fuji TV headquarters and Aqua City Odaiba - 2006-05-03 edit.jpg|thumb|left|Fuji TV headquarters in TokyoTokyoFile:NHK_Osaka_Broadcasting_Station_Bldg_20060604-001.jpg|thumb|upright=0.9|right|NHK Broadcasting Building in OsakaOsakaTelevision and newspapers take an important role in Japanese mass media, though radio and magazines also take a part.WEB,weblink Archived copy, November 3, 2016, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20041205020625weblink">weblink December 5, 2004, mdy-all, WEB,weblink Media and Communication in Japan: Current Issues and Future Research, Barbara Gatzen, Australian National University,, Australia, April 17, 2001, For a long time, newspapers were regarded as the most influential information medium in Japan, although audience attitudes towards television changed with the emergence of commercial news broadcasting in the mid-1980s. Over the last decade, television has clearly come to surpass newspapers as Japan's main information and entertainment medium.WEB,weblink Archived copy, November 3, 2016, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20020418125404weblink">weblink April 18, 2002, mdy-all, There are 6 nationwide television networks: NHK (public broadcasting), Nippon Television (NTV), Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS), Fuji Network System (FNS), TV Asahi (EX) and TV Tokyo Network (TXN). For the most part, television networks were established based on capital investments by existing radio networks. Variety shows, serial dramas, and news constitute a large percentage of Japanese television show. According to the 2015 NHK survey on television viewing in Japan, 79 percent of Japanese watch television every day. The average daily duration of television viewing was three hours.Television Viewing and Media Use Today: From "The Japanese and Television 2015" Survey NHK Broadcasting Culture Research Institute, Public Opinion Research Division. April 2016.Japanese readers have a choice of approximately 120 daily newspapers with a total of 50 million copies of set paper with an average subscription rate of 1.13 newspapers per household.WEB,weblink Archived copy, November 3, 2016, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20020418105725weblink">weblink April 18, 2002, mdy-all, The main newspaper's publishers are Yomiuri Shimbun, Asahi Shimbun, Mainichi Shimbun, Nikkei Shimbun and Sankei Shimbun. According to a survey conducted by the Japanese Newspaper Association in June 1999, 85.4 per cent of men and 75 per cent of women read a newspaper every day. Average daily reading times vary with 27.7 minutes on weekdays and 31.7 minutes on holidays and Sunday.

See also

{{clear}}

References

{{Reflist|30em}}

Notes

{{reflist|group=note}}

Further reading

{{Further|Bibliography of Japanese history}}
  • BOOK, Flath, 2000, The Japanese Economy, Oxford University Press, 978-0-19-877503-4,weblink
  • BOOK, Henshall, 2001, A History of Japan, Palgrave Macmillan, 978-0-312-23370-9,weblink
  • BOOK, Iwabuchi, 2002, Recentering Globalization: Popular Culture and Japanese Transnationalism, Duke University Press, 978-0-8223-2891-9,weblink
  • BOOK, Jansen, 2000, The Making of Modern Japan, Belknap, 978-0-674-00334-7,weblink
  • BOOK, Kato, A History of Japanese Literature: From the Man'Yoshu to Modern Times, Japan Library, 1997, 978-1-873410-48-6, etal,weblink
  • BOOK, Pilling, David, 2014, Bending Adversity: Japan and the Art of Survival, London, Allen Lane, 978-1-84614-546-9,weblink
  • BOOK, Samuels, 2008, Securing Japan: Tokyo's Grand Strategy and the Future of East Asia, Cornell University Press, 978-0-8014-7490-3,weblink
  • BOOK, Silverberg, 2007, Erotic Grotesque Nonsense: The Mass Culture of Japanese Modern Times, University of California Press, 978-0-520-22273-1,weblink
  • BOOK, Sugimoto, 2003, An Introduction to Japanese Society, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-52925-9, etal,weblink
  • BOOK, Taggart Murphy, R., 2014, Japan and the Shackles of the Past, Oxford and New York, NY, Oxford University Press, 978-0-19-984598-9,weblink
  • BOOK, Varley, 2000, Japanese Culture, University of Hawaii Press, 978-0-8248-2152-4,

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