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Japan Geography, Basic Facts, and Figures

Autor:   •  March 15, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  1,729 Words (7 Pages)  •  1,567 Views

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Background: Geography, basic facts, and figures

Japan is a country located in Eastern Asia. It is an archipelago, or in other words it consists of a group of several islands that are scattered between the North Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan, in the east side of the Korean Peninsula (see Figure 1). The four major islands of Japan are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Shikoku ("Japan Main Page", 2005).

The capital city of Japan is Tokyo, and it is located in the island of Honshu. The total area of Japan is 377,915 sq km and it is placed 61st comparing to the world, it is slightly larger than the size of Germany and it is way smaller than for example a size of a country like Turkey. Japan is specifically situated in the northeast side of Asia neighboring three major countries which are China, Russia, and Korea ("Japan, CIA the World Fact book", 2010). 85% of the lands in Japan are generally described as mountainous were most of these mountains are originally volcanoes such as Mountain Fuji. For that reason, people there are restrained to inhabit the flat and the coastal lands. The climate of Japan contrasts from tropical and hot in the southern areas and cool with relatively low temperatures in the northern areas ("Study of a cultural group: Japan", 2010).

Japan is known for its relatively high population density. In July of the year 2010, it was ranked the 10th comparing to the world with a population of 126,804,433 (million). Japan is a nation with very highly educated individuals, where the literacy rate is 99% for both males and females. The official language in Japan is the Japanese language. As for religions, both Shintoism and Buddhism followers make up most of Japan's population with 83.9% and 71.4% respectively, the rest very low percentages are distributed between Christianity and other religions. Apparently Japan is not considered a diverse country in terms of ethnicity, where 98.5% of the population is of Japanese background. As for the remaining population, they had originated from Korea, China, and other countries with 0.5%, 0.4%, and 0.6% percentages respectively ("Japan, CIA the World Fact book", 2010). Japan's flag is white with a red disk in the center. According to the CIA the World Factbook, the red disk represents the sun without rays (see Figure 2).

Due to the lack of the energy producing natural resources in Japan, it became the first in the world in importing coal and liquefied natural gas. As for oil importing, Japan was behind the U.S. which is the world's number one oil importing country by placing second, as it surpassed major countries like China and South Korea. Japan is one of the largest economies around the world. It was placed the 3rd after the U.S. and China with a GDP - (purchasing power parity) of $4.149 trillion

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