Japan is a nation of rich cultural heritage and many natural wonders. Referred to as 'The Land Of The Rising Sun', Japan has become the epicenter of international trade and finance with the technological advances made by the Japanese and by Japanese companies.
Situated in East Asia, Japan is an archipelago of 6,852 islands. It is surrounded by the North Pacific Ocean to the east, Sea of Japan to the west, and East China Sea and Philippine Sea to the south. China, North Korea, South Korea, and Russia share maritime boundaries with Japan. Japan's Geographic Coordinates are 35.41⁰ N and 135.83⁰E.
Economy and Agriculture
Japan's economic growth after World War II has been phenomenal. The shrewd government policies and dedicated work culture have propelled the country's economy to great heights.
For three decades from 1960's to 1980's Japan's real economic growth had been remarkable. In the 1990's however, Japan faced an economic crisis. with government spends having been promptly cut and investments made, the economy recovered again in 2009-2010.
|Japan's Time Line|
|30,000BC||Earliest Known Inhabitation of Japan|
|535 AD||Contact with Korea and China introducs Buddhism|
|710AD||Japan's First Permanent Capital Founded At Nara|
|Golden Age of Japan starts with the beginning of Nara period.|
|784 AD||Hein Period follows|
|1192||Yoritomo of Minamoto clan sets up military government known as Shogunate|
|1543||Portuguese enter Japan for trade|
|1603-1867||Tokugawa period starts|
|1633||Foreigners banned; trade with foreign countries suspended|
|1853||US demands reopening of trade|
|1867||Edo Shogunate fails|
|1868||Meiji Emperor ascends the throne|
|1894||Japan and China go to war|
|1904||Russia and Japan go to war|
|1912||Meiji Emperor dies|
|1914||In world war I, Japan joins British Allies|
|1940||Japan become allies with Germany and Italy in Second World War|
|1945||Two Japanese cities bombed by USA (Hiroshima and Nagasaki)- only known use of nuclear bombs in a war|
|1947||Japan signs peace treaties with United States and other countries|
|1952||Japan regains full independence|
|1956||Liberal Democratic party formed|
|1956||Japan becomes member of United Nation|
|1982||Japanese automaker (Honda) opens their first plant in US|
|1993||Seven Party coalition government formed|
|1994||Coalition government collapses, LDP and socialist support new administration takes over.|
|2011||Earthquake hits Japan, followed by Tsunami causing a nuclear disaster|
|2011||China overtakes Japanese economy, pushing Japan to the fourth position.|
Unfortunately Japan suffered again in 2011 due to a major earthquake and Tsunami, forcing Japan's position down to 4th largest economy in the world. Japan has a GDP (PPP) of $4.389 trillion (2011 est.) Japan's agriculture sector is small and highly subsidized. Its major agricultural products are rice, fish, vegetables, dairy products etc. Japan imports about 60% of its food and its industrial sector also heavily imports its fuel and raw materials. PM Noda has currently proposed to open service sector and agricultural sector to foreign competition to boost its export.
Political History and Divisions
Japan has a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary government, with the Prime Minster as the head of the government. Role of the monarch is mainly ceremonial. After the death of Meiji emperor in 1912 followed by the world wars, the reign of monarchs almost ended. By 1952, Japan had regained its full independence and in 1956 Liberal Democratic Party was formed. By this time constitutional monarchy was completely taken over by the parliamentary government. Japanese government has two houses; House of Representatives and House of Councilors. Japan is divided into 47 prefectures, which are further divided into cities. Each prefecture has a governor and an assembly elected by the people. There are about eight to nine informal geographic regions in Japan, which do not serve any political purpose.
Yokohama: It is the capital of Kanagawa prefecture and the second largest city of the country by population. It is also a major commercial hub of the country.
Osaka: This is the capital of Osaka Prefecture. This city is the third largest of the country and is also one of the command centers of Japan's economy.
Kyoto: It is the capital of Kyoto Prefecture. It is also one of the academic centers of the country. Kyoto has the second largest transportation station in the country.
Beside the above mention cities Nagoya, Sapporo, Kobe, Kawasaki, Saitama, Hiroshima etc, are also prominent cities of Japan.
|Japan's Prefectures And Their Capitals|
Note : - Population: 2000-10-01 census.
Last Updated On : November 15, 2012