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Japan (日本) is an Eastern Asian island chain between the North Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan, east of the Korean Peninsula. It consists of the main islands Hokkaido (北海道), Honshu (本州), Shikoku(四国), Kyushu (九州) and Okinawa (沖縄) - along with 3,000 smaller islands. The largest city in Japan is Tokyo.


Geography and Weather

  • Land mass is slightly smaller than California.
  • Weather ranges from tropical in south to temperate in north.


Map of Japan


  • Population: 127,463,611 (July 2006 estimate, World Factbook)
  • Ethnic groups: Japanese 99%, others 1% (Korean 511,262, Chinese 244,241, Brazilian 182,232, Filipino 89,851, other 237,914) note: up to 230,000 Brazilians of Japanese origin migrated to Japan in the 1990s to work in industries; some have returned to Brazil (2004)
  • Religions: both Shinto and Buddhist 84%, other 16% (including Christian 0.7%)


As of 1998, Japan was the 32nd most visited country by tourists in the world - a relatively low rank considering its wealth and population. Japan runs a tourism deficit, as more Japanese visit abroad than foreigners visit Japan. According to Japanese government statistics, in 2002 16.8 million Japanese went on holiday abroad, while only 6 million foreign tourists visited Japan. Tourists come to Japan for a variety of reasons, including sightseeing, skiing, shopping, and relaxation.

External Links

Japan National Tourist Organization Official Website

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