The Nation At A Glance . . .
The People and Places of Japan
Surveying the Moon
Here are a few facts about this spacefaring country:
Japan is an economic superpower with a 6,000-year history. The Japanese have proven their resilience, resourcefulness, and ability to adapt time and again. They have achieved one of world's highest standards of living and become the world's second largest economy. Japan exhibits its stability as a nation by having the longest unbroken imperial line in the world.
- Japan is an island nation, comprised of four main islands and thousands of small islands.
- 70 percent of the country is mountainous and forested.
- Japan's population of 127 million is concentrated primarily on the coasts.
- The vast majority of Japan's inhabitants are ethnically Japanese, making the country highly homogeneous in terms of ethnicity.
Japan has a large middle-class, well-educated populace. Some 90 percent of Japanese regard themselves as middle class, and the country has a literacy rate of almost 100 percent.
The Japanese economy is strongest in consumer electronics, automobiles, and pharmaceuticals. The economy is weaker in agricultural products and alternative energy sources.
Because Japan is weak in natural resources, it has relied heavily and successfully on global trade to support its economy. Japanese executives possess great sophistication and savvy in the international arena.
In Japan, government officials and bureaucrats often have more prestige, influence and power than their counterparts in Western countries.
Major holiday periods in Japan include New Year's celebrations (the first week in January), Golden Week (April 29 to May 5), and the Obon Festival (between July 13-15 or August 13-15, depending on the region). Japanese fiscal year ends on March 31.
© 2005 SPACE TODAY ONLINE