Japan Travel Information

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Fukuoka
Hiroshima 
Kyoto
Nagasaki
Tokyo
Yokohama

National Parks
WWF Japan The World Wide Fund For Nature in Japan.

Facts About Japan

Background: While retaining its time-honored culture, Japan rapidly absorbed Western technology during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. After its devastating defeat in World War II, Japan recovered to become the second most powerful economy in the world and a staunch ally of the US. While the emperor retains his throne as a symbol of national unity, actual power rests in networks of powerful politicians, bureaucrats, and business executives. The economy experienced a major slowdown in the 1990s following three decades of unprecedented growth.
Government type: constitutional monarchy
Capital: Tokyo
Currency: yen

Geography of Japan

Location: Eastern Asia, island chain between the North Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan, east of the Korean Peninsula
Geographic coordinates: 36 00 N, 138 00 E
Area:
total: 377,835 sq km
land: 374,744 sq km
water: 3,091 sq km
note: includes Bonin Islands (Ogasawara-gunto), Daito-shoto, Minami-jima, Okino-tori-shima, Ryukyu Islands (Nansei-shoto), and Volcano Islands (Kazan-retto)
Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 29,751 km
Maritime claims:
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm; between 3 nm and 12 nm in the international straits - La Perouse or Soya, Tsugaru, Osumi, and Eastern and Western Channels of the Korea or Tsushima Strait
Climate: varies from tropical in south to cool temperate in north
Terrain: mostly rugged and mountainous
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Hachiro-gata -4 m
highest point: Fujiyama 3,776 m
Natural resources: negligible mineral resources, fish
Land use:
arable land: 11%
permanent crops: 1%
permanent pastures: 2%
forests and woodland: 67%
other: 19% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land: 27,820 sq km (1993 est.)
Natural hazards: many dormant and some active volcanoes; about 1,500 seismic occurrences (mostly tremors) every year; tsunamis
Environment - current issues: air pollution from power plant emissions results in acid rain; acidification of lakes and reservoirs degrading water quality and threatening aquatic life; Japan is one of the largest consumers of fish and tropical timber, contributing to the depletion of these resources in Asia and elsewhere.
Environment - international agreements:
party to:  Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
Geography - note: strategic location in northeast Asia

More Geography

People of Japan

Japan's population has experienced a phenomenal growth rate during the past 100 years as a result of scientific, industrial, and sociological changes, but this has recently slowed because of falling birth rates. High sanitary and health standards produce a long life expectancy.

Japan is an urban society with only about 7% of the labor force engaged in agriculture. Many farmers supplement their income with part-time jobs in nearby towns and cities. About 80 million of the urban population is heavily concentrated on the Pacific shore of Honshu and in northern Kyushu.

Metropolitan Tokyo with approximately 14 million; Yokohama with 3.3 million; Osaka 2.6 million; Nagoya 2.1 million; Kyoto 1.5 million; Sapporo 1.6 million; Kobe 1.4 million; and Kitakyushu, Kawasaki, and Fukuoka with 1.2 million each account for part of this population. Japan faces the same problems that confront urban industrialized societies throughout the world: overcrowded cities, congested highways, air pollution, and rising juvenile delinquency.

Shintoism and Buddhism are Japan's two principle religions. Shintoism is founded on myths and legends emanating from the early animistic worship of natural phenomena. Since it was unconcerned with problems of afterlife which dominate Buddhist thought, and since Buddhism easily accommodated itself to local faiths, the two religions comfortably coexisted, and Shinto shrines and Buddhist monasteries often became administratively linked. Today many Japanese are adherents of both faiths.

Population: 127,417,244 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years:  14.64%
15-64 years:  67.83%
65 years and over:  17.53%
Population growth rate: 0.17% 
Birth rate: 10.04 births/1,000 population 
Death rate: 8.34 deaths/1,000 population 
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population 
Infant mortality rate: 3.88 deaths/1,000 live births 
Life expectancy at birth:
total population:  80.8 years
male:  77.62 years
female:  84.15 years
Total fertility rate: 1.41 children born/woman 
Nationality:
noun: Japanese (singular and plural)
adjective: Japanese
Ethnic groups: Japanese 99.4%, Korean 0.6% (1999)
Religions: observe both Shinto and Buddhist 84%, other 16% (including Christian 0.7%)
Languages: Japanese
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99% (1970 est.)

SOURCES: The World Factbook, U.S. Department of State

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Japan > Map Economy History