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  General and Old World HistoryAsiaJapanGeneral Information
 
map of JapanJapan

Nippon-koku

Origin of Name The English word Japan comes from the word Cipangu, which was how Italian merchant/explorer Marco Polo wrote the Chinese word for "the country of Japan." The Japanese name for the country, Nippon, translates to "origin of the sun."

Japan on the mapLocation island chain just off the coast of eastern Asia

Area 145,711 sq mi (377,389 sq km)
Highest Point Mount Fuji; 12,388 ft (3,776 m)
Lowest Point Hachiro-gata; -13 ft (-4 m)
Natural Resources some minerals, fish

Nationality Japanese
Population (July 2013 est) 127,253,075
Largest Cities Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo, Kyoto
Ethnic Groups Japanese, Korean, Chinese
Religions Shinto, Buddhist
Languages Japanese

Capital Tokyo
Form of Government constitutional monarchy with parliamentary government
Present Constitution Adopted May 3, 1947
Chief of State
Emperor Akihito (since January 7, 1989)
Head of Government
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (since December 26, 2012)
Cabinet
Cabinet appointed by Prime Minister
Legislature
bicameral Diet (Kokkai)
Judiciary
Supreme Court
Local Administration
47 prefectures

Currency Yen
Per Capita Income
$33,800
Industries motor vehicles, electronic equipment, machine tools, steel and nonferrous metals, ships, chemicals, textiles, processed foods
Agricultural Products rice, sugar beets, vegetables, fruit; pork, poultry, dairy products, eggs, fish
Export Commodities transport equipment, motor vehicles, semiconductors, electrical machinery, chemicals
Import Commodities machinery and equipment, fuels, foodstuffs, chemicals, textiles, raw materials

National Holiday Birthday of Emperor Akihito, December 23 (1933)
Flag
white with a large red disk (representing the sun without rays) in the center

flag of Japan

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This page was last updated on February 19, 2015.

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