- Country name : Japan.
- Official name : Japan.
- System of government : constitutional monarchy.
- National anthem :
- Area : 377 835 km ².
- Capital : Tokyo.
- Border countries : archipelago of islands located between the Pacific Ocean and the East Sea (Sea of Japan).
- Population : 127,2 millions (2003).
- Language(s) : Japanese.
- Religions : Shintoism, Buddhism, Christianity, others.
>After its defeat during the Second world war, Japan became the second economic world power after the United States. This success is based mainly on an industrial strategy privileging the technological innovation.
>The farming sector, strongly subsidized, is centred on the rice growing. Japan has to import near the third of its food needs. Fishing is a dynamic sector: the consumption of fishes is very high and Japan has one of the most important fleets of the world.
>Japan natural resources are tiny, in spite of a remarkable variety of mineral resources (coal, zinc, silver, tungsten, gold…).
>The industry is the foundation of the Japanese power but it remains strongly dependent on imports of raw materials and on energy. Japan is one of the main world producers of vehicles, electronic equipments, machine tools, steel, chemicals, textiles…
>Services have an increasing part in the Japanese economy. The real-estate, the finance, the assurance, the services to companies, transports and communication are the main sectors.
>The Aïnous, whose origin is even left today unknown, would constitute the first inhabitants of the Japanese islands.
>At about 3rd century B.C. (Period Yayoi) : introduction of the rice growing and the metal industry of the bronze and the iron.
>300-710 A.D. (Period Kofun) : Beginning of unification of Japan with the emergence of powerful clans. The Yamato clan establishes the imperial system traced on that of China. Introduction of Buddhism from Korea.
>In 1192, Yoritomo, the leader of the Minamoto clan establishes a military dictatorship and takes the title of "shogun".
>1274-1281 : attempts of invasion of Japan by the Mongols. In 1281, a cyclone, considered as a divine wind ("kamikaze") destroys their fleet.
>In 1543 : arrival of the Portuguese then the Spaniards, in a commercial purpose.
>1600-1868 (Period Edo) : Japan enters an era of isolationism. The Togukawa shogunate forbids business with the foreigners and organizes the Japanese society in different classes (lords, samurais, farmers, artisans and traders). In 1853, the Commodore Matthew Perry obtains, by the force, commercial concessions from Japan in favour of the United States.
>1868-1912 (Period Meiji) : abolition of the shogunate and arrival of the emperor Meiji on the throne. Japan gets modernized and becomes an economic and military power. After its victories on China (1895) and Russia (1904-1905), Japan annexes Korea (1910).
>1912-1945 : ascent of the nationalism and militarization of the regime. Japan invades Manchuria in 1931. During the Second world war, it joins the powers of the Axis (1940) and bombs US fleet at Pearl Harbour (1941). In 1945, two atomic bombs are released on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
>1945-1952 : military occupation of Japan by the United States. In 1947, the adoption of a new constitution, conferring to the emperor an honorary title, makes of Japan a democracy. In 1952, the country gets its full sovereignty.
>End of the 50s - Beginning of the 70s : period of very strong economic growth. Japan becomes member of the United Nations (1956) and normalizes its relations with China (1972).
>1989 : death of the emperor Hiro Hito. His son Akihito succeeds him.
>2002 : normalization of the relations between North Korea and Japan.