Japan is an island country in East Asia.
East Asia is the eastern subregion of the Asian continent, which can be defined in either geographical or ethno-cultural terms.
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Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, the East China Sea, China, Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south.
The Sea of Okhotsk is a marginal sea of the western Pacific Ocean, between the Kamchatka Peninsula on the east, the Kuril Islands on the southeast, the island of Hokkaido to the south, the island of Sakhalin along the west, and a long stretch of eastern Siberian coast along the west and north.
Korea is a historical state in Northeast Asia, since 1945 divided into two distinct sovereign states: North Korea and South Korea.
The Sea of Japan is a marginal sea between the Japanese archipelago, Sakhalin, and the Asian mainland.
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The kanji that make up Japan's name mean "sun origin", and it is often called the "Land of the Rising Sun".
Kanji are the adopted logographic Chinese characters that are used in the Japanese writing system.
Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago of 6,852 islands.
An archipelago, sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of islands.
The four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku, which make up about ninety-seven percent of Japan's land area.
Honshu is the largest and most populous island of Japan, located south of Hokkaido across the Tsugaru Strait, north of Shikoku across the Inland Sea, and northeast of Kyushu across the Kanmon Straits.
Hokkaido, formerly known as Ezo, Yezo, Yeso, or Yesso, is the second largest island of Japan, and the largest and northernmost prefecture.
Shikoku is the smallest and least populous of the four main islands of Japan, located south of Honshu and east of the island of Kyushu.
Japanese people make up 98.5% of Japan's total population.
Japanese people are a nation and an ethnic group that is native to Japan and makes up 98.5% of the total population of the country.
Approximately 9.1 million people live in the core city of Tokyo, the capital city of Japan, which is the sixth largest city proper in the OECD and the fourth leading global city in the world.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is an intergovernmental economic organisation with 35 member countries, founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade.
A global city, also called world city or sometimes alpha city or world center, is a city generally considered to be an important node in the global economic system.
The Greater Tokyo Area, which includes Tokyo and several surrounding prefectures, is the world's largest metropolitan area with over 35 million residents and the world's largest urban agglomeration economy.
The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world, consisting of the Kantō region of Japan, including the Tokyo Metropolis, as well as the prefecture of Yamanashi.
Archaeological research indicates that Japan was inhabited as early as the Upper Paleolithic period.
The Upper Paleolithic is the third and last subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age.
The first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD.
Influence from other regions, mainly Imperial China, followed by periods of isolation, particularly from Western Europe, has characterized Japan's history.
The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty.
From the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive feudal military shoguns who ruled in the name of the Emperor.
Japan entered into a long period of isolation in the early 17th century, which was ended in 1853 when a United States fleet pressured Japan to open to the West.
Nearly two decades of internal conflict and insurrection followed before the Meiji Emperor was restored as head of state in 1868 and the Empire of Japan was proclaimed, with the Emperor as a divine symbol of the nation.
The Empire of Japan was the historical Japanese nation-state that existed from the Meiji Restoration in 1868 to the enactment of the 1947 constitution of modern Japan.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, victories in the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War and World War I allowed Japan to expand its empire during a period of increasing militarism.
World War I, also known as the First World War, the Great War, or the War to End All Wars, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918.
The Russo–Japanese War was fought between the Russian Empire and the Empire of Japan over rival imperial ambitions in Manchuria and Korea.
The Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937 expanded into part of World War II in 1941, which came to an end in 1945 following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The United States, with the consent of the United Kingdom as laid down in the Quebec Agreement, dropped nuclear weapons on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9 1945, respectively, during the final stage of World War II.
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945, although conflicts reflecting the ideological clash between what would become the Allied and Axis blocs began earlier.
Since adopting its revised constitution in 1947, Japan has maintained a unitary constitutional monarchy with an Emperor and an elected legislature called the National Diet.
A constitutional monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch executes their authorities in accordance with a set constitution, which can include political and constitutional conventions.
Imperial Diet means the highest representative assembly in an empire, notably:
Japan is a member of the UN, the G7, the G8, and the G20 and is considered a great power.
A great power is a sovereign state that is recognized as having the ability and expertise to exert its influence on a global scale.