Japan

Article

October 19, 2021

Japan (Japanese: 日本; Romaniz.: Nihon, Nippon or, archaically, Jippon; officially 日本国, Nippon-koku or koku, literal translation: State of Japan) is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, east of the Sea of ​​Japan, the People's Republic of China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of ​​Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south. The characters that make up its name mean "Origin of the Sun", which is why Japan is sometimes identified as the "Land of the Rising Sun". The country is an archipelago of 6,852 islands, the four largest of which are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku, together representing 97% of the national land area. Most of the islands are mountainous, with many volcanoes such as the Japanese Alps and Mount Fuji. Japan has the tenth largest population in the world, with about 128 million inhabitants. Tokyo Metropolitan Area, which includes the de facto capital of Tokyo and several adjacent city halls, is the largest metropolitan area in the world, with more than 30 million inhabitants. Archaeological research indicates that humans already lived on Japanese islands in the Upper Paleolithic period. The first written mention of Japan begins with a brief appearance in 1st century AD Chinese historical texts. The influence of the rest of the world followed by long periods of isolation has characterized the country's history. Since its constitution in 1947, Japan has remained a unitary constitutional monarchy with an emperor and an elected parliament, the Diet. As a great economic power, it has the third largest economy in the world in nominal GDP and the fourth largest in purchasing power. It is also the fourth largest exporter and fourth largest importer in the world, in addition to being the only Asian member of the G7. The country maintains a modern and extensive security force used for self-defence and peacekeeping functions. Japan has a very high standard of living (17th highest HDI), with the highest life expectancy in the world (according to UN and WHO estimates) and the third lowest infant mortality rate. The country is also part of the G20, a group formed by the 19 largest economies in the world plus the European Union.

Etymology

The Japanese names for "Japan" are Nippon (にっぽん, 'Nippon'?), ? listen, and Nihon (にほん, 'Nihon'?), ? to listen. Both are written in Japanese using kanji 日本. The Japanese name Nippon is used officially, including on Japanese money, postage stamps and for many international sporting events. Nihon is a more casual term and most often used in contemporary discourse. The Japanese refer to themselves as Nihonjin (日本人, 'Nihonjin'?) and call their language Nihongo (日本語, 'Nihongo'?). Both Nippon and Nihon literally mean "origin of the sun" and are often translated as the "Land of the Rising Sun". This nomenclature comes from the Empire's missions with the Chinese Sui dynasty and refers to Japan's eastern position in relation to China. Before Nihon came into official use, Japan was known as (倭, Wa?) or (倭国, Wakoku?). The Mandarin or Chinese word Wu (呉語) for Japan was recorded by Marco Polo as Cipangu. In modern Shanghainese, a Wu dialect, the pronunciation of the characters 日本 «Japan» is Zeppen (pronounced AFI: [zəʔpən]); in Wu, the character 日 has two pronunciations, informal (白讀, informal?) (pronounced AFI: [niʔ]) and formal (文讀, formal?) (pronounced AFI: [zəʔ]). (In some southern Wu dialects, 日本 is pronounced AFI: [niʔpən] similar to its pronunciation in Japanese). The old Malay word for Japan, Jepang (now spelled Jepun in Malaysia, though it is still spelled Jepang in Indonesia), was borrowed from the Chinese language and was found by Portuguese merchants in Malacca in the 16th century. I believed

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