Japan is one of the most developed countries of he world after the United States. It also is the world's leading industrial and economic power after the US.
The country is east from the Asian mainland, occupying a group of islands of which the four main ones are Hokkaido, Honshu(the largest and the most populated), Kyushu, and Shikoku. Japan is situated in the north by the Pacific Ocean and in the east of the north by South Korea.
Its land area is 145,822 sq mi.
Japan's capital is Tokyo witch is Japan's largest industrial and urban area. The city is the center of the country's government and finance.
The country's population is 123,778,000(1990), four times that of California.
Japan's government is a contitutional monarchy.
More than 70% of the whole land area[which isn't very big (it's the size of California)] is covered by mountains. Its largest mountain range is the Japanese Alps.
It also has a lot of volcanoes. About one half of them are still active.
Mount Fuji (Japan's highest peak and national symbol) is an inactive volcano witch is 12,388 ft high.
It also has floods, typhoons, earthquake, fewer mineral deposits and energy resources and a lots of tsunamis, waves that can travel an ocean at hundreds of miles per a hour and can reach up to the heigh of 100 ft or more by the time it reaches the shores.
Japan has a climate of humid-continental. The Japanese winters are cold and it has lots of snowings. The country's other climate type is the humid-subtropical.
Some areas recieve more than 80 inches of rainfall each year
The elements of the Japanese culture are tied to the cultures of the Asian mainland. For example its language strongly resembles to the Korean and the Chinese. Buddhism is the country's main religion was introduced from China in the 6th century. Also the Chinese ideas and practices are the basis of Japan's early system.
The country's first inhabitants were probably the Ainus. They came from central Asia. They were forced farther and farther north by the Mongoloid invadarers, and arrived in Japan around 300B.C.
Its modernization began at the mid 1860s. This period of modernization was called the Meiji Restoration.
In World War II Japan signed the allience with Germany and Italy, and entered it by attacking the United States' naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
After the end of the W.W. II the Japanese empire(which was extended into almost all of the islands of the Pacific Ocean) collapsed.
With US aid Japan, like the other countries, also started to rebuild its economy until it became a major world industrial power.
Less than one fifth of Japan's land is arable. Yet their crop yields are among the highest in the world, and it produces about 40% of its food needs.With the population half that the United States, Japan has twice as much farmers. The size of the avarage Japanese farm is only two and a half acres. Almost half of the country's farmland area is used to grow rice.Tea, mulberry trees(for silkworms), soybeans and a variety of fruits are well growned in the warmer climate(especially at South Japan). North Japan produces wheat, barley, potatoes, and vegetables.
Japan imports about half of its food, especially grains and meat.
The country's long coastline helped it to become the largest fishing industry in the world; makes up over 10% of the world's fish catch. The Japanese also have continued to practice commercial whaling despite international protests.
Forests cover more than two-thirds of Japan, making it the world's most forested nations. The cutting of Japan's timber is carefully controlled to prevent the loss of forests, limit soil erosion, and provide national parks.
Japan has few energy resources and industrial raw materials such as iron ore. Its major import is oil, but also imports coal.
The hydroelectric power plants provide 12 and the nuclear provide 25% of the country's electricity needs.
The Japanese products are considered as some of the best in the world. It is the world leader in production of cameras, televisions, videocassette recorders, radios, watches, and motorcycles. The country ranks high in the production of steel, computers, telephones and many household products. The Japanese are also leaders in such high-tech fields as electronic miniaturization.
The Japanese have succeeded in moving whole industries overseas. For example, there are several Japanese-owned factories in the United States producing automobiles and televisions. Many of the buildings and hotels in cities such as Los Angeles and Honolulu and most of the world's largest banks are Japanese-owned as well.
At the same time, however, Japan is feeling competition from other newly industrialized Asian countries, especially from China. Many of Japan's older industries, such as shipbuilding, steel, and textiles, are suffering from this competition. Also, the country has a very huge trade surplus(when a country exports more than it imports). For instance, Japanese exports are two times greater to the United States than its imports from it.
All of Japan's major urban areas are faced with unaffordable housing, air pollution, and traffic congestion.
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