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Japan location map with side map of the Ryukyu Islands.svg

 Full name  Japan
 Alias(es)  State of Japan, Nippon, Nihon, Land of the Rising Sun
 Continent  Asia
East Asia
 Area  377,972 km2
 Time zone  JST (UTC+9)
 Date format  yyyy年mm月dd日
 Government  Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
 Constitution  Constitution of Japan
 Head of the
Prime Minister
 Emperor  Akihito
Shinzō Abe
 Deputy prime
Tarō Asō
 Strength(s)  Japan Self-Defense Forces, liberal democracy, constitutional monarchy
 Legislature  National Diet
Judicial system
 Role(s)  Exporter
 Affiliation(s)  United Nations, World Trade Organization (WTO), Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), East Asia Summit (EAS)
 Military  Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, Japan Air Self-Defense Force (all are parts of Japan Self-Defense Forces)
 Population  126,672,000
 Capital and
 largest city
 Race(s)  Humans
 and national
Ainu Itak, Amami Ōshima, Kikai, Kunigami, Miyako, Okinawan, Okinoerabu, Tokunoshima, Yaeyama, Yonaguni, Yoron
Kanji, Hiragana (Kana), Katakana
 Religion(s)  Shinto, Buddhism, Shinto sects, Christianity
Japanese, Korean, Chinese
 Demonym(s)  Japanese
 Currency  Yen
 National Day  February 11
Kimigayo (君が代) (His Imperial Majesty's Reign)
National Foundation Day
 Established  February 11, 660 BC
 Reorganized  May 3, 1947
 Engagement(s)  From the invasion of Ryukyu to World War II
 Status  Active
Japan (日本 Nippon/Nihon; formally 日本国 Nippon-koku/Nihon-koku, translated as "State of Japan") is a sovereign island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian mainland and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and China in the southwest.

The kanji, or Sino-Japanese characters, that make up Japan's name mean "sun origin", and it is often called the "Land of the Rising Sun". Japan is a strato-volcanic archipelago consisting of 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 often are referred to as home islands. The country is divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions, with Hokkaido being the northernmost prefecture and Okinawa being 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 Tokyo, the capital and largest city 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 the history of Japan.

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 Chōshū 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 Japanese surrender. Since adopting its revised constitution on May 3, 1947, during the occupation 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 United Nations(UN), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation (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. Its population enjoys the highest life expectancy and the third lowest infant mortality rate in the world. Japan is well-known internationally for its major contributions to science and modern-day technology.


Main article: Names of Japan in Wikipedia


Main article: History of Japan in Wikipedia

List of characters somehow related to Japan

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