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Japan (jap. 日本 Nihon or Nippon) is an island nation in East Asia.

General Information

126.6 million
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
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
slightly smaller than California
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
varies from tropical in south to cool temperate in north
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; tsunami
Geography Note
strategic location in northeast Asia


Pop Culture

Japanese films, music videos, and fashion trends contribute greatly to Asian Pop Culture, and is very influential on other parts of the world. J-Pop, J-Rock, J-Punk, J-R&B, J-Hip-Hop, J-Urban, J-Jazz, J-Tek, and J-Fusion are all music genres that were founded here. The Gothic Lolita style was also founded in Japan. There is also AV stars and Gravure idols.


Japan has a large, diverse, and developed entertainment industry. Most game engineering companies are Japanese companies, for example Nintendo, Sony, Konami, Polyphony Digital and Sega.


18% of all Car Manufacturers are Japanese Companies. Japanese Brands distinguish themselves through their high Quality and Reliability. Toyota is winner of the JD Power Report (Distinction for most content customers) and Mazda is winner of this years Quality Report (Distinction for highest Quality, Reliaility and best Manufacturing).


Name "Japan"
In western languages, the country is called Japan (English), Japon (French; pron Japong), Japan (German; pron. Yapan). But Japanese people call their country Nihon or Nippon (Japanese: 日本). The difference between these two pronunciations is easy to explain: the first character (meaning "sun") is pronunced "ni" in Japan but "ji" in China. The second character (meaning "origin") is pronunced "hon" in Japan but "pen" in China. So the Japanese pronunciation of the characters for "Japan" is "Nihon" as opposed to Chinese pronunciation of "Jipen." Western countries first traded with China, because Japan had closed its borders at that time. So European people called the country "Japan" after the Chinese pronunciation "Jipen."

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