Located in the continent of Asia, Japan covers 364,485 square kilometers of land and 13,430 square kilometers of water, making it the 62nd largest nation in the world with a total area of 377,915 square kilometers. Japan was founded as a distinct and original nation in 1590. The population of Japan is 127,368,088 (2012) and the nation has a density of 349 people per square kilometer. Japan does not share land borders with any countries. The culture identified with the Japanese was not brought to the islands of Japan until about 300 B.
C. It was brought by a people called the Yayoi from the Korean peninsula. It included rice cultivation and the use of steel for tools and weapons. There were aborigines in the islands at the time of the Yayoi migration. They had hunting and gathering culture but they did make pottery and they are known by the name for the pottery, Jomon. The Jomon people were in the Japanese islands as far back as 30,000 B.C.
Japan’s economy produced $5.4 trillion in 2017, as measured by purchasing power parity. That makes it the world’s fifth largest economy after China, the European Union, the United States, and India. But it’s not on pace to catch up, because it only grew 1.5 percent. Japan has 27 million people. Its gross domestic product per capita is $42,700 or 41st in the world. Its standard of living is lower than the United States or the EU, but higher than China or South Korea. Japan has a mixed economy based on capitalism, although its government works closely with industry. In fact, central bank spending equals 18 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. It accounts for almost all of government borrowing. Japan’s largest exports are automobiles and parts, steel products, and semiconductors. As the world moves toward electric vehicles to combat climate change, it will hurt Japan’s economy. Electric vehicles use one-third fewer parts than in gas-powered vehicles. Japan’s government wants manufacturers to stop building conventional cars by 2050. China, the world’s biggest car market, already has a goal of 1 in 5 vehicles running on batteries by 2025. Japan’s main imports are oil and liquid natural gas. It is trying to reduce these imports by increasing its use of renewable energy. It is also restarting nuclear plants that were shut down after the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The economy of Japan is a highly developed and market-oriented economy. It is the third-largest in the world by nominal GDP and the fourth-largest by purchasing power parity (PPP) and is the world’s second largest developed economy. Japan is a member of the G7
Japan’s government is a constitutional monarchy where the Emperor’s power is limited to mainly ceremonial duties. The government has three branches, the executive, legislature, and the judiciary. The Emperor is the Head of State and the imperial family. His position does not influence the activities of the government in any way. The prime minister, therefore, is the head of the Government. The Japanese constitution was adopted in 1947, and it has not been amended since it was enacted. Japan has 47 administrative divisions which include one metropolitan district, two urban prefectures, 43 rural prefectures, and one district. The main cities are subdivided into wards then further split into towns, precincts, and counties. Each precinct has its mayor and assembly. Villages are the smallest units and their mayors serve for a term of four years. Each jurisdiction has a governor or mayor in the municipalities. There is a separation of power in the local government, and the Assembly can dismiss the Cabinet via a vote of no confidence and can stipulate laws called local ordinances or regulations. The local governments also have other committees like the school boards, personnel committees, and auditing committees.
Today, there is practically no gender gap in the opportunity for education in Japan. Even in the upper secondary education and higher education levels, difference of enrollment ratios between male and female students is scarcely present. Historically, however, especially in the early stage of building modern education system, educational opportunities for girls were considerably disadvantaged. Even in the compulsory elementary school, the attendance rate of girls was very low. Opportunities for accessing to secondary education for girls were limited. Higher education for women was not even supposed. Japanese government has developed policies and efforts for promoting education for girls and young females. Conditions for women’s education have been gradually improved. As a result, in elementary education, gender gap in schooling was dissolved until the first decade of the 20th century. In the secondary education level, until 1925, the number of students in the girls’ middle schools had caught up with the students in the boys’ middle schools. Japan’s learning systems are school system that consists of three years of optional kindergarten, six years of primary school, three years of lower secondary school and three years of upper secondary school. Currently over 95 percent of Japanese high school students graduate compared to 89 percent of American students. Some Japanese education specialists estimate that the average Japanese high school graduate has attained about the same level of education as the average American after two years of college. CITATION NCE \l 1033 (NCEE)
The health care system in Japan provides healthcare services, including screening examinations, prenatal care and infectious disease control, with the patient accepting responsibility for 30% of these costs while the government pays the remaining 70%. Both for-profit and nonprofit organizations operate private health insurance. The provision of privately funded health care has been limited to services such as orthodontics. Treatment of traffic accident injuries is not covered by the SHIS, but by compulsory and, usually, voluntary automobile insurance. Total population (2016) 127,000 Life expectancy at birth m/f (years, 2016) 81/87. Probability of dying under five (per 1 000 live births, 0) not available. Probability of dying between 15 and 60 years m/f (per 1 000 population, 2016) 65/36. Total expenditure on health per capita (Intl $, 2014) CITATION Wor \l 1033 (World Health Organization ) Japan’s three major causes of death for years have been cancer, heart disease, and hypertension (cerebrovascular disease). However, Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare revealed that in 2011, pneumonia had supplanted hypertension as the third leading cause of death in the country. CITATION Pac \l 1033 (Pacific Bridge Medical )
The Japanese religious tradition is made up of several major components, including Shinto, Japan’s earliest religion, Buddhism, and Confucianism. Christianity has been only a minor movement in Japan. However, the so-called “new religions” that arose in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries are a prominent feature of Japanese religious life today. Shinto, or the “way of the spirits or deities,” began to take form in Japan’s pre-historic period before the sixth century C.E. In this early phase, Shinto was the religion of a pre-literate society that was organized around the central social unit of the clan. Shinto deities or kami were seen as permeating the natural world. Uniquely shaped or awe-inspiring trees, mountains, rivers, and rocks, all could be considered kami, but human beings could also be viewed as kami. Buddhism arose in India in the sixth century B.C.E and, after passing through China and Korea, arrived in Japan in the sixth century C.E. As originally presented by the historical Buddha, Buddhism was a path of practice that an individual could take up to gain release from suffering. The Buddha taught that, regardless of the relative degrees of happiness that one might achieve in life, all living beings eventually become ill, grow old and die. And because he accepted the Indian idea of rebirth according to karma, suffering was understood to extend indefinitely into the future. CITATION Jap03 \l 1033 (Japanese Religions , 2003)
Like Buddhism, Confucianism also entered Japan from Korea and China. The tradition was founded in China by Confucius (551-479 B.C.E), whose teachings were passed on to posterity by his disciples in the Analects or Sayings of Confucius. Having lived at a time of political unrest, Confucius tried to lead his world back to peace and stability by urging people to cultivate virtue. In particular he emphasized the values of filial piety or respect for parents and elders, decorum or proper conduct, duty, loyalty, learning, and benevolence. Two other noteworthy components of the Japanese religious tradition are Christianity and the new religions. Christianity entered Japan first in the sixteenth century, when Catholicism was introduced in 1549. It gained few followers at the time, and the Tokugawa family suppressed Christianity in the seventeenth century. After the collapse of Tokugawa control and the opening of Japan to the world in the Meiji period (1868-1914), Christianity was again introduced by Protestant missionaries. Christian missionaries and teachers built schools and hospitals and were an important conduit for knowledge of the West. They also gave particular attention to the needs of women and workers. However, in this period as well, Christian adherents never made up more than one percent of the Japanese population. CITATION Jap03 \l 1033 (Japanese Religions , 2003)
This layer shows the average household size in Japan in 2016, in a multiscale map (Country, Prefecture, Municipality, and Block). Nationally, the average household size is 2.4 people per household. It is calculated by dividing the household population by total households. Here are some of the most popular dishes in Japan consist of the following: Sushi, Ramen, Tempura, Kare raisu (rice with curry), Okonomiyaki It is a mixed made with flour, yam and egg, but you can add also anything you like. The most commons are green onion, beef, shrimp, squid, vegetables, mochi and cheese. It is cooked in a griddle. Shabu shabu is the Japanese hot pot. For this dish it is used many kinds of meats and seafood, mostly the soft ones, and sides of vegetables, tofu and sometimes noodles. Miso soup it is served as a side dish in mostly every meal and with almost every dish. It is a soup made from a miso paste (fermented soybeans) and dashi (the consommé). Inside this kind of base soup, you will find pieces of tofu, onion wakane seaweed, and sometimes vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots and radish. It is never served as a main dish. It always comes with a bowl of rice and one or 2 more dishes. Yakitori it is the Japanese brochette. At the beginning the meat used was chicken, but nowadays it is also made with pork, beef and fish. So, this brochette is a mix of vegetables and meat cooked in a grill and dipped in teriyaki sauce. It is also a very typical kind of fast food in Japanese style. Onigiris are rice balls seasoned in many kinds of ways, some of them with some fill like chicken, vegetables, fish, pork, others covered with seaweed or with a slice of egg, some of them they have just the rice mixed with some sauce, vegetables, beans, furikake.
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