Japan, one of the world’s most literate and technically advanced nations, is an
East Asian archipelago country made up of four primary islands and more than 6,800 others. While most of Japan is covered by mountains and heavily wooded areas, the country’s people lead a distinctly urban lifestyle. Long culturally influenced by its neighbors, today the country blends its ancient traditions with aspects of Western life.
The country can trace its political unification to the late fourth and early fifth
centuries B.C. Civilization flourished in the late eighth to the late 12th centuries, followed by even more centuries of military rule. The country was isolated from the early 1600s to the mid-19th century, at which point its ports opened up to the West. Japan had grand territorial ambitions in the 1900s, invading several countries, only to be defeated in World War II.
Japan has a parliamentary government with a constitutional monarchy. The
emperor still holds his title as a symbol of national unity, but elected politicians hold actual decision-making power. https://www.japan.go.jp/japan/
The nation with the third-largest economy in the world, Japan has largely bounced back from the manufacturing disruption caused by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster. The country is among the world’s largest producers of motor vehicles, electronic equipment, and steel. The service sector makes up the highest percentage of the economy in terms of gross domestic product and employment.
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Japan is known worldwide for its traditional arts, including tea ceremonies,
calligraphy and flower arranging. The country has a legacy of distinctive gardens, sculpture and poetry. Japan is home to more than a dozen UNESCO World Heritage sites and is the birthplace of sushi, one of its most famous culinary exports. The country has developed many forms of martial arts. Its most famous traditional sport is sumo wrestling, which can trace its origins to the 8th century.
Escalating tensions with North Korea over its nuclear missile program have
caused some Japanese politicians to call for amending the country’s postwar
pacifist constitution. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s continued nuclear tests and threats in East Asia has led Tokyo to seek assurances from Washington that America is committed to its defense. Domestically, Japan grapples with the economic consequences of having the world’s oldest population and declining birth rates.