Welcome to the 1000 Club – Japan Population: 127,368,088

In 1603, after decades of civil warfare, the Tokugawa shogunate (a military-led, dynastic government) ushered in a long period of relative political stability and isolation from foreign influence. For more than two centuries this policy enabled Japan to enjoy a flowering of its indigenous culture. Japan opened its ports after signing the Treaty of Kanagawa 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 was able 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 in 1937 it launched a full-scale invasion of China. Japan attacked US forces in 1941 – triggering America’s entry into World War II – and soon occupied much of East and Southeast Asia. After its defeat in World War II, Japan recovered to become an economic power and an ally of the US. While the emperor retains his throne as a symbol of national unity, elected politicians hold actual decision-making power. Following three decades of unprecedented growth, Japan’s economy experienced a major slowdown starting in the 1990s, but the country remains a major economic power. In March 2011, Japan’s strongest-ever earthquake, and an accompanying tsunami, devastated the northeast part of Honshu island, killing thousands and damaging several nuclear power plants. The catastrophe hobbled the country’s economy and its energy infrastructure, and tested its ability to deal with humanitarian disasters.

Strategic location in northeast Asia
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
Area: total: 377,915 sq km land: 364,485 sq km water: 13,430 sq km note: includes Bonin Islands (Ogasawara-gunto), Daito-shoto, Minami-jima, Okino-tori-shima, Ryukyu Islands (Nansei-shoto), and Volcano Islands (Kazan-retto)Size comparison: slightly smaller than California
Land Boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 29,751 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm; between 3 nm and 12 nm in the international straits – La Perouse or Soya, Tsugaru, Osumi, and Eastern and Western Channels of the Korea or Tsushima Strait contiguous zone: 24 nm exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate: varies from tropical in south to cool temperate in north
Terrain: mostly rugged and mountainous
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Hachiro-gata -4 m highest point: Fujiyama 3,776 m
Natural resources: negligible mineral resources, fish note: with virtually no energy natural resources, Japan is the world’s largest importer of coal and liquefied natural gas, as well as the second largest importer of oil
Land use: arable land: 11.64% permanent crops: 0.9% other: 87.46% (2005)
Irrigated land: 25,160 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards: many dormant and some active volcanoes; about 1,500 seismic occurrences (mostly tremors but occasional severe earthquakes) every year; tsunamis; typhoons volcanism: both Unzen (elev. 1,500 m) and Sakura-jima (elev. 1,117 m), which lies near the densely 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 due to their explosive history and close proximity to human populations; other notable historically 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
Current Environment Issues: air pollution from power plant emissions results in acid rain; acidification of lakes and reservoirs degrading water quality and threatening aquatic life; Japan is one of the largest consumers of fish and tropical timber, contributing to the depletion of these resources in Asia and elsewhere
International Environment Agreements: 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 signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
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Population: 127,368,088 (July 2012 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 13.1% (male 8,521,571/female 8,076,173) 15-64 years: 64% (male 40,815,840/female 40,128,235) 65 years and over: 22.9% (male 12,275,829/female 16,658,016) (2011 est.)
Median age: total: 45.4 years male: 44.1 years female: 46.9 years (2012 est.)
Population growth rate: -0.077% (2012 est.)
Birth rate: 8.39 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)
Death rate: 9.15 deaths/1,000 population (July 2012 est.)
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2012 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.08 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.76 male(s)/female total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 2.21 deaths/1,000 live births male: 2.44 deaths/1,000 live births female: 1.97 deaths/1,000 live births (2012 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 83.91 years male: 80.57 years female: 87.43 years (2012 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.39 children born/woman (2012 est.)
HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate: less than 0.1% (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS: 8,100 (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS – deaths: fewer than 100 (2009 est.)
Nationality: noun: Japanese (singular and plural) adjective: Japanese
Ethnic groups: Japanese 98.5%, Koreans 0.5%, Chinese 0.4%, other 0.6% note: up to 230,000 Brazilians of Japanese origin migrated to Japan in the 1990s to work in industries; some have returned to Brazil (2004)
Religions: Shintoism 83.9%, Buddhism 71.4%, Christianity 2%, other 7.8% note: total adherents exceeds 100% because many people belong to both Shintoism and Buddhism (2005)
Languages: Japanese
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 99% male: 99% female: 99% (2002)
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Country name: conventional long form: none conventional short form: Japan local long form: Nihon-koku/Nippon-koku local short form: Nihon/Nippon
Government type: a parliamentary government with a constitutional monarchy
Capital: name: Tokyo geographic coordinates: 35 41 N, 139 45 E time difference: UTC+9 (14 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: 47 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
Independence: 3 May 1947 (current constitution adopted as amendment to Meiji Constitution); notable earlier dates: 660 B.C. (traditional date of the founding of the nation by Emperor JIMMU); 29 November 1890 (Meiji Constitution provides for constitutional monarchy)
National holiday:
Constitution: 3 May 1947
Legal system: civil law system based on German model; system also reflects Anglo-American influence and Japanese traditions; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court
Suffrage: 20 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: Emperor AKIHITO (since 7 January 1989) head of government: Prime Minister Yoshihiko NODA (since 30 August 2011); Deputy Prime Minister Katsuya OKADA (since 13 January 2012) cabinet: Cabinet is appointed by the prime minister (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: Diet designates the prime minister; constitution requires that the prime minister commands parliamentary majority; following legislative elections, the leader of majority party or leader of majority coalition in House of Representatives usually becomes prime minister; the monarchy is hereditary
Legislative branch: bicameral Diet or Kokkai consists of the House of Councillors or Sangi-in (242 seats – members elected for fixed six-year terms; half reelected every three years; 146 members in multi-seat constituencies and 96 by proportional representation) and the House of Representatives or Shugi-in (480 seats – members elected for maximum four-year terms; 300 in single-seat constituencies; 180 members by proportional representation in 11 regional blocs); the prime minister has the right to dissolve the House of Representatives at any time with the concurrence of the cabinet elections: House of Councillors – last held on 11 July 2010 (next to be held in July 2013); House of Representatives – last held on 30 August 2009 (next to be held by August 2013) election results: House of Councillors – percent of vote by party – DPJ 31.6%, LDP 24.1%, YP 13.6%, NK 13.1%, JCP 6.1%, SDP 3.8%, others 7.7%; seats by party – DPJ 106, LDP 84, NK 19, YP 11, JCP 6, SDP 4, others 12 House of Representatives – percent of vote by party (by proportional representation) – DPJ 42.4%, LDP 26.7%, NK 11.5%, JCP 7.0%, SDP 4.3%, others 8.1%; seats by party – DPJ 308, LDP 119, NK 21, JCP 9, SDP 7, others 16 (2009)
Judicial branch: Supreme Court (chief justice is appointed by the monarch after designation by the cabinet; all other justices are appointed by the cabinet)
Political parties and leaders: Democratic Party of Japan or DPJ [Yoshihiko NODA]; Japan Communist Party or JCP [Kazuo SHII]; Liberal Democratic Party or LDP [Sadakazu TANIGAKI]; New Komeito or NK [Natsuo YAMAGUCHI]; People’s New Party or PNP [Mikio SHIMOJI]; Social Democratic Party or SDP [Mizuho FUKUSHIMA]; Your Party or YP [Yoshimi WATANABE]
Political pressure groups and leaders: other: business groups; trade unions
International organization participation: ADB, AfDB (nonregional member), APEC, ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, CD, CE (observer), CERN (observer), CICA (observer), CP, EAS, EBRD, FAO, FATF, G-20, G-5, G-7, G-8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAIA (observer), MIGA, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE (partner), Paris Club, PCA, PIF (partner), SAARC (observer), SELEC (observer), SICA (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIT, UNRWA, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Ichiro FUSISAKI chancery: 2520 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008 telephone: [1] (202) 238-6700 FAX: [1] (202) 328-2187 consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Agana (Guam), Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Portland (Oregon), San Francisco, Seattle consulate(s): Anchorage, Nashville
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador John V. ROOS embassy: 1-10-5 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-8420 mailing address: Unit 9800, Box 300, APO AP 96303-0300 telephone: [81] (03) 3224-5000 FAX: [81] (03) 3505-1862 consulate(s) general: Naha (Okinawa), Osaka-Kobe, Sapporo consulate(s): Fukuoka, Nagoya
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In the years following World War II, government-industry cooperation, a strong work ethic, mastery of high technology, and a comparatively small defense allocation (1% of GDP) helped Japan develop a technologically advanced economy. Two notable characteristics of the post-war economy were the close interlocking structures of manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors, known as keiretsu, and the guarantee of lifetime employment for a substantial portion of the urban labor force. Both features are now eroding under the dual pressures of global competition and domestic demographic change. Japan’s industrial sector is heavily dependent on imported raw materials and fuels. A tiny agricultural sector is highly subsidized and protected, with crop yields among the highest in the world. Usually self-sufficient in rice, Japan imports about 60% of its food on a caloric basis. Japan maintains one of the world’s largest fishing fleets and accounts for nearly 15% of the global catch. For three decades, overall real economic growth had been spectacular – a 10% average in the 1960s, a 5% average in the 1970s, and a 4% average in the 1980s. Growth slowed markedly in the 1990s, averaging just 1.7%, largely because of the after effects of inefficient investment and an asset price bubble in the late 1980s that required a protracted period of time for firms to reduce excess debt, capital, and labor. Measured on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis that adjusts for price differences, Japan in 2011 stood as the fourth-largest economy in the world after second-place China, which surpassed Japan in 2001, and third-place India, which edged out Japan in 2011. A sharp downturn in business investment and global demand for Japan’s exports in late 2008 pushed Japan further into recession. Government stimulus spending helped the economy recover in late 2009 and 2010, but the economy contracted again in 2011 as the massive 9.0 magnitude earthquake in March disrupted manufacturing. Electricity supplies remain tight because Japan has temporarily shut down almost all of its nuclear power plants after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors were crippled by the earthquake and resulting tsunami. Estimates of the direct costs of the damage – rebuilding homes, factories, and infrastructure – range from $235 billion to $310 billion, and GDP declined almost 0.5% in 2011. Prime Minister Yoshihiko NODA has proposed opening the agricultural and services sectors to greater foreign competition and boosting exports through membership in the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks and by pursuing free-trade agreements with the EU and others, but debate continues on restructuring the economy and reining in Japan’s huge government debt, which exceeds 200% of GDP. Persistent deflation, reliance on exports to drive growth, and an aging and shrinking population are other major long-term challenges for the economy.
GDP (purchasing power parity): GDP (purchasing power parity): $4.497 trillion (2011 est.) $4.531 trillion (2010 est.) $4.339 trillion (2009 est.) note: data are in 2011 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $5.869 trillion (2011 est.)
GDP – real growth rate: -0.7% (2011 est.) 4.4% (2010 est.) -5.5% (2009 est.)
GDP – per capita (PPP): GDP – per capita (PPP): $35,200 (2011 est.) $35,500 (2010 est.) $34,000 (2009 est.) note: data are in 2011 US dollars
GDP – composition by sector: agriculture: 1.2% industry: 27.3% services: 71.6% (2011 est.)
Labor force: 65.93 million (2011 est.)
Labor force – by occupation: agriculture: 3.9% industry: 26.2% services: 69.8% (2010 est.)
Unemployment rate: 4.6% (2011 est.) 5.1% (2010 est.)
Population below poverty line: 16% (2007) note: Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) press release, 20 October 2009 (2010)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 1.9% highest 10%: 27.5% (2008)
Distribution of family income – Gini index: 37.6 (2008) 24.9 (1993)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): -0.3% (2011 est.) -0.7% (2010 est.)
Investment (gross fixed): Investment (gross fixed): 20.9% of GDP (2011 est.)
Budget: revenues: $1.971 trillion expenditures: $2.495 trillion (2011 est.)
Public debt: 211.7% of GDP (2011 est.) 200% of GDP (2010 est.)
Agriculture – products: rice, sugar beets, vegetables, fruit; pork, poultry, dairy products, eggs; fish
Industries: among world’s largest and technologically advanced producers of motor vehicles, electronic equipment, machine tools, steel and nonferrous metals, ships, chemicals, textiles, processed foods
Industrial production growth rate: -3.5% (2011 est.)
Electricity – production: 937.6 billion kWh (2011 est.)
Electricity – consumption: 859.7 billion kWh (2011 est.)
Electricity – exports: 0 kWh (2011 est.)
Electricity – imports: 0 kWh (2011 est.)
Oil – production: 131,800 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Oil – consumption: 4.452 million bbl/day (2010 est.)
Oil – exports: 366,800 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Oil – imports: 4.394 million bbl/day (2009 est.)
Oil – proved reserves: 44.12 million bbl (1 January 2011 est.)
Natural gas – production: 3.397 billion cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas – consumption: 100.3 billion cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas – exports: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas – imports: 98.01 billion cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas – proved reserves: 20.9 billion cu m (1 January 2011 est.)
Current account balance: $120.5 billion (2011 est.) $195.8 billion (2010 est.)
Exports: $788 billion (2011 est.) $730.1 billion (2010 est.)
Exports – commodities: motor vehicles 13.6%; semiconductors 6.2%; iron and steel products 5.5%; auto parts 4.6%; plastic materials 3.5%; power generating machinery 3.5%
Exports – partners: China 19.7%, US 15.5%, South Korea 8%, Hong Kong 5.2%, Thailand 4.6% (2011)
Imports: $808.4 billion (2011 est.) $639.1 billion (2010 est.)
Imports – commodities: petroleum 15.5%; liquid natural gas 5.7%; clothing 3.9%; semiconductors 3.5%; coal 3.5%; audio and visual apparatus 2.7%
Imports – partners: China 21.5%, US 8.9%, Australia 6.6%, Saudi Arabia 5.9%, UAE 5%, South Korea 4.7% (2011)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $1.259 trillion (31 December 2011 est.) $1.063 trillion (31 December 2010 est.)
Debt – external: $2.719 trillion (30 June 2011) $2.441 trillion (30 September 2010)
Stock of direct foreign investment – at home: $148.6 billion (31 December 2011 est.) $145.8 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment – abroad: $873.3 billion (31 December 2011 est.) $795.7 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $3.541 trillion (31 December 2011) $4.1 trillion (31 December 2010) $3.378 trillion (31 December 2009)
Exchange rates: yen (JPY) per US dollar – 79.67 (2011 est.) 87.78 (2010 est.) 93.57 (2009) 103.58 (2008) 117.99 (2007)
Fiscal year: 1 April – 31 March
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Telephones in use: 40.419 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 6
Cellular Phones in use: 121 million (2009)
Telephone system: general assessment: excellent domestic and international service domestic: high level of modern technology and excellent service of every kind international: country code – 81; numerous submarine cables provide links throughout Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Europe, and US; satellite earth stations – 7 Intelsat (Pacific and Indian Oceans), 1 Intersputnik (Indian Ocean region), 3 Inmarsat (Pacific and Indian Ocean regions), and 8 SkyPerfect JSAT (2008)
Radio broadcast stations:
Television broadcast stations:
Internet country code: .jp
Internet hosts: 63.466 million (2010)
Internet users: 99.182 million (2009)
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Airports: 175 (2012) country comparison to the world: 34
Airports (paved runways): total: 143 over 3,047 m: 6 2,438 to 3,047 m: 45 1,524 to 2,437 m: 38 914 to 1,523 m: 29 under 914 m: 25 (2012)
Airports (unpaved runways): total: 32 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 914 to 1,523 m: 3 under 914 m: 28 (2012)
Heliports: 15 (2012)
Pipelines: gas 4,135 km; oil 171 km; oil/gas/water 53 km (2010)
Railways: total: 27,182 km standard gauge: 4,251 km 1.435-m gauge (4,251 km electrified) dual gauge: 486 km 1.435-1.067-m gauge (486 km electrified) narrow gauge: 96 km 1.372-m gauge (96 km electrified); 22,301 km 1.067-m gauge (15,222 km electrified); 48 km 0.762-m gauge (48 km electrified) (2009)
Roadways: total: 1,210,251 km paved: 973,234 km (includes 7,803 km of expressways) unpaved: 237,017 km (2008)
Waterways: 1,770 km (seagoing vessels use inland seas) (2010)
Merchant marine: total: 684 by type: bulk carrier 168, cargo 34, carrier 3, chemical tanker 29, container 2, liquefied gas 58, passenger 11, passenger/cargo 117, petroleum tanker 152, refrigerated cargo 4, roll on/roll off 52, vehicle carrier 54 registered in other countries: 3,122 (Bahamas 88, Bermuda 2, Burma 1, Cambodia 1, Cayman Islands 23, China 2, Cyprus 16, Honduras 4, Hong Kong 79, Indonesia 8, Isle of Man 19, Liberia 110, Luxembourg 3, Malaysia 2, Malta 5, Marshall Islands 59, Mongolia 2, Netherlands 1, Panama 2372, Philippines 77, Portugal 9, Saint Kitts and Nevis 2, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 3, Sierra Leone 4, Singapore 164, South Korea 14, Tanzania 1, UK 5, Vanuatu 39, unknown 7) (2010) Continue reading “Welcome to the 1000 Club – Japan Population: 127,368,088”
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