Japan

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Introduction - Japan:
CountryJapan
BackgroundIn 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 Americas 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.
Location - Japan:
LocationEastern Asia, island chain between the North Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan, east of the Korean Peninsula
Geographic coordinates36 00 N, 138 00 E
Map referencesAsia
Areatotal: 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 comparativeslightly smaller than California
Land boundaries0 km
Coastline29,751 km
Maritime claimsterritorial 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
Climatevaries from tropical in south to cool temperate in north
Terrainmostly rugged and mountainous
Elevation extremeslowest point: Hachiro-gata -4 m
highest point: Mount Fuji 3,776 m
Natural resourcesnegligible mineral resources, fish
Land usearable land: 11.64%
permanent crops: 0.9%
other: 87.46% (2005)
Irrigated land25,920 sq km (2003)
Natural hazardsmany dormant and some active volcanoes; about 1,500 seismic occurrences (mostly tremors) every year; tsunamis; typhoons
Environment current issuesair 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 agreementsparty 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 notestrategic location in northeast Asia
People - Japan:
Population127,433,494 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 13.8% (male 9,024,344/female 8,553,700)
15-64 years: 65.2% (male 41,841,760/female 41,253,968)
65 years and over: 21% (male 11,312,492/female 15,447,230) (2007 est.)
Median agetotal: 43.5 years
male: 41.7 years
female: 45.3 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate-0.088% (2007 est.)
Birth rate8.1 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate8.98 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.055 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.014 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.732 male(s)/female
total population: 0.953 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 2.8 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 3 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 2.59 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 82.02 years
male: 78.67 years
female: 85.56 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate1.23 children born/woman (2007 est.)
Hiv aids adult prevalence rateless than 0.1% (2003 est.)
Hiv aids people living with hiv aids12,000 (2003 est.)
Hiv aids deaths500 (2003 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Japanese (singular and plural)
adjective: Japanese
Ethnic groupsJapanese 98.5%, Koreans 0.5%, Chinese 0.4%, other 0.7%
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)
Religionsobserve both Shinto and Buddhist 84%, other 16% (including Christian 0.7%)
LanguagesJapanese
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99% (2002)
Government - Japan:
Country nameconventional long form: none
conventional short form: Japan
local long form: Nihon-koku/Nippon-koku
local short form: Nihon/Nippon
Government typeconstitutional monarchy with a parliamentary government
Capitalname: Tokyo
geographic coordinates: 35 41 N, 139 45 E
time difference: UTC+9 (14 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions47 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
Independence660 B.C. (traditional founding by Emperor JIMMU)
National holidayBirthday of Emperor AKIHITO, 23 December (1933)
Constitution3 May 1947
Legal systemmodeled after German civil law system with English-American influence; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations
Suffrage20 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: Emperor AKIHITO (since 7 January 1989)
head of government: Prime Minister Shinzo ABE (since 26 September 2006)
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
election results: ABE was elected prime minister with 339 of 476 votes cast in the House of Representatives and 136 of 240 votes cast in the House of Councillors.
Legislative branchbicameral 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 - 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 branchSupreme Court (chief justice is appointed by the monarch after designation by the cabinet; all other justices are appointed by the cabinet)
Political parties and leadersDemocratic Party of Japan or DPJ [Ichiro OZAWA]; Japan Communist Party or JCP [Kazuo SHII]; Komeito [Akihoro OTA]; Liberal Democratic Party or LDP [Shinzo ABE]; Social Democratic Party or SDP [Mizuho FUKUSHIMA]
Political pressure groups and leadersNA
International organization participationAfDB, 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, 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, UN Security Council (temporary), UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNMOVIC, UNRWA, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the uschief 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: 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 uschief 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 descriptionwhite with a large red disk (representing the sun without rays) in the center
Economy - Japan:
Economy overviewGovernment-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. Japans 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 worlds 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 2002-06, growth improved and the lingering fears of deflation in prices and economic activity lessened. Japans huge government debt, which totals 176% 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 the 2007-17 privatization of Japan Post, which has functioned not only as the national postal delivery system but also, through its banking and insurance facilities, as Japans largest financial institution.
Gdp purchasing power parity $4.218 trillion (2006 est.)
Gdp official exchange rate $4.883 trillion (2006 est.)
Gdp real growth rate2.2% (2006 est.)
Gdp per capita ppp $33,100 (2006 est.)
Gdp composition by sectoragriculture: 1.6%
industry: 25.3%
services: 73.1% (2006 est.)
Labor force66.44 million (2006 est.)
Labor force by occupationagriculture: 4.6%
industry: 27.8%
services: 67.7% (2004)
Unemployment rate4.1% (2006 est.)
Population below poverty lineNA%
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 4.8%
highest 10%: 21.7% (1993)
Distribution of family income gini index38.1 (2002)
Inflation rate consumer prices 0.3% (2006 est.)
Investment gross fixed 23.7% of GDP (2006 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $1.411 trillion
expenditures: $1.639 trillion; including capital expenditures (public works only) of about $71 billion (2006 est.)
Public debt176.2% of GDP (2006 est.)
Agriculture productsrice, sugar beets, vegetables, fruit; pork, poultry, dairy products, eggs; fish
Industriesamong worlds largest and technologically advanced producers of motor vehicles, electronic equipment, machine tools, steel and nonferrous metals, ships, chemicals, textiles, processed foods
Industrial production growth rate3.3% (2006 est.)
Electricity production996 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity consumption946.3 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity exports0 kWh (2005)
Electricity imports0 kWh (2005)
Oil production125,000 bbl/day (2006)
Oil consumption5.578 million bbl/day (2005)
Oil exports94,830 bbl/day (2004)
Oil imports5.425 million bbl/day (2004)
Oil proved reserves58.5 million bbl (1 January 2005)
Natural gas production2.957 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas consumption83.55 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas exports0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas imports81.23 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas proved reserves39.64 billion cu m (1 January 2005 est.)
Current account balance$174.4 billion (2006 est.)
Exports$590.3 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Exports commoditiestransport equipment, motor vehicles, semiconductors, electrical machinery, chemicals
Exports partnersUS 22.8%, China 14.3%, South Korea 7.8%, Taiwan 6.8%, Hong Kong 5.6% (2006)
Imports$524.1 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Imports commoditiesmachinery and equipment, fuels, foodstuffs, chemicals, textiles, raw materials
Imports partnersChina 20.5%, US 12%, Saudi Arabia 6.4%, UAE 5.5%, Australia 4.8%, South Korea 4.7%, Indonesia 4.2% (2006)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$864.7 billion (August 2006 est.)
Economic aid donorODA, $8.9 billion (2004)
Debt external$1.547 trillion (30 June 2006)
Currency code yen (JPY)
Exchange ratesyen per US dollar - 116.18 (2006), 110.22 (2005), 108.19 (2004), 115.93 (2003), 125.39 (2002)
Communications - Japan:
Fiscal year1 April - 31 March
Telephones main lines in use55.155 million (2006)
Telephones mobile cellular101.7 million (2006)
Telephone systemgeneral 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 stationsAM 215 (plus 370 repeaters), FM 89 (plus 485 repeaters), shortwave 21 (2001)
Television broadcast stations211 (plus 7,341 repeaters); in addition, US Forces are served by 3 TV stations and 2 TV cable services (1999)
Internet country code.jp
Internet hosts28.322 million (2006)
Internet users87.54 million (2006)
Transportation - Japan:
Airports175 (2006)
Airports with paved runwaystotal: 145
over 3,047 m: 7
2,438 to 3,047 m: 41
1,524 to 2,437 m: 39
914 to 1,523 m: 28
under 914 m: 30 (2006)
Airports with unpaved runwaystotal: 30
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 26 (2006)
Heliports15 (2006)
Pipelinesgas 8,015 km; oil 170 km; oil/gas/water 60 km (2006)
Railwaystotal: 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)
Roadwaystotal: 1.183 million km
paved: 925,000 km (includes 6,946 km of expressways)
unpaved: 258,000 km (2003)
Waterways1,770 km (seagoing vessels use inland seas) (2007)
Merchant marinetotal: 683 ships (1000 GRT or over) 10,415,892 GRT/11,765,038 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 134, cargo 30, chemical tanker 20, container 11, liquefied gas 59, passenger 14, passenger/cargo 149, petroleum tanker 156, refrigerated cargo 3, roll on/roll off 51, vehicle carrier 56
registered in other countries: 2,459 (Australia 1, Bahamas 51, Belize 2, Burma 4, Cambodia 4, Cayman Islands 1, China 3, Cyprus 17, French Southern and Antarctic Lands 4, Honduras 4, Hong Kong 67, Indonesia 3, Isle of Man 4, South Korea 1, Liberia 102, Malaysia 4, Malta 1, Marshall Islands 7, Mongolia 1, Norway 1, Panama 2007, Philippines 26, Portugal 9, Singapore 100, Sweden 2, Thailand 4, Vanuatu 28, unknown 1) (2006)
Ports and terminalsChiba, Kawasaki, Kiire, Kisarazu, Kobe, Mizushima, Nagoya, Osaka, Tokyo, Yohohama
Military - Japan:
Military branchesJapanese Defense Agency (JDA): Ground Self-Defense Force (Rikujou Jietai, GSDF), Maritime Self-Defense Force (Kaijou Jietai, MSDF), Air Self-Defense Force (Nihon Koku-Jieitai, ASDF) (2006)
Military service age and obligation18 years of age for voluntary military service (2001)
Manpower available for military servicemales age 18-49: 27,003,112
females age 18-49: 26,153,482 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military servicemales age 18-49: 22,234,663
females age 18-49: 21,494,947 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annuallymales age 18-49: 683,147
females age 18-49: 650,157 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures percent of gdp0.8% (2006)
This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>


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