Download Japan Background Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located

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Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the
Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of China, Korea and
Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to
the East China Sea in the south. The characters that make
up Japan's name mean "sun-origin", which is why Japan is
sometimes identified as the "Land of the Rising Sun".
Japan comprises over 3,000 islands. Most of the islands are
mountainous, many volcanic. For example, Japan’s highest
peak, Mount Fuji, is a volcano. Japan has the world's tenth
largest population, with about 128 million people. The
Greater Tokyo Area, which includes the capital city of
Tokyo and several surrounding prefectures, is the largest
metropolitan area in the world, with over 30 million
Archaeological research indicates that people were living
on the islands of Japan as early as the Upper Paleolithic
period. The first written mention of Japan begins with
brief appearances in Chinese history texts from the first
century AD.
Influence from the outside world followed by long periods
of isolation has characterized Japan's history. Since
adopting its constitution in 1947, Japan has maintained a
unitary constitutional monarchy with an emperor and an
elected parliament, the Diet.
A major economic power, Japan has the world's second
largest economy by nominal GDP. It is a member of the
United Nations, G8, G4 and APEC, with the world's fifth
largest defense budget. It is also the world's fourth
largest exporter and sixth largest importer and a world
leader in technology and machinery.
Location: Eastern Asia, island chain between the North
Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan, east of the Korean
Geographic coordinates: 36 00 N, 138 00 E
Area: 377,835 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly smaller than California
Climate: varies from tropical in south to cool
temperate in north
Terrain: mostly rugged and mountainous
Natural resources: negligible mineral resources, fish