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Japan

 
Flag of Japan
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Coordinates:
36.00 N  138.00 E

 
 
Introduction  Geography  People  Government  Economy
 
Communications  Transportation  Military  Transnational Issues

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Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Japan Top of Page
Background:
Definition Field Listing
In 1603, a Tokugawa shogunate (military dictatorship) ushered in a long period of isolation from foreign influence in order to secure its power. For 250 years this policy enabled Japan to enjoy stability and a flowering of its indigenous culture. Following the Treaty of Kanagawa with the US in 1854, Japan opened its ports and began to intensively modernize and industrialize. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Japan became a regional power that was able to defeat the forces of both China and Russia. It occupied Korea, Formosa (Taiwan), and southern Sakhalin Island. In 1931-32 Japan occupied Manchuria, and in 1937 it launched a full-scale invasion of China. Japan attacked US forces in 1941 - triggering America's entry into World War II - and soon occupied much of East and Southeast Asia. After its defeat in World War II, Japan recovered to become an economic power and a staunch ally of the US. While the emperor retains his throne as a symbol of national unity, actual power rests in networks of powerful politicians, bureaucrats, and business executives. The economy experienced a major slowdown starting in the 1990s following three decades of unprecedented growth, but Japan still remains a major economic power, both in Asia and globally. In 2005, Japan began a two-year term as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.
   Geography    Japan Top of Page
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Eastern Asia, island chain between the North Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan, east of the Korean Peninsula
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
36 00 N, 138 00 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Asia
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
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)
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly smaller than California
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
0 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
29,751 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
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
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
varies from tropical in south to cool temperate in north
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
mostly rugged and mountainous
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Hachiro-gata -4 m
highest point: Mount Fuji 3,776 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
negligible mineral resources, fish
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 11.64%
permanent crops: 0.9%
other: 87.46% (2005)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
25,920 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
many dormant and some active volcanoes; about 1,500 seismic occurrences (mostly tremors) every year; tsunamis; typhoons
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
strategic location in northeast Asia
   People    Japan Top of Page
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
127,463,611 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 14.2% (male 9,309,524/female 8,849,476)
15-64 years: 65.7% (male 42,158,122/female 41,611,754)
65 years and over: 20% (male 10,762,585/female 14,772,150) (2006 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 42.9 years
male: 41.1 years
female: 44.7 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.02% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
9.37 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
9.16 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.73 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 3.24 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 3.5 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 2.97 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 81.25 years
male: 77.96 years
female: 84.7 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.4 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
less than 0.1% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
12,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
500 (2003 est.)
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Japanese (singular and plural)
adjective: Japanese
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Japanese 99%, others 1% (Korean 511,262, Chinese 244,241, Brazilian 182,232, Filipino 89,851, other 237,914)
note: up to 230,000 Brazilians of Japanese origin migrated to Japan in the 1990s to work in industries; some have returned to Brazil (2004)
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
observe both Shinto and Buddhist 84%, other 16% (including Christian 0.7%)
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
Japanese
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99% (2002)
   Government    Japan Top of Page
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Japan
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary government
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Tokyo
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
47 prefectures; Aichi, Akita, Aomori, Chiba, Ehime, Fukui, Fukuoka, Fukushima, Gifu, Gunma, Hiroshima, Hokkaido, Hyogo, Ibaraki, Ishikawa, Iwate, Kagawa, Kagoshima, Kanagawa, Kochi, Kumamoto, Kyoto, Mie, Miyagi, Miyazaki, Nagano, Nagasaki, Nara, Niigata, Oita, Okayama, Okinawa, Osaka, Saga, Saitama, Shiga, Shimane, Shizuoka, Tochigi, Tokushima, Tokyo, Tottori, Toyama, Wakayama, Yamagata, Yamaguchi, Yamanashi
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
660 B.C. (traditional founding by Emperor JIMMU)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Birthday of Emperor AKIHITO, 23 December (1933)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
3 May 1947
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
modeled after European civil law system with English-American influence; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
20 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: Emperor AKIHITO (since 7 January 1989)
head of government: Prime Minister Junichiro KOIZUMI (since 26 April 2001)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister
elections: Diet designates prime minister; constitution requires that prime minister commands parliamentary majority; following legislative elections, leader of majority party or leader of majority coalition in House of Representatives usually becomes prime minister; KOIZUMI's term as leader of the LDP is scheduled to end in September 2006; a new prime minister may be chosen at that time; monarch is hereditary
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
bicameral Diet or Kokkai consists of the House of Councillors or Sangi-in (242 seats - members elected for six-year terms; half reelected every three years; 146 members in multi-seat constituencies and 96 by proportional representation) and the House of Representatives or Shugi-in (480 seats - members elected for four-year terms; 300 in single-seat constituencies; 180 members by proportional representation in 11 regional blocs)
elections: House of Councillors - last held 11 July 2004 (next to be held in July 2007); House of Representatives - last held 11 September 2005 (next election by September 2009)
election results: House of Councillors - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - LDP 115, DPJ 82, Komeito 24, JCP 9, SDP 5, others 7; distribution of seats as of January 2006 - LDP 112, DPJ 83, Komeito 24, JCP 9, SDP 6, others 8
: House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - LDP 47.8%, DPJ 36.4%, others 15.8%; seats by party - LDP 296, DPJ 113, Komeito 31, JCP 9, SDP 7, others 24; distribution of seats as of January 2006 - LDP 294, DPJ 112, Komeito 31, JCP 9, SDP 7, others 27 (2006)
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Supreme Court (chief justice is appointed by the monarch after designation by the cabinet; all other justices are appointed by the cabinet)
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Democratic Party of Japan or DPJ [Ichiro OZAWA]; Japan Communist Party or JCP [Kazuo SHII]; Komeito [Takenori KANZAKI]; Liberal Democratic Party or LDP [Junichiro KOIZUMI]; Social Democratic Party or SDP [Mizuho FUKUSHIMA]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
NA
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
AfDB, APEC, APT, ARF, AsDB, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, CE (observer), CERN (observer), CP, EAS, EBRD, FAO, G-5, G-7, G-8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, LAIA, MIGA, NAM (guest), NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE (partner), Paris Club, PCA, PIF (partner), SAARC (observer), UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNMOVIC, UNRWA, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Ryozo KATO
chancery: 2520 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 238-6700
FAX: [1] (202) 328-2187
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Agana (Guam), Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Portland (Oregon), San Francisco, Seattle
consulate(s): Anchorage, Saipan (Northern Mariana Islands)
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador J. Thomas SCHIEFFER
embassy: 1-10-5 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-8420
mailing address: Unit 45004, Box 258, APO AP 96337-5004
telephone: [81] (03) 3224-5000
FAX: [81] (03) 3505-1862
consulate(s) general: Naha (Okinawa), Osaka-Kobe, Sapporo
consulate(s): Fukuoka, Nagoya
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
white with a large red disk (representing the sun without rays) in the center
   Economy    Japan Top of Page
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
Government-industry cooperation, a strong work ethic, mastery of high technology, and a comparatively small defense allocation (1% of GDP) helped Japan advance with extraordinary rapidity to the rank of second most technologically powerful economy in the world after the US and the third-largest economy in the world after the US and China, measured on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis. One notable characteristic of the economy is how manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors work together in closely-knit groups called keiretsu. A second basic feature has been the guarantee of lifetime employment for a substantial portion of the urban labor force. Both features are now eroding. Japan's industrial sector is heavily dependent on imported raw materials and fuels. The tiny agricultural sector is highly subsidized and protected, with crop yields among the highest in the world. Usually self sufficient in rice, Japan must import about 60% of its food on a caloric basis. Japan maintains one of the world's largest fishing fleets and accounts for nearly 15% of the global catch. For three decades, overall real economic growth had been spectacular - a 10% average in the 1960s, a 5% average in the 1970s, and a 4% average in the 1980s. Growth slowed markedly in the 1990s, averaging just 1.7%, largely because of the after effects of overinvestment during the late 1980s and contractionary domestic policies intended to wring speculative excesses from the stock and real estate markets and to force a restructuring of the economy. From 2000 to 2003, government efforts to revive economic growth met with little success and were further hampered by the slowing of the US, European, and Asian economies. In 2004 and 2005, growth improved and the lingering fears of deflation in prices and economic activity lessened. Japan's huge government debt, which totals 170% of GDP, and the aging of the population are two major long-run problems. Some fear that a rise in taxes could endanger the current economic recovery. Internal conflict over the proper way to reform the financial system will continue as Japan Post's banking, insurance, and delivery services undergo privatization between 2007 and 2017.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$4.018 trillion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
Definition Field Listing
$4.664 trillion (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.7% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$31,500 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 1.7%
industry: 25.8%
services: 72.5% (2005 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
66.4 million (2005 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 4.6%
industry: 27.8%
services: 67.7% (2004)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4.4% (2005 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 4.8%
highest 10%: 21.7% (1993)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
37.9 (2000)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
-0.3% (2005 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
23.2% of GDP (2005 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $1.429 trillion
expenditures: $1.775 trillion; including capital expenditures (public works only) of about $71 billion (2005 est.)
Public debt:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
158% of GDP (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
rice, sugar beets, vegetables, fruit; pork, poultry, dairy products, eggs; fish
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
among world's largest and technologically advanced producers of motor vehicles, electronic equipment, machine tools, steel and nonferrous metals, ships, chemicals, textiles, processed foods
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.5% (2005 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.017 trillion kWh (2003)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
946.3 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2003)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
120,700 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.578 million bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
93,360 bbl/day (2001)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.449 million bbl/day (2001)
Oil - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
29.29 million bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.814 billion cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
86.51 billion cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
77.73 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
39.64 billion cu m (1 January 2002)
Current account balance:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$165.6 billion (2005 est.)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$550.5 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
transport equipment, motor vehicles, semiconductors, electrical machinery, chemicals
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 22.9%, China 13.4%, South Korea 7.8%, Taiwan 7.3%, Hong Kong 6.1% (2005)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$451.1 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
machinery and equipment, fuels, foodstuffs, chemicals, textiles, raw materials (2001)
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
China 21%, US 12.7%, Saudi Arabia 5.5%, UAE 4.9%, South Korea 4.7%, Australia 4.4%, Indonesia 4% (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$835.5 billion (2005 est.)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$1.545 trillion (31 December 2004)
Economic aid - donor:
Definition Field Listing
ODA, $8.9 billion (2004)
Currency (code):
Definition Field Listing
yen (JPY)
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
yen per US dollar - 110.22 (2005), 108.19 (2004), 115.93 (2003), 125.39 (2002), 121.53 (2001)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
1 April - 31 March
   Communications    Japan Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
58.788 million (2004)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
91,473,900 (2004)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: excellent domestic and international service
domestic: high level of modern technology and excellent service of every kind
international: country code - 81; satellite earth stations - 5 Intelsat (4 Pacific Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean), 1 Intersputnik (Indian Ocean region), and 1 Inmarsat (Pacific and Indian Ocean regions); submarine cables to China, Philippines, Russia, and US (via Guam) (1999)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 215 plus 370 repeaters, FM 89 plus 485 repeaters, shortwave 21 (2001)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
211 plus 7,341 repeaters
note: in addition, US Forces are served by 3 TV stations and 2 TV cable services (1999)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.jp
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
21,304,292 (2005)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
86.3 million (2005)
   Transportation    Japan Top of Page
Airports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
173 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 142
over 3,047 m: 7
2,438 to 3,047 m: 39
1,524 to 2,437 m: 37
914 to 1,523 m: 29
under 914 m: 30 (2005)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 31
over 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 26 (2005)
Heliports:
Definition Field Listing
15 (2005)
Pipelines:
Definition Field Listing
gas 2,719 km; oil 170 km; oil/gas/water 60 km (2004)
Railways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 23,577 km (16,519 km electrified)
standard gauge: 3,204 km 1.435-m gauge (3,204 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 77 km 1.372-m gauge (77 km electrified); 20,265 km 1.067-m gauge (13,227 km electrified); 11 km 0.762-m gauge (11 km electrified) (2004)
Roadways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 1,177,278 km
paved: 914,745 km (including 6,946 km of expressways)
unpaved: 262,533 km (2002)
Waterways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1,770 km (seagoing vessels use inland seas) (2006)
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 683 ships (1000 GRT or over) 10,468,077 GRT/12,050,990 DWT
by type: barge carrier 5, bulk carrier 127, cargo 30, chemical tanker 21, container 12, liquefied gas 53, passenger 14, passenger/cargo 154, petroleum tanker 157, refrigerated cargo 4, roll on/roll off 50, vehicle carrier 56
registered in other countries: 2,351 (Australia 1, The Bahamas 51, Belize 5, Burma 4, Cambodia 2, China 2, Cyprus 17, French Southern and Antarctic Lands 4, Honduras 4, Hong Kong 64, Indonesia 4, Isle of Man 4, Liberia 100, Malaysia 1, Malta 1, Marshall Islands 5, Norway 1, Panama 1,921, Philippines 25, Portugal 9, Singapore 93, Sweden 2, Thailand 4, Vanuatu 26, unknown 1) (2005)
Ports and terminals:
Definition Field Listing
Chiba, Kawasaki, Kiire, Kisarazu, Kobe, Mizushima, Nagoya, Osaka, Tokyo, Yohohama
   Military    Japan Top of Page
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Japanese Defense Agency (JDA): Ground Self-Defense Force (Rikujou Jietai, GSDF), Maritime Self-Defense Force (Kaijou Jietai, MSDF), Air Self-Defense Force (Koukuu Jietai, ASDF) (2006)
Military service age and obligation:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age for voluntary military service (2001)
Manpower available for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 27,003,112
females age 18-49: 26,153,482 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 22,234,663
females age 18-49: 21,494,947 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 683,147
females age 18-49: 650,157 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$44.31 billion (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1% (2005 est.)
   Transnational Issues    Japan Top of Page
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
the sovereignty dispute over the islands of Etorofu, Kunashiri, and Shikotan, and the Habomai group, known in Japan as the "Northern Territories" and in Russia as the "Southern Kuril Islands," occupied by the Soviet Union in 1945, now administered by Russia and claimed by Japan, remains the primary sticking point to signing a peace treaty formally ending World War II hostilities; Japan and South Korea claim Liancourt Rocks (Take-shima/Tok-do) occupied by South Korea since 1954; China and Taiwan dispute both Japan's claims to the uninhabited islands of the Senkaku-shoto (Diaoyu Tai) and Japan's unilaterally declared exclusive economic zone in the East China Sea, the site of intensive hydrocarbon prospecting

This page was last updated on 20 July, 2006


Source: CIA Factbook