Country: JAPAN

Capital: Tokyo

Geographic Coordinates: 36 00 N, 138 00 E

Population: 126,804,433 (July 2010 est.) 

Main Religion: Shintoism, Buddhism

Language: Japanese (Nihongo)

Government Type: Parliamentary government with a constitutional monarchy

Head of State:  Emperor AKIHITO; Prime Minister Naoto KAN

Main 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

GDP in US Dollars (per capita): $32,600 (2009 est.)

Currency Code: Yen (JPY)

Life Expectancy: 79 years (men), 86 years (women) (UN)

Environment - current 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.

Issues facing Women and Children: Japan is a destination country for a large number of Asian, Latin American, and Eastern European women and children who are trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. There have also been cases of Asian and Latin American men trafficked to Japan for criminal, labor and/or commercial sexual purposes. Japanese organized crime groups (yakuzas) that operate internationally are involved in trafficking. 

Land Mine Ban Signatory: Y

Local Media: Press: Asahi Shimbun, Yomiuri Shimbun, Mainichi Daily News, Nikkei Net, The Japan Times; Radio and TV: NHK, TV Asahi, Fuji TV, Nippon TV, Tokyo Broadcasting Sytem

Interesting fact:  20 percent of the world's earthquakes take place in Japan, which sits on the boundaries of at least three tectonic plates. The government has set targets for reducing the number of deaths and the economic damage after any future, powerful quake. More than 70% of Japan consists of mountains, including more than 200 volcanoes.

Famous for: Shintoism, sushi, kendo (sword-fighting), samurai, geisha, shinkansen (bullet train), ikebana (flower arrangement), origami (paper folding), Mount Fuji, robotics research, Emperor Hirohito, Ken Watanabe, Akutagawa Ryunoske, Haruki Murakami, Taro Aso


Official Tourism Website: