A country full of beauty and fascination. Nowhere else do contrasts between ancient tradition and the latest technology collide so directly and create harmony. A country full of dynamism and harmonious tranquility at the same time.
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The country name is composed of the characters 日 (pronounced ni, “day, sun”) and 本 (pronounced hon, “origin, root, beginning”). Japan is therefore also known as the “land of the rising sun”. The compound term can be pronounced both nippon and nihon: while nippon is used more in formal language, on Japanese money and stamps, and at international events, nihon is more common in everyday and colloquial speech.
According to topmbadirectory, Japan is an island country and essentially consists of a chain of islands stretching along the east coast of Asia. The main islands are Hokkaidō in the north, the central and largest island of Honshū and then the islands of Shikoku and Kyūshū to the south. There are also 6,848 smaller islands (of at least 100 m in circumference at high tide), which are mainly concentrated in the Seto Inland Sea and in the chain of the Ryukyu Islands. Since Japan is an island country, it has no direct neighboring countries. However, Russia, North Korea, South Korea, China and Taiwan indirectly border Japan.
The Japanese island chain extends in a long arc from north (45th parallel, Hokkaidō) to south (20th parallel, Okinotorishima). Therefore, the climate in Japan is very different; from the cold-temperate climate zone in Hokkaidō with cold and snowy winters to the subtropics in Okinawa Prefecture. In addition, there is the influence of winds – in winter from the Asian continent to the sea and in summer from the sea to the continent. In late June and early July, much of the annual precipitation falls as a monsoon-like rain front in the south.
Flora and Fauna
Japan is largely covered by mountain forests. A variety of native species specialize in this environment. Inland Japan is home to a number of mountain ranges that cross the forest line. Compared to the narrowness of the habitat, there is a wide variety of species. Due to its position as an offshore chain of islands, a flora and fauna that is related to “continental Asia” has developed, but is nevertheless often independent. The Ogasawara Islands (also: Bonin Islands), 1000 km southeast of Tokyo, are often compared to the Galapagos Islands because of their endemic species.
The last census from 2010 shows a total population of Japan of 128,056,026 people. However, the population has been declining for years, with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications stating a total population of 126,659,683 on March 31, 2012. In 2050, the population is expected to be 107 million, which means that Japan would lose 20 million inhabitants by the middle of the century.
Language and writing
The national language is Japanese and is spoken by almost the entire population and most minorities. There are numerous regional dialects. English is the most common foreign language taught in school, but it is often criticized that Japanese English classes focus too much on passing the TOEIC test and provide insufficient communication skills. The second most common foreign language is Chinese.