Japan

Japan

Reference Information

Population

126.8 Million

Official Language

None

Primary Language

Japanese

Currency

Yen

Capital

Tokyo

Current Time in Japan

15:59:44, 12/07/2019

Overview

The island nation of Japan has long played a unique role in the Pacific world. Though tied to Asia by culture and geography, it has also been a major player on the world stage since the 19th century.

Japan is both a country incredibly concerned with the preservation of its own culture and one that is more than willing to adapt to advances outside of its own border. It has created a unique culture that has had as much to do with its own long history as it has its interactions with the outside world.

Quick Facts about Japan

  • Japan is the leading producer of animated television shows, with sixty percent of all worldwide animation occurring in the country.
  • Japan has 118 volcanoes, the highest number of any country in the world.
  • Japan's capital of Tokyo is the world's largest city not only by population, but also by land area and population density.
  • More automobiles are produced in Japan than anywhere else in the world.
  • The world's oldest company was founded in Japan in 586 AD.

Borders

As an island nation, Japan does not share land borders with any nation. It is separated from continental Asia by the Sea of Japan.

Japan does share maritime borders with several nations, all to its east. It shares sea borders with China, North Korea, South Korea, the Philippines, Russia, Taiwan, and the Northern Mariana Islands. It is also bordered by countless islands, both claimed by other powers and those either unclaimed or uninhabited by others.

Area

Japan's physical area is 145,936.53 square miles, making it the sixty-first largest nation in the world. However, this area is largely stretched out among an archipelago that is around nineteen hundred miles long.

It is the fourth-largest island country in the world, the largest island country in East Asia, and has the sixth-longest coastline in the world.

Although Japan consists of many islands, it is generally divided into five main islands - Hokkaido, Honshu, Kyushu, Shikoku, and Okinawa.

Languages

Japan does not have an official language, though the most widely spoken language in the country is Japanese. There are several regional dialects of Japanese, and the variant considered to be 'standard Japanese' is the Tokyo dialect.

There are also regional languages such as Okinawan spoken in some areas, as well as a critically-endangered indigenous language known as Ainu. Korean, Chinese, German, and English are also frequently spoken in Japan.

Weather

Japan's climate is largely distinguished by having four separate seasons. The spring is mild and pleasant, with highs around seventy-six degrees Fahrenheit. The summers are hotter, with temperatures reaching around ninety-five degrees Fahrenheit.

Autumn tends to be significantly cooler than the summer, though it brings with it typhoon season. The winter is snowy and cold, with temperatures routinely dropping below freezing.

Government

Japan's government is a Constitutional monarchy. The head of state is the Emperor, who holds only ceremonial powers. The head of the government is the Prime Minister, who is chosen from among the national legislature.

The legislative body is the National Diet, which is composed of two houses - the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors. Both houses of the legislature are directly elected.

Japan is a unitary government, with relatively little legislative power vested in local governments. The country is divided into forty-five prefectures and two districts. Uniquely, though, large cities are governed separately from the rest of the prefectures in which they are located.