Rone Ryan R. Desierto D3-C Introduction JapanIn 1603, after decades of civil warfare, the Tokugawa shogunate (a military-led, dynasticgovernment) ushered in a long period of relative political stability and isolation fromforeign influence. For more than two centuries this policy enabled Japan to enjoy aflowering of its indigenous culture. Japan opened its ports after signing the Treaty ofKanagawa with the US in 1854 and began to intensively modernize and industrialize.During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Japan became a regional power that wasable 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 in1937 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 andSoutheast Asia. After its defeat in World War II, Japan recovered to become aneconomic power and an ally of the US. While the emperor retains his throne as asymbol of national unity, elected politicians hold actual decision-making power.Following three decades of unprecedented growth, Japans economy experienced amajor slowdown starting in the 1990s, but the country remains a major economic power.In January 2009, Japan assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council forthe 2009-10 term.
PopulationThe population of Japan as per June 2008 stands at 127.7 million. Japan the 10thmost populous country of the world, contributes 2% of the total globalpopulation. Population density in Japan is 339 persons per square kilometer andranks 32nd in the world in respect to country population density.As per the latest stats median age life expectancy at birth is 82.12 years of an average Japanese is 44.2 years and infant mortality rate is 2.79 deaths per 1000births. 66% of the entire Japanese populationlives in urban areas with an annualchange rate of urbanization as 0.2%.Japan is now a day is facing a sharp decline in its populations as the # of deaths isoutnumbering the # of births in the country. This has impacted the growth prospects ofthe country negatively. Longer life expectancy and low birth rates means that reducingJapanese population is graying at a higher rate. This is an alarming situation for Japanespecially during this universal global recession time.In 2008, the government of Japan recovered 1.14 million deaths, the highest ever inJapan since 1947. It was until 2005 that the # of births exceeded the # of deaths. Butthe figures have changed drastically and in 2008 itself 1.09 million births and 1.14million deaths resulted in a population dip by over 50,000 people. Due to this populationfall almost 25% of the present Japanese population is of the age 65 and above, whichfurther makes the Japanese economy weaker.Emperor: Akihito (1989)Prime Minister: Naoto Kan (2010)Land area: 152,411 sq mi (394,744 sq km); total area: 145,882 sq mi (377,835 sq km)Population (2010 est.): 126,804,433 (growth rate: -0.24%); birth rate: 7.4/1000; infant mortality rate:2.8/1000; life expectancy: 82.1; density per sq km: 339Capital and largest city (2003 est.): Tokyo, 35,327,000 (metro. area), 8,483,050 (city proper)
Other large cities: Yokohama, 3,494,900 (part of Tokyo metro. area); Osaka, 11,286,000 (metro. area),2,597,000 (city proper); Nagoya, 2,189,700; Sapporo, 1,848,000; Kobe, 1,529,900 (part of Osaka metro.area); Kyoto, 1,470,600 (part of Osaka metro. area); Fukuoka, 1,368,900; Kawasaki, 1,276,200 (part ofTokyo metro. area); Hiroshima, 1,132,700Monetary unit: YenThe Highest Point In Japan?Mt. Fuji at 3776 meters is the highest point in Japan and is located near the Pacific coast of centralHonshu.The Official Language Of Japan?Well, Japanese is the national language because there is no legal body that says Japanese is official.However, almost 100% of the people speak Japanese in everyday life, which means it is a de facto officallanguage. There is also the Ainu language and the language spoken in Okinawa. AnonymousReligionUpper estimates suggest that 84–96 percent of the Japanese population subscribeto Buddhism or Shinto, including a large number of followers of a syncretismof both religions. However,these estimates are based on people affiliated with a temple, rather than the number of true believers.Other studies have suggested that only 30 percent of the population identify themselves as belonging to areligion. Nevertheless the level of participation remains high, especially during festivals and occasionssuch as the first shrine visit of the New Year. Taoism and Confucianism from China have also influencedJapanese beliefs and customs. Fewer than one percent of Japanese are Christian. In addition, since themid-19th century numerous new religious movementshave emerged in Japan.Main exportsJapan exports iron and steel, and many consumer and electronics goods, including camerasand computers. Automobiles, heavy machinery, tools, and appliances are also manufacturedfor overseas sale.The government of Japan is a constitutional monarchy where the power of the Emperor is verylimited. As a ceremonial figurehead, he is defined by the 1947 constitution as "the symbol of thestate and of the unity of the people". Power is held chiefly by the Prime Minister of Japan andother elected members of the Diet, while sovereignty is vested in the Japanese people. TheEmperor effectively acts as the head of state on diplomatic occasions. Akihito is the currentEmperor of Japan. Naruhito, Crown Prince of Japan, stands as next in line to the throne.Japans legislative organ is the National Diet, a bicameral parliament. The Diet consists of aHouse of Representatives, containing 480 seats, elected by popular vote every four years or when
dissolved and a House of Councillors of 242 seats, whose popularly elected members serve six-year terms. There is universal suffrage for adults over 20 years of age, with a secret ballot forall elective offices. In 2009, the social liberal Democratic Party of Japan took power after 54years of the liberal conservative Liberal Democratic Partys rule.The Prime Minister of Japan is the head of government. The position is appointed by theEmperor of Japan after being designated by the Diet from among its members and must enjoy theconfidence of the House of Representatives to remain in office. The Prime Minister is the headof the Cabinet (the literal translation of his Japanese title is "Prime Minister of the Cabinet") andappoints and dismisses the Ministers of State, a majority of whom must be Diet members. NaotoKan currently serves as the Prime Minister of Japan.Politics under the Postwar ConstitutionHistorically influenced by Chinese law, the Japanese legal system developed independentlyduring the Edo period through texts such as Kujikata Osadamegaki. However, since the latenineteenth century, the judicial system has been largely based on the civil law of Europe, notablyFrance and Germany. For example, in 1896, the Japanese government established a civil codebased on the German model. With post–World War II modifications, the code remains in effectin present-day Japan. Statutory law originates in Japans legislature, the National Diet of Japan,with the rubber stamp approval of the Emperor. The current constitution requires that theEmperor promulgates legislation passed by the Diet, without specifically giving him the power tooppose the passing of the legislation. Japans court system is divided into four basic tiers: theSupreme Court and three levels of lower courts. The main body of Japanese statutory law is acollection called the Six Codes.Head of the state The Imperial House of Japan is the oldest continuing hereditary monarchy in the world. In Nihon Shoki,a book of Japanese history finished in the eighth century, it is said that the Empire of Japan was foundedin 660 BC by Emperor Jimmu. The current emperor is His Imperial Majesty the Emperor Akihito, who hasbeen on the Chrysanthemum Throne since his father the Showa Emperor (Hirohito) died in 1989.The role of the Emperor of Japan has historically alternated between a largely ceremonial and symbolicrole and that of an actual imperial ruler. Since the establishment of the first shogunate in 1192, theemperors of Japan have rarely taken on a role as supreme battlefield commander, unlike manyWestern monarchs. Japanese emperors have nearly always been controlled by external political forces,to varying degrees. In fact, from 1192 to 1867, the shoguns, or their shikken regents (1203–1333), werethe de facto rulers of Japan though they were nominally appointed by the emperor.