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Portal:Japan

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Japan, officially Nippon (日本) is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of China, Korea and Russia. The characters that make up Japan's name mean "sun-origin", which is why Japan is sometimes identified as the "Land of the Rising Sun".

Japan comprises over 3,000 islands, the largest of which are Honshū, Hokkaidō, Kyūshū and Shikoku. Most of the islands are mountainous, many volcanic; for example, Japan’s highest peak, Mount Fuji, is a volcano. Japan has the world's tenth largest population, with about 128 million people. The Greater Tokyo Area, which includes the capital city of Tokyo and several surrounding prefectures, is the largest metropolitan area in the world, with over 30 million residents.

Influence from the outside world followed by long periods of isolation has characterized Japan's history. Since adopting its constitution in 1947, Japan has maintained a unitary constitutional monarchy with an emperor and an elected parliament, the Diet.

A major economic power, Japan has the world's third largest economy by nominal GDP. It is a member of the United Nations, G8, G4, OECD and APEC, with the world's fifth largest defense budget. It is also the world's fourth largest exporter and sixth largest importer and a world leader in technology and machinery.

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Japanese battleship Yamato under attack
Operation Ten-Go was the last major Japanese naval operation in the Pacific Theater of World War II. Other renderings of this operation's title in English include Operation Heaven One and Ten-ichi-gō. In April 1945, the Japanese battleship Yamato, the largest battleship in the world, along with nine other Japanese warships, embarked from Japan on a deliberate suicide attack upon Allied forces engaged in the Battle of Okinawa. The Japanese force was attacked, stopped, and almost completely destroyed by United States (U.S.) carrier-borne aircraft before reaching Okinawa. Yamato and five other Japanese warships were sunk. The battle demonstrated U.S. air supremacy in the Pacific theater by this stage in the war and the vulnerability of surface ships without air cover to aerial attack. The battle also exhibited Japan's willingness to sacrifice large numbers of its people in desperate attempts (see kamikaze) to slow the Allied advance on the Japanese home islands. By early 1945, following the Solomon Islands campaign, the Battle of the Philippine Sea and the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the once formidable Imperial Japanese Navy's Combined Fleet was reduced to just a handful of operational warships and a few remaining aircraft and aircrew. Most of the remaining Japanese warships in the Combined Fleet were stationed at ports in Japan, with most of the large ships at Kure, Hiroshima. With the invasions of Saipan and Iwo Jima, Allied forces began their campaign against the Japanese homeland. As the next step before a planned invasion of the Japanese mainland, Allied forces invaded Okinawa on April 1, 1945.

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The Great Wave off Kanagawa
Credit: Hokusai

Hokusai's The Great Wave at Kanagawa, from his seminal work 36 Views of Mount Fuji, is one of the most iconic representations of the Japanese style of art known as ukiyo-e. The scene is of a great wave (often mistaken for a tsunami) about to devour the men and boats, with the distant Mount Fuji minimized by the size of the wave.

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Tōru Takemitsu was a Japanese composer and writer on aesthetics and music theory. Though largely self-taught, Takemitsu is recognised for his skill in the subtle manipulation of instrumental and orchestral timbre, drawing from a wide range of influences, including jazz, popular music, avant-garde procedures and traditional Japanese music, in a harmonic idiom largely derived from the music of Claude Debussy and Olivier Messiaen. In 1958, the international attention he drew with his Requiem for strings (1957) resulted in several commissions from across the world, and settled his reputation as the leading Japanese composer of the 20th century. He was the recipient of numerous awards, commissions and honours; he composed over one hundred film scores for ensembles of various sizes and combinations. He also found time to write a detective novel, and appeared frequently on Japanese television as a celebrity chef. In the foreword to a selection of Takemitsu's writings in English, conductor Seiji Ozawa commented: "I am very proud of my friend Tōru Takemitsu. He is the first Japanese composer to write for a world audience and achieve international recognition."

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Flag of Tottori Prefecture
Tottori Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūgoku region on Honshū island. The capital is the city of Tottori. It is the least populous prefecture in Japan. Tottori is home to the Tottori Sand Dunes, Japan's only large dune system. The prefecture is heavily agricultural and its products are shipped to major cities. Some of the famous products are nashi pear, nagaimo, rakkyo, negi (shiro-negi, Welsh onion), and watermelon. Tottori Prefecture's symbol is derived from the first mora in Japanese for "" combined with the picture of a flying bird, and symbolizes peace, liberty, and the advancement of the Tottori prefecture. It was enacted in 1968 to celebrate the 100th year from the first year of the Meiji Era.

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Yūshūkan

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In the news

18 September 2019 – 2019 Japan–South Korea trade dispute
South Korea officially removes Japan from its "whitelist" of countries with fast-track trade status. (Reuters)
14 September 2019 –
Seven people are hospitalized after a taxi drives onto the sidewalk outside Kanayama Station in Nagoya, Japan. (NHK)
11 September 2019 – 2019 Japan–South Korea trade dispute
South Korea announces it will file a complaint with the World Trade Organization over Japanese government export controls. (Marketwatch)
11 September 2019 –
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe rearranges his government cabinet, naming replacements at the Defense, Foreign Affairs, Environment and Olympics ministries, among others. (Al Jazeera)
10 September 2019 – Fukushima disaster cleanup
As Tepco says that, by 2022, it will run out of storage room for what is now more than 1 million tonnes of radioactively contaminated reactor core cooling water, Japanese Minister of the Environment Yoshiaki Harada opines that "the only option will be to drain it into the sea and dilute it". (Reuters)
9 September 2019 –
Typhoon Faxai kills three people and causes damage to Japan's capital Tokyo. (The Japan Times)

Japan topics

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Sports Sumo wrestling | Nippon Professional Baseball | Football J1 League | Super GT | All Japan Road Race Championship | Judo | Karate | Kendo | Kyūdō | Jujutsu | Ninjutsu | Aikido
Economy Japanese Companies | Primary sector | Industry | Tourism | Currency | Tokyo Stock Exchange | Japanese economic miracle | Communications | Transportation (Shinkansen · Tokyo Metro · Railway companies) | Japan Business Federation | Housing in Japan
Science and Technology Consumer electronics in Japan | Japanese automotive industry | Japanese inventions | Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) | Nuclear power in Japan | Japanese robotics
Geography Geography of Japan | Japanese archipelago | Islands of Japan | Cities | Lakes | Rivers | Waterfalls | Mountains | National Parks | Japanese Alps | Mount Fuji | Lake Biwa | Seto Inland Sea | Sea of Japan
Demographics Demographics | Yamato people | Hāfu (half Japanese people) | Ainu people | Japanese people | Japanese names | Aging of Japan
Animals Animals in Japan | Japanese macaque | Japanese raccoon dog (Tanuki) | Japanese Green pheasant | Koi | Japanese Bobtail | Hokkaido dog | Shiba Inu | Akita (dog) | Japanese giant hornet | Japanese badger
Other Tokyo | Kyoto | Nara | Osaka | Sapporo | Okinawa | Kinkaku-ji | Kiyomizu-dera | Yakushi-ji temple | Tōdai-ji temple | Sensō-ji temple | Meiji Shrine | Akihabara | Shinjuku | Tokyo Tower | Tokyo Imperial Palace | Himeji Castle | Matsumoto Castle | Osaka Castle | Nagoya Castle | Tokyo Disney Resort

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Coordinates: 36°30′N 139°00′E / 36.5°N 139°E / 36.5; 139