July 6, 2022

Japan (Japanese: 日本; hepburn: Nihon listen or Nippon listen - officially: 日本国; hepburn: Nihonkoku or Nipponkoku) is a country in East Asia. It is an island state located east of the Sea of ​​Japan and west of the Pacific Ocean and has sea borders with Russia north of the Strait of La Pérouse, South Korea west of the Strait of Korea and China in the south and southwest of the East China Sea. Japan is a chain of islands consisting of the main islands, from north to south: Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu, as well as 6,848 smaller islands. The islands total 377,972 km2 and extend over 3,000 km from north to south. With a population of 126 million inhabitants, Japan is the world's tenth most populous country. Japan's capital and largest city is Tokyo, located on the southeast coast of Japan in the Kantō region of Honshu Island. Honshu is Japan's largest island and the world's second most populous island after Java. Japan is divided into 8 regions, and most of the smaller islands belong to either the Kantō region or the Kyushu region. The archipelago is located between three tectonic plates: the Eurasian plate, the North American plate and the Philippine plate. This location has given Japan many mountains, 160 volcanoes and about 3,000 hot springs. It also makes Japan frequently vulnerable to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis. This is also causing major natural disasters such as the Tōhoku earthquake on March 11, 2011, which wreaked havoc in the Tōhoku region. Japan is a parliamentary democracy and constitutional empire, with Emperor Naruhito as head of state and Fumio Kishida (LDP) as prime minister since October 4, 2021. Japan is a unitary state with two administrative levels under the state, 47 prefectures and 1,719 municipalities. Japan is a member of the G7, G20, APEC, the World Trade Organization and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. After Japan lost World War II, Japan was occupied by the United States from 1945 to 1952, and under American leadership, Japan drafted a new constitution in 1947 to democratize the country. After the occupation, Japan experienced great economic growth, which made Japan one of the economic superpowers. Since the 1990s, Japan has had deflation and declining growth rates.


Nihon and Nippon

In Japanese, the Japanese call their country 日本, which is written in kanji and is pronounced like Nihon and Nippon. Nippon is the original Shino-Japanese pronunciation of the name, while Nihon probably comes from a nickname in the Kantō region during the Edo period. Both pronunciations are used interchangeably, but Nihon is the one most commonly used in everyday speech, and Nippon is most commonly used in regular phrases and official use, such as on banknotes and stamps. The name was used during the 7th century, and was used as early as 607 when Empress Suiko's court sent its second delegation to China. However, the exact origin of the name is uncertain. Prior to this, the country was known in China as Wa (倭), and in Japan by the endonym Yamato (大 和). The name refers to the land to the east where the sun rises. It is also the source of the popular Western epithet "Land of the Rising Sun" (English: "Land of the Rising Sun"). Japan ».


The name "Japan", which is used in Norwegian, is an exonym that originates from the Chinese pronunciation of 日本, Rìběn, and was introduced to the European languages ​​through trade, including the Silk Road. In the 13th century, Marco Polo transcribed the Chinese pronunciation as Cipangu, in his notes on Japan, which had a great influence on the view of the country. However, it is from the Cantonese name, Japang or Japun, which is borrowed from a dialect off the coast of southern China, where the word «Japan» comes from. The word was picked up by Portuguese traders who took the word with them from Malaysia in