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Mostly rugged and mountainous


Varies from tropical in south to cool temperate in north


Nationality: Japanese (singular and plural)
Population: 127,253,075 (July 2013 est.)
Language: Japanese


Shintoism 83.9%, Buddhism 71.4%, Christianity 2%, other 7.8% (Note: total adherents exceeds 100% because many people belong to both Shintoism and  Buddhism) (2005)


In the years following World War II, government-industry cooperation, a strong work ethic, mastery of high technology, and a comparatively small defense allocation (1% of GDP) helped Japan develop a technologically advanced economy. Two notable characteristics of the post-war economy were the close interlocking structures of manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors, known as keiretsu, and the guarantee of lifetime employment for a substantial portion of the urban labor force.

Living Conditions

Japanese generally enjoy good health and have the greatest life expectancy (predicted life span) in the world. Medical care is generally good and includes both modern scientific and traditional Chinese-style herbal medicines. Housing is a major problem in Japan's crowded cities. While Japanese prefer single-family houses, the enormous cost of land prevents them from having a real yard; as many as forty houses may be built on one acre. Small apartments are very common.


A Parliamentary government with a constitutional monarchy

US Military Presence/Support






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