Japan, officially Nippon-koku (日本国) 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.
is a communications
and observation tower
located in Shiba Park
. At 333 meters (1,091 ft), it is the tallest self-supporting steel structure in the world and the tallest artificial structure in Japan. The structure is an Eiffel Tower
-inspired lattice tower
that is painted white and international orange
to comply with air safety
regulations. Built in 1958, the tower's main sources of revenue are tourism and antenna leasing. Over 150 million people have visited the tower since its opening. FootTown, a 4-story building located directly under the tower, houses museums, restaurants and shops. Departing from here, guests can visit two observation decks. The 2-story Main Observatory is located at 150 meters (490 ft), while the smaller Special Observatory reaches a height of 250 meters (820 ft). The tower acts as a support structure for an antenna. Originally intended for television broadcasting, radio antennas were installed in 1961 and the tower is now used to broadcast both signals for Japanese media outlets such as NHK
and Fuji TV
. Japan's planned switch from analog to digital for all television broadcasting by July 2011 is problematic, however. Tokyo Tower's current height is not high enough to adequately support complete terrestrial digital broadcasting
to the area. A taller digital broadcasting tower known as Tokyo Sky Tree
is currently planned to open in 2011. A large broadcasting tower was needed in the Kantō region
, Japan's public broadcasting
station, began television broadcasting in 1953.
- 1946 - 食糧メーデー行われる。
- 1947 - 経営者団体連合会（経団連）結成。
- 1952 - 白井義男、世界フライ級を制覇
- 1956 - 公団住宅、初の入居者募集
- 1956 - 科学技術庁が開庁する。
- 1960 - 政府・自民党、安保条約をめぐり強行採決。
- 1983 - 今村昌平監督の「楢山節考」がカンヌ映画祭でグランプリ獲得。
- 1989 - 貴花田（現在の貴乃花）が16歳で幕下優勝。柏戸の最年少記録を33年ぶりに更新。
—Kathy Matsui, managing director of Goldman Sachs Japan
One myth that needs to be destroyed in Japan is that more working women will drive the birthrate even lower. Empirical evidence around the world shows the opposite is true.
was a Japanese samurai
and retainer of Date Masamune
, the daimyo
. In the years 1613 through 1620, Hasekura headed a diplomatic mission to the Vatican
in Rome, traveling through New Spain
and visiting various ports-of-call in Europe
. This historic mission is called the Keichō
Embassy. On the return trip, Hasekura and his companions re-traced their route across Mexico in 1619, sailing from Acapulco for Manilla, and then sailing north to Japan in 1620. This is conventionally considered the first Japanese ambassador in the Americas
and in Europe. Although Hasekura's embassy was cordially received in Europe, it happened at a time when Japan was moving toward the suppression of Christianity
. European monarchs such as the King of Spain
thus refused the trade agreements Hasekura had been seeking. Hasekura returned to Japan in 1620 and died of illness a year later, his embassy seemingly ending with few results in an increasingly isolationist Japan.
- ...that Kotetsu (pictured), a Japanese ironclad battleship, was originally intended to be Stonewall of the Confederate States Navy but was not delivered until after the end of the American Civil War?
- ... that Admiral Naokuni Nomura, World War II Japanese naval attache to Berlin, returned home on U-511, a submarine that had been presented by Adolf Hitler to Japan in 1943?
- ... that Chikara to Onna no Yo no Naka, released in 1933 and directed by Kenzō Masaoka, was the first "talkie" animated film in Japan?
- ... that Yamamoto Tatsuo, former head of the Bank of Japan, was the first businessman to become a cabinet minister in Japan?
- ... that in his 1933 essay In Praise of Shadows, Junichirō Tanizaki includes monastery toilets in his reflections on Japanese aesthetics?
Coordinates: 36°30′N 139°00′E / 36.5°N 139°E