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{{redirect|Nippon|other uses|Japan (disambiguation)|and|Nippon (disambiguation)}}{{pp-semi-indef}}{{short description|Island country in East Asia}}{{Use American English|date = August 2019}}{{Use mdy dates|date=May 2019}}

| common_name = Japan| linking_name = JapanNippon or Nihon}}}}| image_flag = Flag of Japan(bordered).svg | flag_size = 125pxQUOTE=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 Seal80pxGovernment Seal of JapanKimigayo "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.HTML0.2emcenter)}}| image_map = Japan (orthographic projection).svg| map_width = 220px| alt_map = Projection of Asia with Japan's Area coloured green| map_caption = Japanese territory in dark green; claimed, but uncontrolled land 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 = capital| languages_type = National languageJapanese language>Japanese| ethnic_groups = {{unbulleted list
|98.1% Japanese
|0.5% Korean
|0.4% Chinese
|1% Other
}}| ethnic_groups_year = 2018| ethnic_groups_ref = | religion_ref = 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).Japanese people>JapaneseUnitary state>Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchyEmperor of Japan>Emperor| leader_name1 = NaruhitoPrime Minister of Japan>Prime Minister| leader_name2 = Shinzō AbeList of Speakers of the House of Representatives (Japan)>Speaker of the House of Representatives| leader_name3 = Tadamori OshimaList of Presidents of the House of Councillors (Japan)>President of the House of Councillors| leader_name4 = Akiko SantōChief Justice of Japan>Chief Justice| leader_name5 = 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 BCAccording 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 = 377,973ACCESSDATE=JANUARY 29, 2017, | area_rank = 61st 377,973sqmi|disp=output number only}}| percent_water = 3.55| population_census = 126,317,000| population_census_year = January 2019| population_census_rank = 11th| population_density_km2 = 334| population_density_rank = 41stPUBLISHER=INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND ACCESS-DATE=30 OCTOBER 2019, | GDP_PPP_year = 2019| GDP_PPP_rank = 4th| GDP_PPP_per_capita = {{increase}} $45,546| GDP_PPP_per_capita_rank = 31st| GDP_nominal = {{increase}} $5.154 trillion| GDP_nominal_year = 2019| GDP_nominal_rank = 3rd| GDP_nominal_per_capita = {{increase}} $40,847| GDP_nominal_per_capita_rank = 26th| Gini = 37.9 | Gini_year = 2011| Gini_change = WORK=THE WORLD FACTBOOK ARCHIVE-DATE=JUNE 30, 2015, dead, | Gini_rank = 76th| HDI = 0.909 | HDI_year = 2017| HDI_change = increase YEAR=2017 PUBLISHER=UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME, | HDI_rank = 19thJapanese yen>Yen (Â¥){{}}''{{translEn}}'' | currency_code = JPYJapan Standard Time>JST| utc_offset = +09:00yyyy-mm-ddJapanese era name  (Common Era>CE−2018)}}| electricity = 100 V–50 and 60 HzRight- and left-hand traffic#Japan>leftTelephone numbers in Japan>+81| cctld = .jp| official_website = www.japan.go.jpitem_style=white-space:nowrap;Shinto / None>34.9% Buddhism in Japan>4% Shinto sects and schools>2.3% Christianity in Japan >7% No answer}}| population_density_sq_mi = 882.7 | iso3166code = JP| religion_year = 2000}}

Japan (, Nippon {{IPA-ja|ɲippoꜜɴ||ja-nippon(日本).ogg}} or Nihon {{IPA-ja|ɲihoꜜɴ||ja-nihon(日本).ogg}}; formally , {{audio|help=no|Ja-nippon_nihonkoku.ogg|Nippon-koku}} or Nihon-koku, {{literal translation|'State of Japan'}}) is an
island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south.The kanji that make up Japan's name mean 'sun origin', and it is often called the "Land of the Rising Sun". Japan is the world's 4th largest island country and encompasses about 6,852 islands. The stratovolcanic archipelago has five main islands: Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku and Okinawa which make up about 97% percent of Japan's land area. The country is divided into 47 prefectures and unofficially into eight regions, with Hokkaido being the northernmost prefecture and Okinawa being the southernmost prefecture. Japan is the 2nd most populous island country. The population of approximately 126 million is the world's eleventh largest, of which 98.5% are ethnic Japanese. 90.7% of people live in cities, while 9.3% live in the countryside.2012 data recorded by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research About 13.8 million people live in Tokyo,WEB,weblink ja:東京都の人口(推計), Population of Tokyo (estimate), Tokyo Metropolitan Government Bureau of Statistics Department, October 22, 2018, live,weblink" title="">weblink October 2, 2018, the capital of Japan. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world with over 38 million people.WEB,weblink The World's Cities in 2016, United Nations, March 12, 2017, United Nations, 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 in the name of the Emperor by successive feudal military shōguns. 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 â€“ 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 Japanese surrender. Since adopting its revised constitution on May 3, 1947, during the occupation led by SCAP, the sovereign state of 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, January 4, 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, US, 978-1-137-29948-2, {{Google books, 4yzFAgAAQBAJ, yes, }} Its economy is the world's third-largest by nominal GDP and the fourth-largest by purchasing power parity. It is also the world's fourth-largest exporter and fourth-largest importer.Japan benefits from a highly skilled and educated workforce; it has among the world's largest proportion of 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 it has officially renounced its right to declare war, Japan 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,, April 27, 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink March 28, 2010, used for self-defense and peacekeeping roles; it ranked as the world's fourth-most powerful military in 2015. Japan is a highly developed country with a very high standard of living and Human Development Index. Its population enjoys one of the highest life expectancy and the third lowest infant mortality rate in the world, but is experiencing issues due to an aging population and low birthrate. As of 2019, Japanese citizens had visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 189 countries and territories, ranking the Japanese passport 1st in the world, tied with Singapore.WEB, Global Ranking â€“ Visa Restriction Index 2019,weblink 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,


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||æ—¥|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, {{Google books, BruaJSZmjHcC, yes, }}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 {{Nihongo|"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 "{{Nihongo2|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|å’Œ}} is a homophone of Wo {{Nihongo2|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 {{Nihongo|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 Tofugu, January 29, 2017, January 6, 2012, However, the Japanese disliked some connotation of Wa {{Nihongo2|倭}} (which has been associated in China with concepts like "dwarf" or "pygmy"), and it was therefore replaced with the substitute character {{Nihongo|Wa|å’Œ}}, 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 Japan Foundation, January 29, 2017, The English word Japan possibly derives from the historical Chinese pronunciation of {{Nihongo2|(wikt:日本|日本)}}. Japan was recorded by Marco Polo as Cipangu.NEWS,weblinkweblink August 25, 2018, Cipangu's landlocked isles, The Japan Times, August 25, 2018, The Japan Times Online, July 27, 2008, Hoffman, Michael, In modern Shanghainese, a Wu dialect, the pronunciation of characters {{nihongo2|日本}} Japan is Zeppen {{IPA-wuu|zəʔpÉ™n|}}. 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, {{Google books, 2R4DA2lip9gC, PA14, yes, |pages=1–14}} â€“ and this Malay word was encountered by Portuguese traders in Southeast Asia in the 16th century.BOOK, {{Google books, cZ88p_bSt1EC, PA146, yes, |title=Word Histories and Mysteries: From Abracadabra to Zeus |publisher=Houghton Mifflin Harcourt |date=October 13, 2004|isbn=978-0-547-35027-1 }} These Early Portuguese traders then brought the word to Europe.C.R. Boxer, The Christian Century In Japan 1549–1650, University of California Press, 1951. 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, {{Google books, giZnAgAAQBAJ, PA79, yes, |title=London: The Selden Map and the Making of a Global City, 1549–1689|first= Robert K. |last=Batchelor |pages= 76, 79 |publisher=University of Chicago Press |isbn=978-0-226-08079-6 |date=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, 978-0-674-00770-3, 143,weblink January 29, 2017, en, Today, the name {{nihongo||(wikt:日本国|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||(wikt:国|国)|koku}}, meaning "country", "nation" or "state".


Prehistoric 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, Japanese Archaeology, July 28, 2018, April 27, 2009, BOOK, Kitagawa, Joseph Mitsuo, On Understanding Japanese Religion, 1987, Princeton University Press, 978-0-691-10229-0, 145, {{Google books, h1xcc4cGL5cC, yes, |accessdate=July 28, 2018 |quote=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,  â€“ 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, 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., 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, The Jōmon pottery and decorated clay vessels from this period are some of the oldest surviving examples of pottery in the world.Mason, 14JOURNAL, Kuzmin, Y.V., 2006, Chronology of the Earliest Pottery in East Asia: Progress and Pitfalls, Antiquity, 80, 308, 362–371, 10.1017/s0003598x00093686, 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, {{Google books, XUw6kiX9LQ0C, yes, }} The Yayoi period, starting around 500 BC, saw the introduction of practices like wet-rice farming,WEB, Road of rice plant,weblinkweblink" title="">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, {{Google books, A3_6lp8IOK8C, yes, }} According to the Records of the Three Kingdoms, the most powerful kingdom on the archipelago during the third century was called Yamataikoku.

Classical era

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, {{Google books, 9AivK7yMICgC, yes, }} Due to the defeat in Battle of Baekgang by Chinese Tang empire, the Japanese government devised and implemented the far-reaching Taika Reforms. The Reform began with land reform, based on Confucian ideas and philosophies from China. It nationalized all land in Japan, to be distributed equally among cultivators, and ordered the compilation of a household registry as the basis for a new system of taxation. The true aim of the reforms was to bring about greater centralization and to enhance the power of the imperial court, which was also based on the governmental structure of China. Envoys and students were dispatched to China to learn seemingly everything from the Chinese writing system, literature, religion, and architecture, to even dietary habits at this time. Even today, the impact of the reforms can still be seen in Japanese cultural life. After the reforms, the Jinshin War of 672, a bloody conflict between Prince Ōama and his nephew Prince Ōtomo, two rivals to the throne, became a major catalyst for further administrative reforms. These reforms culminated with the promulgation of the Taihō Code, which consolidated existing statutes and established the structure of the central government and its subordinate local governments.BOOK, George, Sansom, 1961, A History of Japan: 1334–1615, Stanford University Press, 57, 68, 978-0-8047-0525-7, {{Google books, 0syC6L77dpAC, yes, }} These legal reforms created the ritsuryō state, a system of Chinese-style centralized government that remained in place for half a millennium.BOOK, Conrad, Totman, 2002, A History of Japan, Blackwell, 107–108, 978-1-4051-2359-4, {{Google books, Z_a_QgAACAAJ, yes, }}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, {{Google books, Z_a_QgAACAAJ, yes, }} 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, {{Google books, GyE8Qt-kS1kC, yes, }} 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, {{Google books, Z_a_QgAACAAJ, yes, }}Buddhism began to spread during the Heian era chiefly through two major sects, Tendai by Saichō and Shingon by Kūkai. Pure Land Buddhism (Jōdo-shū, Jōdo Shinshū) 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. In 1192, the shōgun Yoritomo and the Minamoto clan established a feudal military government in Kamakura.Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Kamakura-jidai" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 459. What distinguishes Japan from other countries is that Japan was near continuously ruled by the military class with the shōgun and the samurai in the top of the Japanese social structure for 676 years (from 1192 till 1868 CE). The Emperor was above the shōgun and revered as the sovereign, but merely a figurehead. The Imperial Court nobility was a nominal ruling court with little influence. The actual ruling class were Japanese military figures: the shōgun (military dictator), daimyo (feudal lords) and the samurai (military nobility and officers).BOOK, Teo, Victor, 2019, Japan's Arduous Rejuvenation as a Global Power: Democratic Resilience and the US-China Challenge, Palgrave Macmillan, 43–44, 978-9811361890, BOOK,weblink 291, An Introduction to the History of Japan, Hara, Katsuro, BiblioBazaar, LLC, 2009, 978-1-110-78785-2, After Yoritomo's 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, 2005, Blackwell, 978-1-4051-2359-4, 106–112, {{Google books, Z_a_QgAACAAJ, yes, }} 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.Ashikaga 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, {{Google books, 0syC6L77dpAC, yes, }}During the 16th century, Portuguese traders and Jesuit missionaries like the Spaniard Francis XavierWEB,weblink Lazos entre España y Japón en la tierra natal de San Francisco Javier, January 29, 2015, 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, {{Google books, x8govgAACAAJ, yes, }} 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, 2005, Blackwell, 978-1-4051-2359-4, 142–143, {{Google books, Z_a_QgAACAAJ, yes, }} 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:Black and white photo of emperor Meiji of Japan.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, 2005, Blackwell, 978-1-4051-2359-4, 289–296, {{Google books, Z_a_QgAACAAJ, yes, }}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 by 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, {{Google books, 7k0F8YoZ6P0C, yes, }}File:Pacific Area - The Imperial Powers 1939 - Map.svg|thumb|The Japanese EmpireJapanese EmpireIn 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 BayTokyo BayThe 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 Nanjing 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, {{Google books, ezBnAAAAMAAJ, yes, }} 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 its influence over 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, {{Google books, _F3AN6x6AQ8C, yes, }} 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, during the post-war Shōwa period, Japan adopted a new constitution emphasizing liberal democratic practices. The Allied occupation ended with the Treaty of San Francisco in 1952NEWS,weblink '52 coup plot bid to rearm Japan: CIA, Joseph, Coleman, March 6, 2007, The Japan Times Online, 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, On May 1, 2019, after the historic abdication of Emperor Akihito on April 30 and the first since 1817, his son Naruhito became the new Emperor. In addition to the new Emperor, Japan changed its Imperial Era from Heisei to Reiwa.WEB, Japan's emperor thanks country, prays for peace before abdication,weblink Nikkei Asian Review, April 30, 2019,


File:Satellite View of Japan 1999.jpg|thumb|The Japanese archipelagoJapanese archipelagoJapan has a total of 6,852 islands extending along the Pacific coast. It is over {{convert|3000|km|mi|abbr=on}} long from the Sea of Okhotsk to the Philippine Sea in the Pacific Ocean.WEB, Water Supply in Japan, website,weblinkweblink January 26, 2018, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, September 26, 2018, The country, including all of the islands it controls, lies between latitudes 24° and 46°N, and longitudes 122° and 146°E. The five main islands, from north to south, are Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu and Okinawa.WEB, 離島とは(島の基礎知識) (what is a remote island?), Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism,weblink MLIT (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism), 22 August 2015, 9 August 2019, Japanese, website, MILT classification 6,852 islands(main islands: 5 islands, remote islands: 6,847 islands),weblink" title="">weblink 2007-07-13, The Ryukyu Islands, which include Okinawa, are a chain to the south of Kyushu. The Nanpō Islands are south and east 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, {{Google books, 8au8QgAACAAJ, yes, }} {{As of|2018}}, Japan's territory is {{convert|377,973.89|km²|sqmi|abbr=on}}.WEB,weblink ja:平成29年全国都道府県市区町村別の面積を公表, Geospatial Information Authority of Japan, September 19, 2018,weblink" title="">weblink September 19, 2018, Japan is the 4th largest island country in the world and the largest island country in East Asia.WEB,weblink Island Countries Of The World,, 2019-08-10,weblink" title="">weblink 2017-12-07, Japan has the sixth longest coastline in the world ({{convert|29751 |km|mi|abbr=on}}). It does not have land borders. 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 ja:日本の領海等概念図, 海上保安庁海洋情報部, August 12, 2018,weblink" title="">weblink August 12, 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="">weblink March 21, 2007, Approximately 0.5% of Japan's total area is reclaimed land (umetatechi). It began in the 12th century. Late 20th and early 21st century projects include artificial islands such as Chubu Centrair International Airport in Ise Bay, Kansai International Airport in the middle of Osaka Bay, Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise and Wakayama Marina City.WEB,weblink Reclaimed Land in Japan, Japan Property Central, September 26, 2018, live,weblink" title="">weblink February 26, 2018, The village of Ogata in Akita, Japan, was established on land reclaimed from Lake Hachirōgata starting in 1957. By 1977, the amount of land reclaimed totaled {{convert|172.03|km²|sqmi|abbr=on}}.WEB,weblink The History of Ogata-Mura | Ogata-mura,, April 17, 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink September 24, 2015, The Isahaya Bay reclamation project (諫早湾干拓事業) in Isahaya, Nagasaki started in 1989 and a total of {{convert|35|km²|sqmi|abbr=on}} has been reclaimed as of 2018.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,weblink" title="">weblink April 28, 2011, dead, 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="">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, dead,weblink" title="">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,, 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.WEB,weblink 2013 World Risk Report, May 20, 2014,weblink" title="">weblink August 16, 2014, dead,


{{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, {{Google books, oze_mWihnU0C, yes, }}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,weblink" title="">weblink February 18, 2011, dead, The highest temperature ever measured in Japan {{convert|41.1|°C}} was recorded on July 23, 2018.WEB,weblink Record High in Japan as Heat Wave Grips the Region, July 26, 2018,weblink July 23, 2018, dead, 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.


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="">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, dead,weblink" title="">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, dead,weblink" title="">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,


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, dead,weblink" title="">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="">weblink February 16, 2008, Energy Conservation Center, January 16, 2011, File:JAPAN EARTHQUAKE 20110311.svg|thumb|Map showing the epicenter of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami that triggered the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disasterFukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster{{As of|2015}}, more than 40 coal-fired power plants are planned or under construction in Japan, following the switching-off of Japan's nuclear fleet following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. Prior to this incident, Japan's emissions had been on the decline, largely due to nuclear power plants creating no emissions. 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, 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,



{{Multiple imagealign=left total_width=300|image1=Crown Prince Naruhito (2018).jpg|image2=Shinzō Abe Official.jpgNaruhitoEmperor of Japan>Emperor since 2019Shinzō AbePrime Minister of Japan>Prime Minister since 2012}}Japan is a constitutional monarchy and sovereign state 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, dead,weblink" title="">weblink December 14, 2013, The Constitution of Japan is the oldest unamended constitution in the world. It has not changed since its adoption on 3 May 1947.NEWS, The Anomalous Life of the Japanese Constitution,weblink 15 August 2017, 11 August 2019,,weblink live, 11 August 2019, 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,NEWS,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 currently dominated by the conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), with the largest opposition party being the social-liberal Constitutional Democratic Party (CDP). 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|2019|July|}}, it holds 285 seats in the lower house and 113 seats in the upper house.File:Diet_of_Japan_Kokkai_2009.jpg|thumb|The National Diet Building, seat of both houses of the National DietNational DietThe 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, {{Google books, lt9jB5CjfRIC, yes, }} 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, {{Google books, lt9jB5CjfRIC, yes, }}

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 {{Nihongo3||県|"ken"}}, Kyoto and Osaka are {{Nihongo3||府|"fu"}}, Hokkaido is a {{Nihongo3||道|"dō"}} and Tokyo is a {{Nihongo3||都|"to"}}. 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, {{Google books, 8au8QgAACAAJ, yes, }} 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:Demis-kurils-russian_names.png|thumb|The Kuril Islands with the disputed islands ]]Japan 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 G7, 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 OECD, November 15, 2015, In 2017, Japan had the fifth largest diplomatic network in the world.WEB,weblink Global Diplomacy Index – Country Rank, Lowy Institute, April 1, 2018, Lowy2017, 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, After Japan's defeat in World War II, the Japanese-ruled Northern Mariana Islands came under control of the United States.The Covenant to Establish a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Political Union With the United States of America, {{USStatute|94|241|90|263|1976|03|24}}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.WEB,weblink Japanese Territory, Northern Territories, April 4, 2014, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Japan), MOFA,, South Korea's control of Liancourt Rocks (Japanese: Takeshima, Korean: Dokdo) are acknowledged, but not accepted and are claimed by Japan.WEB,weblink Japanese Territory, Takeshima, July 30, 2014, MOFA,, Japan has strained relations with the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC) over the Senkaku Islands;WEB,weblink Japanese Territory, Senkaku Islands, April 13, 2016, MOFA,, and with the People's Republic of China over the status of Okinotorishima.File:EU-Japan EPA Signing (9).jpg|thumb|left|Donald Tusk, Shinzō Abe and Jean-Claude Juncker after signing the (:ja:日本・EU経済連携協定|EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement) ]]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, 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 lose 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,, July 8, 2017, File:G7 in het Catshuis.jpg|thumb|210px|Japan is a member of both the G7 and the G20 ]]The Korean Peninsula once again became independent with the surrender of Japan and the Axis at the end of WWII in 1945. 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. 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 very 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,



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 ]]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, dead,weblink" title="">weblink February 17, 2011, 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= |date=October 6, 2015 }} Retrieved October 5, 2015
A Credit Suisse survey published in 2015 ranked Japan as the world's fourth most-powerful military behind the United States, Russia and China.REPORT,weblink The End of Globalization or a more Multipolar World?, Credit Suisse AG, Michael, O'Sullivan, Krithika, Subramanian, October 17, 2015, July 14, 2017,weblink" title="">weblink February 15, 2018, dead,
The 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, dead,weblink" title="">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="">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="">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,weblink" title="">weblink May 31, 2014, dead, In recent years, they have been engaged in international peacekeeping operations including the UN peacekeeping.WEB,weblink Japan – Introduction,, 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 dead,weblink" title="">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,

Domestic law enforcement

File:Japan Coast Guard regions.svg|thumb|Map of the division of jurisdiction between the 11 Coast Guard regions]]Domestic security in Japan is provided mainly by the Prefectural Police Departments, under the oversight of the National Police Agency,WEB, Supreme Court of Japan, 2005, Who will conduct the investigation?,weblink 2018-11-01, and supervised by the Criminal Affairs Bureau of the National Police Agency.BOOK, National Police Agency Police History Compilation Committee, 1977, Japan post-war police history, (:ja:警察協会, Japan Police Support Association), Japanese, 320, As the central coordinating body for the Prefectural Police Departments, the National Police Agency is itself administered by the National Public Safety Commission.BOOK, National Police Agency Police History Compilation Committee, 1977, Japan post-war police history, (:ja:警察協会, Japan Police Support Association), Japanese, The Special Assault Team comprises national-level counter-terrorism tactical units that cooperate with territorial-level Anti-Firearms Squads and Counter-NBC Terrorism Squads.WEB,weblink Chapter IV. Maintenance of Public Safety and Disaster Countermeasures,weblink 2011-03-25, 2011-03-26, National Police Agency (Japan), Japanese National Police Agency, dead, Additionally, there is the Japan Coast Guard which guards territorial waters in accordance with international law and domestic law. The coast guard patrols the sea surrounding Japan and uses surveillance and control countermeasures against smuggling, marine environmental crime, poaching, piracy, spy ships, unauthorized foreign fishing vessels, illegal immigration, etc.WEB,weblink Brochure of Japan Coast Guard,weblink 2019-07-08, 2019-07-08, Japan Coast Guard, live, The Firearm and Sword Possession Control Law strictly regulates the civilian ownership of guns, swords and other weaponry, in accordance with a 1958 Japanese law which states: "No person shall possess a firearm or firearms or a sword or swords" and there are few exceptions.NEWS,weblink Diet tightens laws on knives, guns, November 29, 2008, Japan Times, March 21, 2016, WEB,weblink A Land Without Guns: How Japan Has Virtually Eliminated Shooting Deaths, July 23, 2012, Max, Fisher, The Atlantic, March 21, 2016, According to statistics of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, among the 192 member states of the UN, and among the countries reporting statistics of criminal and criminal justice, the incidence rate of violent crimes such as murder, abduction, forced sexual intercourse and robbery is very low in Japan.WEB, UNODC, Data and Analysis>Crime surveys>The periodic United Nations Surveys of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems>Fifth Survey (1990 - 1994),weblink 2008-08-26,weblink" title="">weblink 2009-07-29, WEB, UNODC, Data and Analysis>Crime surveys>The periodic United Nations Surveys of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems>Sixth Survey (1995 - 1997)>Sorted by variable,weblink 2008-08-26, WEB, UNODC, Data and Analysis>Crime surveys>The periodic United Nations Surveys of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems>Seventh Survey (1998 - 2000)>Sorted by variable,weblink 2008-08-26, WEB, UNODC, Data and Analysis>Crime surveys>The periodic United Nations Surveys of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems>Eighth Survey (2001 - 2002)>Sorted by variable,weblink 2008-08-26, WEB, UNODC, Data and Analysis>Crime surveys>The periodic United Nations Surveys of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems>Ninth Survey (2003 - 2004)>Values and Rates per 100,000 Total Population Listed by Country,weblink 2008-08-26,


File:The Tokyo Stock Exchange - main room 3.jpg|thumb|The Tokyo Stock ExchangeTokyo Stock ExchangeFile:Bank_of_Japan_2010.jpg|thumb|right|Headquarters of the Bank of Japan in Chuo, Tokyo]]Japan 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, 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 34th of 190 countries in the 2018 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, dead,weblink" title="">weblink November 9, 2010, 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, Japan also has a large cooperative sector, with three of the ten largest cooperatives in the world located in Japan, including the largest consumer cooperative and the largest agricultural cooperative in the world.WEB,weblink The 2018 World Cooperative Monitor: Exploring the Cooperative Economy, October 2018, International Co-operative Alliance,,

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, 58ff, {{Google books, XkCRcv0iXn0C, yes, }} During the Meiji period from 1868, Japan expanded economically with the embrace of the market economy.BOOK, Totman, Conrad, A History of Japan, 2nd, 2005, Blackwell, 978-1-4051-2359-4, 312–314, {{Google books, Z_a_QgAACAAJ, yes, }} 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, {{Google books, 8au8QgAACAAJ, yes, }} 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, dead,weblink" title="">weblink November 21, 2013, WEB,weblink Trip Report – Japan Agricultural Situation, US 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|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 Time], 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="">weblink dead, May 25, 2017, World fisheries production, by capture and aquaculture, by country (2010), Food and Agriculture Organization, January 18, 2014, 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,


File:Toyota_Plant_Ohira_Sendai.jpg|thumb|A 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,


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, CNN Money, 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,


{{Multiple image
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}}Japan attracted 19.73 million international tourists in 2015NEWS,weblink Visitors to Japan surge to record 19.73 million, spend all-time high ¥3.48 trillion, Tomoko, Otake, January 19, 2016, The 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, NEWS,weblink Number of foreign visitors to Japan tops 20 million mark for first time, Tomoko, Otake, January 29, 2017, The 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),, 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, 10.18111/9789284416899, 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, 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, In 2018, 31,191,929 foreign tourists visited Japan.WEB,weblink Tourism Statistics, JTB Tourism Research & Consulting Co., In 2017, 3 out of 4 foreign tourists came from South Korea, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization.WEB,weblink Japan Tourism Agency aims to draw more Western tourists amid boom in Asian visitors, February 6, 2018,weblink January 7, 2019, Japan National Tourism Organization,

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, dead,weblink" title="">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, dead,weblink" title="">weblink March 27, 2016,  â€“ 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 Israel: Factors in the Emergence of an ICT Powerhouse, Soumitra, Dutta, Augusto, Lopez-Claros, Irene, Mia, World Economic Forum,,weblink April 16, 2012, dead, WEB,weblink Investing in Israel, Ettinger, Yoram, New York Jewish Times,weblink" title="">weblink May 9, 2013, dead, March 18, 2013,

Electronics and automotive engineering

File:2017 Toyota Camry TRD.jpg|thumb|A plug-in hybrid car manufactured by ToyotaToyotaThe 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,


File:Kibo PM and ELM-PS.jpg|thumb|The Japanese Experiment Module (Kibō) 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 (Kibō) 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, dead,weblink" title="">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,, 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, dead,weblink" title="">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,



File:Japan Airlines, Boeing 787-9 JA861J NRT (19455285040).jpg|thumb|left|Japan Airlines, the flag carrierflag carrierJapan'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, dead,weblink" title="">weblink April 27, 2011, {{As of|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="">weblink May 13, 2008, Corporate Culture as Strong Diving Force for Punctuality- Another "Just in Time", April 19, 2009, Hitachi, A new Maglev line called the Chūō Shinkansen is being constructed between Tokyo and Nagoya. It is due to be completed in 2027.NEWS, Maglev launch to be delayed to 2027, April 30, 2010,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink Asahi Shimbun, October 26, 2010, June 10, 2016, There are 175 airports in Japan; the largest domestic airport, Haneda Airport in Tokyo, is Asia's second-busiest airport.WEB,weblink Year to Date Passenger Traffic, Airports Council International, November 11, 2010, March 2, 2014, dead,weblink" title="">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, {{Google books, m09SySxAy2EC, yes, }} 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, dead,weblink" title="">weblink November 30, 2010,


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, Reactors at Sendai restarted in 2015.NEWS,weblink Nuclear power back in Japan for first time since Fukushima, BBC News, August 11, 2015, 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|The 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, 2011



File:Tokyo from the top of the SkyTree.JPG|thumb|left|The Greater Tokyo Area is ranked as the most populous metropolitan area in the world.]]Japan is the second most populous island country with a population of 126.3 million (2019).WEB,weblink Population Estimates Monthly Report June 2019, June 20, 2019,, Statistics Bureau Japan, English, July 18, 2019,weblink" title="">weblink June 6, 2019, 124.8 million are Japanese nationals (2019).WEB,weblink Japan population drops by record number to 124.8 mil.: gov't, July 10, 2019, The Mainichi, English, July 11, 2019,weblink July 11, 2019, Honshū is the world's 2nd most populous island and it has 80% of Japan's population. Due to the rugged and mountainous terrain with 66% forest, the population is clustered in urban areas on the coast, plains and valleys.WEB, Forest area,weblink The World Bank Group, October 11, 2015, WEB, ja:地形分類,weblink Geospatial Information Authority of Japan, October 14, 2015, Japan is an urban society with only 5% of the labor force working in agriculture. About 80 million of the urban population is heavily concentrated on the Pacific coast of Honshu.WEB,weblink Japan – Places in the News, Library of Congress,, en, January 30, 2017, In 2010, 90.7% of the total Japanese population lived in cities.WEB, ja:平成22年国勢調査最終報告書 人口の地域分布,weblink The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications Statistics Bureau, October 14, 2015, The capital city Tokyo has a population of 13.8 million (2018). It is part of the Greater Tokyo Area, the biggest metropolitan area in the world with 38,140,000 people (2016).WEB,weblink Table 2.10 Population of Three Major Metropolitan Areas, Statistics Bureau of Japan, November 26, 2013, The area is {{convert|13,500|km2|sqmi|abbr=on}}WEB,weblink Japan Statistics Bureau – Keihin'yō Major Metropolitan Area, October 26, 2018,weblink" title="">weblink February 10, 2007, dead,
and the metro area has a population density of 2,642/km2.
Japanese society is linguistically, ethnically and culturally homogeneous,NEWS, 'Multicultural Japan' remains a pipe dream,weblink January 16, 2011, Japan Times, March 27, 2007, dead,weblink" title="">weblink April 14, 2011, BOOK, Atsushi Kotani, The Fascination of the Japanese Cultural Theory, ja:日本文化論のインチキ, 978-4-344-98166-9, Gentensei Shinko Shinbun, 2010, composed of 98.1% ethnic Japanese,WEB,weblink CIA Factbook: Japan,, August 27, 2019, 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="">weblink August 24, 2005, Statistics Bureau, January 16, 2011, File:Bjs48 02 Ainu.jpg|thumb|Ainu, an ethnic minority people from Japan]]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 people, 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= |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, On September 15, 2018, for the first time, 1 in 5 persons in Japan is 70 or older according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. 26.18 million people are 70 or older and accounted for 20.7 percent of the population. Elderly women crossed the 20 million line at 20.12 million, substantially outnumbering the nation's 15.45 million elderly men.NEWS,weblink For the first time, 1 person in 5 in Japan is 70 or older, The Japan Times, September 17, 2018, The Japan Times Online, September 17, 2018, In 2018, the number of resident foreigners was 2.22 million in Japan (1.76% of the population). In 2018, net immigration rose for the sixth straight year with 165,000. The number of foreign workers was 1.46 million in 2018, 29.7% are in the manufacturing sector. 389,000 are from Vietnam and 316,000 are from China.WEB, Japan immigration hits record high as foreign talent fills gaps,weblink Nikkei Asian Review, 2 July 2019,weblink 1 July 2019, On April 1, 2019, Japan's revised immigration law was enacted. The revision clarifies and better protects the rights of foreign workers. This helps reduce labor shortage in certain sectors of the economy. The reform changes the status of foreign workers to regular employees.WEB, New immigration rules to stir up Japan's regional rentals scene — if they work,weblink REthink Tokyo, 2 July 2019,weblink 2 July 2019, {{Largest cities of Japan}}


File:Itsukushima Gate.jpg|thumb|left|The torii of Itsukushima Shinto Shrine near Hiroshima, one of the Three Views of JapanThree Views of JapanJapan 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-shÅ«gō).WEB, A View of Religion in Japan,weblink January 29, 2017, dead,weblink" title="">weblink January 23, 2016, 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, {{Google books, BTPNlLIy2soC, yes, }} 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, {{Google books, LbwnrRmLqPoC, yes, }} 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, 2005, Blackwell, 978-1-4051-2359-4, 72, {{Google books, Z_a_QgAACAAJ, yes, }} Japanese streets are decorated on Tanabata, Obon and Christmas.File:Phoenix Hall, Byodo-in, November 2016 -01.jpg|thumb|The Byōdō-in Buddhist temple, located in Uji, KyotoUji, KyotoShinto 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%NEWS, Christianity's long history in the margins,weblink The Japan Times Online, February 24, 2009, Mariko Kato, The Christian community itself counts only those who have been baptized and are currently regular churchgoers â€“ 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, dead,weblink" title="">weblink June 11, 2010, BOOK, {{Google books, RB2goIgxF68C, PA62, yes, |title=Transactions, transgressions, transformations: American culture in Western Europe and Japan|page=62|publisher=Berghahn Books|year=2000|isbn=978-1-57181-108-0|quote= followers of the Christian faith constitute only about a half percent of the Japanese population|author=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 were 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.WEB,weblink Emile A. Nakhleh, Keiko Sakurai and Michael Penn; "Islam in Japan: A Cause for Concern?", Asia Policy 5, January 2008, November 4, 2016,weblink" title="">weblink October 10, 2017, dead, Many 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,, 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, Judaism, and Bahá'í Faith;WEB,weblink バハイ共同体 【Japan Baha'i Network】, 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, {{Google books, qhgY5oNoyQAC, yes, }}


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="">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="">weblink April 27, 2006, Japan Digest: Japanese Education, September 1, 2005, Lucien, Ellington, Indiana University, April 27, 2006,


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.NEWS,weblink Japanese Population Drops Most Since World War II After Quake, Aya, Takada, January 2, 2012, Bloomberg News,, 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 major 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 March 7, 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="">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, 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,


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, dead,weblink" title="">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. The two top-ranking universities in Japan are the University of Tokyo and Kyoto University,WEB,weblink QS World University Rankings 2020, QS TopUniversities, 2019, September 7, 2019, which have produced 16 Nobel Prize laureates.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.NEWS,weblink Compulsory nine-year school system kicks off in Japan, Jiji Press Staff, June 10, 2016, The Japan Times, August 31, 2016, The Programme for International Student Assessment coordinated by the OECD currently ranks the overall knowledge and skills of Japanese 15-year-olds as the third best in the world.WEB, Japan - Student performance (PISA 2015), OECD,weblink Japan is one of the top-performing OECD countries in reading literacy, maths and sciences with the average student scoring 529 and has one of the world's highest-educated labor forces among OECD countries.WEB,weblink Education at a Glance 2014, OECD, August 16, 2019, WEB, PISA - Results in Focus, OECD,weblink 5, 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 4.1 percent of its GDP, below the OECD average of 5.0 percent.WEB, Japan, OECD,weblink In 2017, the country ranked third for the percentage of 25 to 64 year-olds that have attained tertiary education with 51 percent.WEB,weblink Japan, OECD, August 16, 2019, In addition, 60.4 percent Japanese aged 25 to 34 have some form of tertiary education qualification and bachelor's degrees are held by 30.4 percent of Japanese aged 25 to 64, 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.WEB,weblink Overview of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (Japan), MEXT, 7 September 2019, 1 April 2019, 29,


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,


{{See also|Japanese popular culture}}Japanese culture has evolved greatly from its origins. Contemporary culture combines influences from Asia, Europe and North America.BOOK, Japan's Open Future: An Agenda for Global Citizenship, Haffner, John, Klett, Tomas, Lehmann, Jean-Pierre, Anthem Press, 2009, 978-1-84331-311-3, 17, 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, Twenty-two sites have been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, eighteen of which are of cultural significance.


(File:Geiko 2018 (29966920117).jpg|thumb|In Japan, it is considered disrespectful to fail to remove shoes before entering a home.)Throughout the millennia, since the prehistoric Jōmon period, Japan developed a sophisticated culture and etiquette while absorbing influences from Asia, Europe, and North America.The code of etiquette in Japan governs the expectations of social behavior. They are considered very important in Japan. The etiquette varies greatly depending on one's status relative to the person in question. Some customs have changed over time. These distinct cultural values make Japanese etiquette substantially different from western and other countries.{{Nihongo|Honne and tatemae|本音と建前}} contrasts a person's true feelings and desires and the behavior and opinions one displays in public.Takeo Doi, The anatomy of self (1985), p. 35. {{Nihongo|Yamato-damashii|大和魂}} refers to the cultural values and characteristics of the Japanese people. It originates from the Heian period and describes the indigenous Japanese 'spirit' or cultural values as opposed to cultural values of foreign nations. {{Nihongo|Wa|和}} is a Japanese cultural concept that implies a peaceful unity and conformity within a social group, in which members prefer the continuation of a harmonious community over their personal interests.BOOK, Christine Genzberger, Japan Business: The Portable Encyclopedia for Doing Business With Japan, {{Google books, Ofvka_i08CAC, PA155, yes, |accessdate=October 22, 2012|year=1994|publisher=World Trade Press|isbn=978-0-9631864-2-3|page=155}}BOOK, Susan C. Bauman, In Search of the Japanese Spirit in Talent Education, {{Google books, j6epMhUlJQcC, PA12, yes, |accessdate=October 22, 2012|year=994|publisher=Alfred Music Publishing|isbn=978-0-87487-767-0|pages=12}} {{Nihongo|Miai|見合い}} is a Japanese traditional custom in which a woman and a man are introduced to each other to consider the possibility of marriage. It is a meeting opportunity with more serious considerations for the future as a process of courtship.WEB,weblink ja:健康と出産に関する全国調査, ja, National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, {{Nihongo|Ishin-denshin|以心伝心}} is a Japanese idiom which denotes a form of interpersonal communication through unspoken mutual understanding.BOOK, Maynard, Michael L, Maynard, Senko K, Taki, 101 Japanese Idioms: Understanding Japanese Language and Culture Through Popular Phrases, 1993, McGraw Hill Professional, 978-0-8442-8496-5, 113, {{Nihongo|Isagiyosa|潔さ}} is a virtue of the capability of accepting death with composure and equanimity. Cherry blossoms are a symbol of isagiyosa in the sense of embracing the transience of the world.Richard J. Berenson, Neil deMause, The complete illustrated guidebook to Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (2001), p. 121. {{Nihongo|Hansei|反省}} is a central idea in Japanese culture, meaning to acknowledge one's own mistake and to pledge improvement. {{Nihongo|Kotodama|言霊}} refers to the Japanese belief that mystical powers dwell in words and names.Japan is regarded by sociologists as a high-context culture. People are more observant of hierarchical differences and communicate less explicitly and verbosely.WEB,weblink, Communication Style and Cultural Features in High/Low Context Communication Cultures: A Case Study of Finland, Japan and India, Nishimura, Shoji, Nevgi, Anne, Tella, Seppo, December 23, 2014,weblink" title="">weblink March 19, 2015, dead, High context cultures such as Japan are more focused upon in-groups while low context cultures are focused upon individuals. Face-saving (to avoid being disgraced or humiliated) is generally considered as more important in Japan's high context culture than in low-context ones such as the United States or Germany.BOOK, Cohen, Raymond, Negotiating Across Cultures: Communication Obstacles in International Diplomacy, 1977, United States Inst of Peace Pr (September 1, 1991), 978-1-878379-08-5,weblink There are differences in advertising and marketing in Japan due to the high-context culture. In Japan advertising uses more colors, images, gestures and sounds with powerful meaning behind them. Dialogue is not a central part of the advertising. Every vocal and non-vocal expression is explored, because Japanese people are more sensitive to it. Comparatively in low-context cultures advertising is more straightforward.BOOK, Solomon, Michael, Consumer Behavior: Buying and Being, 2011, Pearson/ Prentice Hall, 978-0-13-412993-8,


File:Kinkaku-ji the Golden Temple in Kyoto overlooking the lake - high rez.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, 10.2307/2719461, 2719461, 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.


File:Kitaro_Nishidain_in_Feb._1943.jpg|thumb|upright|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 {{nihongo|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 interpretations.WEB, KURODA TOSHIO, Shinto in the History of Japanese Religion,weblink, Confucianism entered Japan from China around the 5th century AD, as did Buddhism.WEB,weblink Japanese Confucian Philosophy, May 20, 2008, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 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 honor have been held since the 16th century. Western philosophy has had its major impact in Japan only since the middle of the 19th century.


{{Further|Japanese garden|Japanese aesthetics}}{{See also|Manga}}{{multiple image| total_width = 320ukiyo-e Woodblock printing in Japan>woodblock print The Great Wave off Kanagawa| caption2 = Ritsurin Garden, one of the most famous strolling gardens in Japan| direction = horizontal| image1 = The Great Wave off Kanagawa.jpg| image2 = 150504_Ritsurin_Park_Takamatsu_Kagawa_pref_Japan01s3.jpg}}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, {{Google books, oZl_yEJGtUYC, yes, }} 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, {{Google books, MIBNXScRj3QC, yes, }}{{multiple image| total_width = 320| caption1 = Hirado ware porcelain censers in the form of tiger and figurine with fan, brown and blue glazesBishōjo game>bishōjo game store in Akihabara, Tokyo| direction = horizontal| image1 = HIRADO PORCELAIN CENSER AND COVER.JPG| image2 = Akiba-Sofmap-1st-Store-In-Akihabara.jpg}}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 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.


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, July 14, 2012, dead,weblink" title="">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.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, December 22, 2002, Sight and Sound, December 22, 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. Japan has won the Academy Award for the Best Foreign Language Film four times, more than any other Asian country.


File:春日神社ー篠山ー翁奉納P1011774.jpg|thumb|right|NohNohJapanese 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., {{Google books, 6mqM8m-sJY4C, yes, }}


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'yōshÅ« 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, {{Google books, _DEwTJq3TbcC, yes, }}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="">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, {{Google books, Z_a_QgAACAAJ, yes, }}BOOK, The Tale of Genji, Royall, Tyler, Penguin Classics, 2003, 978-0-14-243714-8, i–ii, xii, {{Google books, AIUvc9FnZ5AC, yes, }}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 KokinshÅ« 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, {{Google books, gwQTF-9axqoC, yes, }} The Meiji era saw the decline of traditional literary forms as Japanese literature integrated Western influences. Natsume Sōseki and Mori ÅŒgai were the first "modern" novelists of Japan, followed by RyÅ«nosuke Akutagawa, Jun'ichirō Tanizaki, Yukio Mishima and, more recently, Haruki Murakami. Japan has two Nobel Prize-winning authors â€“ Yasunari Kawabata (1968) and Kenzaburō ÅŒe (1994).

Comics and animation

Japanese comics or graphic novels, known as manga, developed in the 20th century and have become popular worldwide. Rakuten Kitazawa was first to use the word "manga" in the modern sense. Anime are influenced by manga, and are often adapted from them.Japanese animated films and television series, known as anime, were largely influenced by Japanese manga 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


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 â€“ dishes made from fish, vegetable, tofu and such â€“ to add flavor to the staple food.BOOK, Japanese Cooking, 1995, HPBooks, 978-0-89586-327-0, 19, 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= |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, ja:雑学新聞, PHP研究所, 2005, {{Google books, iuANkSnZ8e0C, PA158, yes, |isbn= 978-4-569-64432-5}} Japanese curry, since its introduction to Japan from British India, is so widely consumed that it can be called a national dish.BOOK, Lucy M. Long, Ethnic Food Today: A Cultural Encyclopedia, {{Google books, DBzYCQAAQBAJ, PA329, yes, |date=July 17, 2015|publisher=Rowman & Littlefield Publishers|isbn=978-1-4422-2731-6|pages=329–}}
File:East West sushi 01.jpg|thumb|A plate of nigiri-zushi]]Traditional Japanese sweets are known as wagashi.BOOK, Darra Goldstein, The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets, {{Google books, jbi6BwAAQBAJ, PA777, yes, |year=2015|publisher=Oxford University Press|isbn=978-0-19-931339-6|pages=777–}} Ingredients such as red bean paste and mochi are used. More modern-day tastes includes green tea ice cream, a very popular flavor.BOOK, Hiroko Fujita, Fran Stallings, Folktales from the Japanese Countryside, {{Google books, p7nNJAt75XQC, PA148, yes, |year=2008|publisher=Libraries Unlimited|isbn=978-1-59158-488-9|pages=148–}} Kakigōri 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 14%–17% alcohol and is made by multiple fermentation of rice.BOOK, Carl A. Batt, Encyclopedia of Food Microbiology, {{Google books, 1b1CAgAAQBAJ, PA846, yes, |year=2014|publisher=Academic Press|isbn=978-0-12-384733-1|pages=846–}} Beer has been brewed in Japan since the late 1800s,BOOK, Christopher Boulton, David Quain, Brewing Yeast and Fermentation, {{Google books, QpDVsu-vaBcC, PT20, yes, |year=2013|publisher=John Wiley & Sons|isbn=978-1-118-68534-1|pages=20–}} and is produced in many regions by companies including Asahi Breweries, Kirin Brewery, and Sapporo Brewery – claiming to be the oldest named brand of beer in Japan.BOOK, Jeffrey W. Alexander, Brewed in Japan: The Evolution of the Japanese Beer Industry, {{Google books, gaWJAAAAQBAJ, PA31, yes, |year=2013|publisher=UBC Press|isbn=978-0-7748-2506-1|pages=31–}}


File:Young_ladies_at_Harajuku.jpg|thumb|Young ladies celebrate {{Nihongo|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 {{Nihongo|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= |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 ja:「海の日」あるなら...「山の日」も、16年から : 政治 : 読売新聞(YOMIURI ONLINE),, May 23, 2014, May 23, 2014, WEB,weblink ja: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,, May 23, 2014, May 23, 2014, dead,weblink" title="">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, Labor Thanksgiving Day on November 23, and The Emperor's Birthday on December 23.WEB,weblink Public Holidays in Japan in 2016 – Office Holidays,


File:Gion Matsuri 2017-5.jpg|thumb|Gion Matsuri is the annual festival held in Kyoto.]]There are many festivals in Japan, which are called in Japanese {{Nihongo3||祭|matsuri}} which are celebrated 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 festivals often feature processions which may include elaborate floats. Preparation for these processions is usually organised at the level of neighborhoods, or {{Nihongo3||町|machi}}. 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.


File:Sumo ceremony.jpg|thumb|left|SumoSumoTraditionally, 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="">weblink March 17, 2007, Culture and Daily Life, Embassy of Japan in the UK, March 27, 2007, dead, 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, November 1, 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink December 17, 2013, File:NISSANSTADIUM20080608.JPG|thumb|right|Nissan Stadium in YokohamaYokohamaBaseball 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="">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="">weblink September 26, 2007, The country has also produced three players who have succeeded in the NBA.NEWS,weblinkweblink" title="">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, NEWS, Silva, Matthew De, The half-Asian, half-African Rui Hachimura is the future of basketball,weblink 18 August 2019, Quartz, en, WEB, Memphis Grizzlies sign Yuta Watanabe to two-way contract,weblink, 18 August 2019, en,

Video gaming

File:GitarFreaks and DrumMania V cabinets and player.jpg|thumb|A man playing a drumming arcade game (Drummania) in Tsukuba, IbarakiTsukuba, IbarakiVideo gaming in Japan is a major industry. Japan became a major exporter of video games during the golden age of arcade video games, an era that began with the release of Taito's Space Invaders in 1978 and ended around the mid-1980s.WEB, Boxer, Steve,weblink Feature: Is Japan's development scene doomed?,, March 2, 2012, October 1, 2012, WEB,weblink Why Japanese Games are Breaking Up With the West from,, October 1, 2012,weblink" title="">weblink November 10, 2016, dead, NEWS, Kyung, Lah,weblink Japan's older generation turns gamers, CNN, February 8, 2012, June 19, 2014, Japanese-made video game consoles have been popular since the 1980s.WEB,weblink" title="">weblinkweblink The History of Video Games, Leonard, Herman, Horwitz, Jer, Kent, Steve, Miller, Skyler, GameSpot, 2002, September 29, 2007, April 1, 2007, dead, Japan became the most dominant country within the global video game industry, since the release of the Nintendo Famicom and the third generation of consoles. Japan's dominance within the industry would continue for the next two decades, until Microsoft's Xbox consoles began challenging Sony and Nintendo in the 2000s.NEWS,weblink Hiroko, Tabuchi, September 20, 2010, The New York Times, Japanese Playing a New Video Game: Catch-Up, June 19, 2014, WEB, August 26, 2007,weblink PAX '07: Japanese Gaming Culture 101, GameSpot], June 19, 2014, WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, January 24, 2013, GameSpy: Video Game Culture Clash,, October 1, 2012, In the Japanese gaming industry, arcades have remained popular through to the present day. {{As of|2009}}, $6 billion of Japan's $20 billion gaming market is generated from arcades, which represent the largest sector of the Japanese video game market, followed by home console games and mobile games at $3.5 billion and $2 billion, respectively.BOOK, Sambe, Yukiharu, Japan's Arcade Games and Their Technology, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 2009, 5709, 338, Entertainment Computing – ICEC 2009, 10.1007/978-3-642-04052-8_62,weblink January 25, 2012, 978-3-642-04051-1, In the present day, Japan is the world's largest market for mobile games.NEWS, Negishi, Mayumi,weblink Japan Tops World In Mobile Apps Revenue,, December 11, 2013, April 16, 2015, Wall Street Journal, The country's traditional console gaming market itself is today largely dominated by handheld game consoles rather than home consoles.WEB,weblink Handheld Gaming Continues To Rule in Japan,, April 16, 2015, In 2014, Japan's consumer video game market grossed $9.6 billion, with $5.8 billion coming from mobile gaming.WEB,weblink Japan's game market hits record high as consoles decline and mobile grows, Christian, Nutt, March 25, 2018,


File:Fuji TV headquarters and Aqua City Odaiba - 2006-05-03 edit.jpg|thumb|left|Fuji TV headquarters in TokyoTokyoTelevision and newspapers take an important role in Japanese mass media, though radio and magazines also take a part.WEB,weblink The Japanese and Television, 2000, November 3, 2016, dead,weblink" title="">weblink December 5, 2004, 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 1990s, television surpassed newspapers as Japan's main information and entertainment medium.WEB,weblink 2.新聞と読者 Newspapers and Readers, November 3, 2016, dead,weblink" title="">weblink April 18, 2002, 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 shows. 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 1.発行部数 Circulation, November 3, 2016, dead,weblink" title="">weblink April 18, 2002, The main newspapers' publishers are the 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

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{{Further|Bibliography of Japanese history}}
  • BOOK, Flath, 2000, The Japanese Economy, Oxford University Press, 978-0-19-877503-4, {{Google books, RmujQgAACAAJ, yes, }}
  • BOOK, Henshall, 2001, A History of Japan, Palgrave Macmillan, 978-0-312-23370-9, {{Google books, hatYNQAACAAJ, yes, }}
  • BOOK, Iwabuchi, 2002, Recentering Globalization: Popular Culture and Japanese Transnationalism, Duke University Press, 978-0-8223-2891-9, {{Google books, k8ot27vLSV4C, yes, }}
  • BOOK, Jansen, 2000, The Making of Modern Japan, Belknap, 978-0-674-00334-7, {{Google books, 9fJxAAAAMAAJ, yes, }}
  • BOOK, Kato, A History of Japanese Literature: From the Man'Yoshu to Modern Times, Japan Library, 1997, 978-1-873410-48-6, etal, {{Google books, wUxOuD0NS5kC, yes, }}
  • BOOK, Pilling, David, 2014, Bending Adversity: Japan and the Art of Survival, London, Allen Lane, 978-1-84614-546-9, {{Google books, L6g2nwEACAAJ, yes, }}
  • BOOK, Samuels, 2008, Securing Japan: Tokyo's Grand Strategy and the Future of East Asia, Cornell University Press, 978-0-8014-7490-3, {{Google books, LkzT6ivxE7EC, yes, }}
  • BOOK, Silverberg, 2007, Erotic Grotesque Nonsense: The Mass Culture of Japanese Modern Times, University of California Press, 978-0-520-22273-1, {{Google books, 0XSFa0fbkG4C, yes, }}
  • BOOK, Sugimoto, 2003, An Introduction to Japanese Society, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-52925-9, etal, {{Google books, 3C_BFE6YO6gC, yes, }}
  • BOOK, Taggart Murphy, R., 2014, Japan and the Shackles of the Past, Oxford and New York, Oxford University Press, 978-0-19-984598-9, {{Google books, 9byvBAAAQBAJ, yes, }}
  • BOOK, Varley, 2000, Japanese Culture, University of Hawaii Press, 978-0-8248-2152-4,

External links

{{Z148}}{{Sister project links|Japan|s=no|q=no|voy=Japan}}


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