- Official name: Japan
- License plate: J
- ISO-3166: JP, JPN (392)
- Internet domain:.jp
- Currency: 1 yen (¥) = 100 sen
- Area: 377,962 km²
- Population (2018): 126.5 million
- Capital: Tokyo
- Official language (s): Japanese
- Form of government: Parliamentary monarchy
- Administrative division: 47 prefectures
- Head of State: Emperor Naruhito
- Head of Government: Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga
- Religion (s): Shintoists, Buddhists
- Time zone: Central European Time +8 hours
- National holiday: December 23rd
Location and infrastructure
- Location (geographical): East Asia
- Location (coordinates): between 24 ° and 46 ° north latitude and 123 ° and 146 ° east longitude
- Climate: In the north, cold and humid climate, in the middle, a warm, dry, winter climate, in the south, a subtropical climate
- Highest mountain: Fuji (3776 m)
- Road network (2015): 992 835 km (paved), 225 937 km (unpaved)
- Railway network (2015): 27 311 km
- Annual population growth (2018): -0.2%
- Birth rate (2018): 7.5 per 1000 inh.
- Death rate (2018): 9.9 per 1000 residents.
- Average age (2018): 47.7 years
- Average life expectancy (2018): 85.5 years (women 89.0; men 82.2)
- Age structure (2018): 12.7% younger than 15 years, 28.4% older than 65 years
- Mobile phone contracts (pre-paid and post-paid) (2017): 133.5 per 100 pop.
- Internet users (2017): 90.9 per 100 residents.
- GDP per capita (2017): US $ 38,449
- Total GDP (2017): $ 4,873.2 billion
- GNI per capita (2018): US $ 41,340
- Education expenditure (2014): 3.6% of GDP
- Military expenditure (2016): 0.9% of GDP
- Unemployment rate (15-year-olds and older) (2017): 2.8%
As one of countries beginning with letter J according to Countryaah, Japan is bounded to the east and south by the Pacific, to the southwest by East China, to the west by Japan and to the north by the Sea of Okhotsk. The closest neighbors are Russia (with the island of Sakhalin and the Kuril islands of Etorofu and Kunashiri, which have been occupied by Japan and occupied since the end of the Second World War, as well as the Habomai Islands and the island of Shikotan, which are geographically part of Hokkaidō) and the two Korean states; to the southwest extends the national territory with the Ryūkyū Islands (main island Okinawa ; China and Taiwan claim the Senkaku Islands) to Taiwan.
Japan consists of 3,922 islands, the largest of which are Honshū , Hokkaidō , Kyūshū and Shikoku. Geologically and tectonically, the Japanese islands represent the peaks of a complex mountain arc, which in the east from the 6,000–9,000 m deep Pacific (Ramapo depth 10,340 m below sea level) rises steeply and in the west falls to 3,000 m below the water level of the Sea of Japan. Where the arch of the island swings furthest towards the ocean, it is traversed by the depression of the Fossa Magna (Great Rift), a complex active horizontal displacement zone. It separates the bay-poor north-east Japan from the richly indented south-west Japan and, together with the adjacent landscapes, forms central Japan. In the Fossa Magna, volcanic cones rise (e.g. Fuji 3 776 m above sea level), which together with the granitic peaks of the peripheral mountains (Japanese Alps with Shirane, 3 192 m above sea level) form the highest peaks in Japan.
Several folds have occurred over the course of geological history. During the tertiary folding, the western parts of the mountain sank along meridional fault lines in northeast Japan and the older median line in the southwest, creating an inner zone (western side) and an outer zone (Pacific side) for the entire arch of the island. Associated with this was strong volcanism , which continues to the present. The more than 240 volcanoes of Japan, 36 of which are active, sit on tectonic fracture zones. From 1944 to mid-1945, the active Shōwa Shinzan (408 m above sea level) was created on Hokkaidō as a new volcano. Submarine volcanic eruptions occasionally create new islands, most recently in 1973 on the Bonin Islands. In the rupture and volcanic zones there are around 12,000 hot springs in around 1,800 locations. The active volcanoes and the widespread earthquakes (an average of 1,450 light quakes per year; 1923 devastating earthquakes in Tokyo and Yokohama; 1995 severe earthquake in Kobe with around 6,400 dead and several hundred thousand homeless; 2011 so far strongest earthquake in Japan with tsunami and the nuclear disaster of Fukushima) show that mountain formation is not yet complete.
Earthquakes and volcanism can be explained in terms of plate tectonics : The Japanese island arc lies to the west of a tectonic zone marked by deep-sea trenches (Kuril, Japan, Ryūkyū trenches), a subduction zone where the Philippines and Pacific plates plunge below the Eurasian plate.
Mountains and hilly countries (75% of the country) predominate among the surface forms. The volcanoes alone, with their base areas and ashes, occupy 75,000 km 2 (Aso 1,400 km 2 , Fuji 908 km 2). The largest levels are: Concentrate level in east Hokkaidō, Ishikara level in central Hokkaidō, Niigata level in northwest Honshū, Kanto level on Tokyo Bay, Nōbebene on Isebucht, Kansaiebene on Ōsaka Bay, Tsukushiebene in northern Kyūshū, Kumamotoūshū. There are also larger basin landscapes: Tokachi in East Hokkaidō, Kitakami in Northeast Honshū. The numerous rivers are short and rapid, as the Japanese islands are on average only 230 km, maximum 400 km wide. The longest river is the Shinanogawa (367 km), the largest lake Biwasee (675 km 2).
Two ocean currents, the warm, very salty Kuroshio from the south and the cold Oyashio from the north, mix off the northeast coast of Honshū and form rich fishing grounds.