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The history, geography, people and society, and government and political system of JAPAN.

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  1. 1. JAPAN
  2. 2. JAPAN: BACKGROUND • In 1603, following decades of civil war, the Tokugawa shogunate (a military-led, imperial government) led to a long period of virtual political stability and seclusion from foreign influence. • For more than 200 years, this policy allowed Japan to enjoy a highpoint of its ethnic culture. • After it signed the Treaty of Kanagawa with the U.S. in 1854, Japan opened its ports and started intensively modernizing and industrializing. • Throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Japan became a regional power that was able to defeat the forces of major rival empires such as China and Russia. • By 1910, it occupied Korea, along with Formosa (Taiwan), and southern Sakhalin Island. • In 1931-32, Japan occupied Manchuria; it launched a full-scale invasion of China in 1937, which is considered to have marked the outbreak of World War II in Asia. • Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in late 1941– bringing the U.S. into World War II – and soon occupied much of East and Southeast Asia. • After its defeat in 1945, Japan recovered from collapse and become an economic power and an ally of the U.S.
  3. 3. JAPAN: BACKGROUND – CONT. • Though the Emperor preserves his throne as an emblem of national unity, actual decision-making power is held by elected politicians. • Following three decades of record growth, Japan's economy experienced a considerable decline from the 1990s; despite this, the country remains an economic power. • In March 2011, Japan's strongest-ever earthquake, and an accompanying tsunami, destroyed the northeast part of Honshu island, killed thousands, and ravaged several nuclear power plants. • The disaster staggered the country's economy and its energy infrastructure, and assessed its capability to deal with benevolent catastrophes. • PM Shinzō Abe was reelected to office in December 2012, and has since commenced determined economic and security reforms to refine Japan's economy and boost the country's international influence.
  4. 4. JAPAN: GEOGRAPHY • Location: Eastern Asia, island chain between the North Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan, east of the Korean Peninsula • Geographic coordinates: 36 00 N, 138 00 E • Map references: Asia • Area: o Total: 377,915 sq km o Land: 364,485 sq km o Water: 13,430 sq km o Note: includes Bonin Islands (Ogasawara- gunto), Daito-shoto, Minami-jima, Okino-tori- shima, Ryukyu Islands (Nansei-shoto), and Volcano Islands (Kazan-retto) o Country comparison to the world: 63 • Area – comparative: slightly smaller than California • Land boundaries: 0 km • Coastline: 29,751 km
  5. 5. JAPAN: GEOGRAPHY – CONT. • Maritime claims: o Territorial sea: twelve nautical miles; between three and twelve nautical miles in the international straits - La Perouse or Soya, Tsugaru, Osumi, and Eastern and Western Channels of the Korea or Tsushima Strait o Contiguous zone: twenty-four nautical miles o Exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles • Climate: differs from tropical in south to cool moderate in north • Terrain: mainly rugged and mountainous • Elevation: o Mean elevation: 438 m o Elevation extremes: lowest point: Hachirōgata (-4 m); highest point: Mount Fuji (3,776 m) • Natural resources: negligible mineral resources, fish (note: with almost no natural energy resources, Japan is the world's leading shipper of coal and liquefied natural gas, as well as the second-biggest shipper of oil) • Land use: o Agricultural land: 12.5% (arable land 11.7%; permanent crops 0.8%; permanent pasture 0%) o Forest: 68.5% o Other: 19% (2011 est.) • Irrigated land: 24,690 sq km (2012) • Population – distribution: all crucialand tributary regions of high population density lie on the coast; one-third of the population lives in and around Tokyo on the central plain (Kanto Plain)
  7. 7. MOUNT FUJI
  8. 8. JAPAN: GEOGRAPHY – CONT. • Natural hazard: many inactive and some active volcanoes; about 1,500 seismic incidences (commonly earthquakes but infrequent severe earthquakes) annually; tsunamis; typhoons • Volcanism: both Unzen (1,500 m) and Sakurajima(1,117 m), which is situated adjacent to the heavily populated city of Kagoshima, have been deemed Decade Volcanoes by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study owing to their explosive history and close immediacy to human populations; other prominent traditionally active volcanoes include Asama, Honshu Island's most active volcano, Aso, Bandai, Fuji, Iwo-Jima, Kikai, Kirishima, Komaga-take, Oshima, Suwanosejima, Tokachi, Yake-dake, and Usu • Environment – current issues: air contamination from power plant radiations causes acid rain; acidification of lakes and reservoirs damaging water quality and endangering aquatic life; Japan is one of the major purchasers of fish and tropical timber, participating in the diminution of these resources in Asia and elsewhere; the Japanese government initially planned to phase out nuclear power after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, but they decided to instigate a new policy of seeking to revive nuclear power plants that comply with firm new safety principles • Environment – international agreements: o Party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling o Signed, but not ratified: none of the above agreements • Geography – note: strategic location in northeast Asia; made of four main islands - from north: Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu (the "Home Islands") - and 6,848 smaller islands and islets
  10. 10. SAKURAJIMA
  11. 11. JAPAN: PEOPLE AND SOCIETY • Population: 126,451,398 (July 2017 est.) – country comparison to the world: 10 • Nationality: Japanese (singular and plural) • Adjective: Japanese • Ethnic groups: Japanese 98.5%, Koreans 0.5%, Chinese 0.4%, other 0.6% (note: as many as 230,000 Brazilians of Japanese origin immigrated to Japan in the 1990s to work in industries; some have returned to Brazil)(2004) • Languages: Japanese • Religions: Shintoism 79.2%, Buddhism 66.8%, Christianity 1.5%, other 7.1% (note: total believers surpasses 100% because many people practice both Shintoism and Buddhism)(2012 est.) • Age structure: o 0-14 years: 12.84% (male 8,361,611/female 7,875,045) o 15-24 years: 9.64% (male 6,417,085/female 5,778,904) o 25-54 years: 37.5% (male 23,435,323/female 23,980,781) o 55-64 years: 12.15% (male 7,692,424/female 7,665,157) o 65 years and over: 27.87% (male 15,397,309/female 19,847,759) (2017 est.)
  15. 15. JAPAN: GOVERNMENT • Local name: 日本国 (Nippon-koku or Nihon-koku) • Etymology: the English word for Japan has its origins in the Chinese name for the country, Cipangu; both Nihon and Nippon mean "where the sun originates" and are commonly translated as "Land of the Rising Sun“ • Government type: Parliamentary constitutional monarchy • Capital: Tokyo o Geographic coordinates: 35 41 N, 139 45 E o Time difference: UTC+9 (fourteen hours ahead of Washington, D.C., during Standard Time) • Administrative divisions: forty-seven prefectures (Aichi, Akita, Aomori, Chiba, Ehime, Fukui, Fukuoka, Fukushima, Gifu, Gunma, Hiroshima, Hokkaido, Hyogo, Ibaraki, Ishikawa, Iwate, Kagawa, Kagoshima, Kanagawa, Kochi, Kumamoto, Kyoto, Mie, Miyagi, Miyazaki, Nagano, Nagasaki, Nara, Niigata, Oita, Okayama, Okinawa, Osaka, Saga, Saitama, Shiga, Shimane, Shizuoka, Tochigi, Tokushima, Tokyo, Tottori, Toyama, Wakayama, Yamagata, Yamaguchi, Yamanashi)
  18. 18. JAPAN: GOVERNMENT – CONT. • Independence: 3 May 1947 (current constitution assumed as amendment to Meiji Constitution); noteworthy previous dates: 660 BC (traditional date of the establishment of the nation by Emperor JIMMU); 29 November 1890 (Meiji Constitution provides for constitutional monarchy) • National holiday: 23 December, Emperor AKIHITO’s birthday (1933); observes the birthday of the sitting emperor • Constitution: previous 1890; most recent approved 6 October 1946, adopted 3 November 1946, effective 3 May 1947 (note: the constitution has never been amended in its seventy-year history (2016) • Legal system: civil law system based on German model; system also mirrors Anglo-American influence and Japanese customs; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court • International law organization participation: accepts obligatory ICJ jurisdiction with hesitations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction • Citizenship: o Citizenship by birth: no o Citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Japan o Dual citizenship recognized: no o Residency requirement for naturalization: five years • Suffrage: eighteen years of age; universal
  19. 19. JAPAN: GOVERNMENT – CONT. • Chief of state: Emperor AKIHITO (since 7 January 1989) • Head of government: PM SHINZŌ ABE (since 26 December 2012); Deputy PM TARŌ ASŌ (since 26 December 2012) • Cabinet: must be appointed by the PM • Elections/appointments: the monarchy is heritable; the leader of the majority party or majority coalition in the House of Representatives generally becomes PM • International organization participation: ADB, AfDB (nonregional member), APEC, Arctic Council (observer), ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, CD, CE (observer), CERN (observer), CICA (observer), CP, CPLP (associate), EAS, EBRD, EITI (implementing country), FAO, FATF, G-5, G-7, G-8, G-10, G-20, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAIA (observer), MIGA, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE (partner), Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, PIF (partner), SAARC (observer), SELEC (observer), SICA (observer), UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMISS, UNRWA, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC • Japanese ambassador to the U.S.: KENICHIRŌ SASAE (since 14 January 2013) • U.S. ambassador to Japan: William F. Hagerty (since 31 August 2017)
  20. 20. Emperor AKIHITO
  21. 21. PM SHINZŌ ABE
  22. 22. Deputy PM TARŌ ASŌ
  23. 23. JAPAN: GOVERNMENT – CONT. • Flag description: white with a big red disk (symbolizing the sun without rays) in the center • National symbol(s): red sun disc, chrysanthemum; national colors: red, white • National anthem: o Name: "Kimigayo" (君が代; The Emperor"s Reign) o Lyrics: Unknown o Music: YOSHIISA OKU, AKIMORI HAYASHI, FRANZ ECKERT (1880) o Note: adopted 1999; unofficial national anthem since 1883; oldest anthem lyrics in the world, going as far back as the tenth century or earlier; there is some opposition to the anthem because of its theme of militarism and reverence of the emperor (link:
  24. 24. REFERENCES • •
  25. 25. THE END