source : World Fact Book 2008 (October 2008)


   Introduction    Japan
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 more than two centuries 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, elected politicians - with heavy input from bureaucrats and business executives - wield actual decisionmaking power. 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.
   Geography    Japan
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
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
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
Definition Field Listing varies from tropical in south to cool temperate in north
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)
Total renewable water resources:
Definition Field Listing 430 cu km (1999)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
Definition Field Listing total: 88.43 cu km/yr (20%/18%/62%)
per capita: 690 cu m/yr (2000)
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
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 127,288,416 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing 0-14 years: 13.7% (male 8,926,439/female 8,460,629)
15-64 years: 64.7% (male 41,513,061/female 40,894,057)
65 years and over: 21.6% (male 11,643,845/female 15,850,388) (2008 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing total: 43.8 years
male: 42.1 years
female: 45.7 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing -0.139% (2008 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 7.87 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 9.26 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order NA (2008 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.74 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order total: 2.8 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 3 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 2.58 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order total population: 82.07 years
male: 78.73 years
female: 85.59 years (2008 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 1.22 children born/woman (2008 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.)
Definition Field Listing noun: Japanese (singular and plural)
adjective: Japanese
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing Japanese 98.5%, Koreans 0.5%, Chinese 0.4%, other 0.6%
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)
Definition Field Listing observe both Shinto and Buddhist 84%, other 16% (including Christian 0.7%)
Definition Field Listing Japanese
Definition Field Listing definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99% (2002)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
Definition Field Listing total: 15 years
male: 15 years
female: 15 years (2006)
Education expenditures:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 3.5% of GDP (2005)
   Government    Japan
Country name:
Definition Field Listing conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Japan
local long form: Nihon-koku/Nippon-koku
local short form: Nihon/Nippon
Government type:
Definition Field Listing constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary government
Definition Field Listing name: Tokyo
geographic coordinates: 35 41 N, 139 45 E
time difference: UTC+9 (14 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
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
Definition Field Listing 660 B.C. (traditional founding by Emperor JIMMU)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing Birthday of Emperor AKIHITO, 23 December (1933)
Definition Field Listing 3 May 1947
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing modeled after German civil law system with English-American influence; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations
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 Taro ASO (since 24 September 2008)
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; 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 29 July 2007 (next to be held in July 2010); 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 - DPJ 109, LDP 83, Komeito 20, JCP 7, SDP 5, others 18
House of Representatives - percent of vote by party (in single-seat constituencies) - LDP 47.8%, DPJ 36.4%, others 15.8%; seats by party - LDP 296, DPJ 113, Komeito 31, JCP 9, SDP 7, others 24 (2007)
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 [Akihiro OTA]; Liberal Democratic Party or LDP [Taro ASO]; Social Democratic Party or SDP [Mizuho FUKUSHIMA]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing other: business groups; trade unions
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing ADB, AfDB (nonregional members), APEC, APT, ARF, 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, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAIA, MIGA, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE (partner), Paris Club, PCA, PIF (partner), SAARC (observer), SECI (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNRWA, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing chief of mission: Ambassador Ichiro FUJISAKI
chancery: 2520 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 238-6700
FAX: [1] (202) 328-2187
consulate(s) general: Anchorage, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Agana (Guam), Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Portland (Oregon), San Francisco, Seattle
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: 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
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 has been how manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors have worked 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 have now eroded. 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 55% 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 and an asset price bubble during the late 1980s that required a protracted period of time for firms to reduce excess debt, capital, and labor. From 2000 to 2001, government efforts to revive economic growth proved short lived and were hampered by the slowing of the US, European, and Asian economies. In 2002-07, growth improved and the lingering fears of deflation in prices and economic activity lessened, leading the central bank to raise interest rates to 0.25% in July 2006, up from the near 0% rate of the six years prior, and to 0.50% in February 2007. In addition, the 10-year privatization of Japan Post, which has functioned not only as the national postal delivery system but also, through its banking and insurance facilities as Japan's largest financial institution, was completed in October 2007, marking a major milestone in the process of structural reform. Nevertheless, Japan's huge government debt, which totals 182% 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. Debate also continues on the role of and effects of reform in restructuring the economy, particularly with respect to increasing income disparities.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $4.272 trillion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
Definition Field Listing $4.384 trillion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 2% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $33,500 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing agriculture: 1.4%
industry: 26.5%
services: 72% (2007 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 66.69 million (2007 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 3.8% (2007 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 38.1 (2002)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 0.1% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 23.2% of GDP (2007 est.)
Definition Field Listing revenues: $1.462 trillion
expenditures: $1.567 trillion (2007 est.)
Public debt:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 170% of GDP (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing rice, sugar beets, vegetables, fruit; pork, poultry, dairy products, eggs; fish
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 1.3% (2007 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 1.025 trillion kWh (2005)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 974.2 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing 0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing 0 kWh (2005)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 125,000 bbl/day (2006)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 5.353 million bbl/day (2005)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 94,830 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 5.425 million bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 58.5 million bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 4.85 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 83.67 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 77.6 billion cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 38.02 billion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $210.5 billion (2007 est.)
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $678.1 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing transport equipment, motor vehicles, semiconductors, electrical machinery, chemicals
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing US 20.4%, China 15.3%, South Korea 7.6%, Taiwan 6.3%, Hong Kong 5.4% (2007)
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $573.3 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing machinery and equipment, fuels, foodstuffs, chemicals, textiles, raw materials
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing China 20.5%, US 11.6%, Saudi Arabia 5.7%, UAE 5.2%, Australia 5%, South Korea 4.4%, Indonesia 4.2% (2007)
Economic aid - donor:
Definition Field Listing ODA, $11.19 billion (2006)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $954.1 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $1.492 trillion (30 June 2007)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $110.8 billion (2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $533.1 billion (2007 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $4.737 trillion (2005)
Currency (code):
Definition Field Listing yen (JPY)
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing yen per US dollar - 117.99 (2007), 116.18 (2006), 110.22 (2005), 108.19 (2004), 115.93 (2003)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing 1 April - 31 March
   Communications    Japan
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 51.232 million (2007)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 107.339 million (2007)
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; numerous submarine cables provide links throughout Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Europe, and US; 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
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); 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 33.333 million (2007)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 88.11 million (2007)
   Transportation    Japan
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 176 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing total: 145
over 3,047 m: 7
2,438 to 3,047 m: 41
1,524 to 2,437 m: 40
914 to 1,523 m: 28
under 914 m: 29 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing total: 31
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 27 (2007)
Definition Field Listing 14 (2007)
Definition Field Listing gas 3,939 km; oil 170 km; oil/gas/water 104 km (2007)
Definition Field Listing Rank Order total: 23,474 km
standard gauge: 3,204 km 1.435-m gauge (3,204 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 77 km 1.372-m gauge (77 km electrified); 20,182 km 1.067-m gauge (13,334 km electrified); 11 km 0.762-m gauge (11 km electrified) (2006)
Definition Field Listing Rank Order total: 1.193 million km
paved: 942,000 km (includes 7,383 km of expressways)
unpaved: 251,000 km (2005)
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 1,770 km (seagoing vessels use inland seas) (2007)
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order total: 673 ships (1000 GRT or over) 10,598,158 GRT/11,597,912 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 135, cargo 30, carrier 3, chemical tanker 24, container 10, liquefied gas 58, passenger 12, passenger/cargo 133, petroleum tanker 155, refrigerated cargo 2, roll on/roll off 51, vehicle carrier 60
registered in other countries: 2,875 (Australia 1, Bahamas 73, Belize 2, Bermuda 2, Cambodia 3, Cayman Islands 12, China 2, Cyprus 21, France 1, Honduras 4, Hong Kong 85, Indonesia 5, Isle of Man 4, Italy 2, Liberia 114, Malaysia 4, Malta 4, Marshall Islands 8, Norway 1, Panama 2280, Philippines 83, Portugal 15, Singapore 109, South Korea 3, Thailand 3, UK 3, Vanuatu 29, unknown 1) (2008)
Ports and terminals:
Definition Field Listing Chiba, Kawasaki, Kobe, Mizushima, Moji, Nagoya, Osaka, Tokyo, Tomakomai, Yohohama
   Military    Japan
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing Japanese Ministry of Defense (MOD): Ground Self-Defense Force (Rikujou Jietai, GSDF), Maritime Self-Defense Force (Kaijou Jietai, MSDF), Air Self-Defense Force (Koku Jieitai, ASDF) (2008)
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 16-49: 27,819,804
females age 16-49: 26,863,794 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing males age 16-49: 22.963 million
females age 16-49: 22,134,127 (2008 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
Definition Field Listing male: 622,168
female: 590,153 (2008 est.)
Military expenditures:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 0.8% of GDP (2006)
   Transnational Issues    Japan
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

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Source : CIA's World Fact Book 2008

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