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 IOC Code:
 Country: Japan
 Continent: Asia
 President: J. Koizumi
                      (Prime Minister)
 Capital: Tokyo
 Largest City: Tokyo 
 Currency: Yen (¥)
 Official languages: Japanese
 Motto: Peace and Progress

 POPULATION (1 January 2005)
 Population: 128 085 000
 GDP/inhabitant (in US $): 32 640 
 Density (inhabitants/km2): 337 
 Average age (in years):  42
 Life expectancy (in years): 80.93

 Internet code: .jp 
 Calling code: +81
map of Japan


Japan is an island country located in the Pacific Ocean, east of China and Korea, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea in the south. It is composed of over 3,000 islands, the largest of which are Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu. Most of Japan's islands are mountainous, and many are volcanic; the highest peak is Mount Fuji.

Japan is the world's second-largest economy and one of the world's leading industrialized countries. It is a unitary constitutional monarchy with an emperor and an elected parliament, called the Diet, which is one of the oldest legislatures in Asia. Despite its rugged terrain, Japan is one of the most populous—and one of the most densely populated—countries in the world. Greater Tokyo, with over 30 million residents, is the largest metropolitan area in the world.

Japan's name in the kanji writing system is often translated as "Land of the Rising Sun", and comes from the country's eastward position relative to China.