Japan (Japanese: Nippon or Nihon ; formally ??? About this sound Nippon-koku or Nihon-koku, means “State of Japan”) is a sovereign island nation in Eastern Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, It is lying off the eastern coast of the Asia Mainland (east of China, Korea, Russia) and stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and near Taiwan in the southwest.
The kanji that make up Japan’s name mean “sun origin”. ? reads as ni or nichi means sun and ? reads as hon, pon or ppon means based or origin. By the kanji which make up the Japan’s name, Japan is often called with the famous ephitet as the “Land of the Rising Sun”.
Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago and consisting about 6,852 islands. The four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku, which make up about ninety-seven percent of Japan’s land area and oftenly referred as home islands. The country is divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions. Hokkaido beings the northernnmost prefecture and Okinawa beings the southernmost one. The population of 127 million is the world’s tenth largest. Japanese people make up 98.5% of Japan’s total population. Approximately 9.1 million people live in the core city of Tokyo, the capital of Japan.
Archaeological research indicates that Japan was inhabited as early as the Upper Paleolithic period. The first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD. Influence from other regions, mainly China, followed by periods of isolation, particularly from Western Europe, has characterized Japan’s history. From the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive feudal military shoguns who ruled in the name of the Emperor.
Japan entered into a long period of isolation in the early 17th century, which was ended in 1853 when a United States fleet pressured Japan to open to the West. After nearly two decades of internal conflict and insurrection, the Imperial Court regained its political power in 1868 through the help of several clans from Choshu and Satsuma, and the Empire of Japan was established. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, victories in the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War and World War I allowed Japan to expand its empire during a period of increasing militarism.
The Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937 expanded into part of World War II in 1941, which came to an end in 1945 following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the surrender. Since adopting its revised constitution on May 3, 1947 in the occupied by the SCAP, Japan has maintained a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy with an Emperor and an elected legislature called the National Diet.
Japan is a member of the UN, the OECD, the G7, the G8, and the G20 and is considered a great power. The country has the world’s third-largest economy by nominal GDP and the world’s fourth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It is also the world’s fourth-largest exporter and fourth-largest importer. The country benefits from a highly skilled workforce and is among the most highly educated countries in the world with one of the highest percentages of its citizens holding a tertiary education degree.
Although Japan has officially renounced its right to declare war, it maintains a modern military with the world’s eighth largest military budget, used for self-defense and peacekeeping roles. Japan is a developed country with a very high standard of living and Human Development Index whose population enjoys the highest life expectancy and the third lowest infant mortality in the world.
Economy & Employment:
Modern Japan’s economic growth began in the Edo period. Some of the surviving elements of the Edo period are roads and water transportation routes, as well as financial instruments such as futures contracts, banking and insurance of the Osaka rice brokers. During the Meiji period from 1868, Japan expanded economically with the embrace of the market economy. Many of today’s enterprises were founded at the time, and Japan emerged as the most developed nation in Asia. The period of overall real economic growth from the 1960s to the 1980s has been called the Japanese post-war economic miracle: it averaged 7.5 percent in the 1960s and 1970s, and 3.2 percent in the 1980s and early 1990s.
Growth slowed in the 1990s during the “Lost Decade” due to after-effects of the Japanese asset price bubble and government policies intended to wring speculative excesses from the stock and real estate markets. Efforts to revive economic growth were unsuccessful and further hampered by the global slowdown in 2000. The economy recovered after 2005; GDP growth for that year was 2.8 percent, surpassing the growth rates of the US and European Union during the same period.
Today Japan ranks highly for competitiveness and economic freedom. It is ranked sixth in the Global Competitiveness Report for 2015–2016.