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The Japan Portal
Location of Japan on the world map
Imperial Seal of Japan

Japan, officially Nippon () is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of China, Korea and Russia. The characters that make up Japan's name mean "sun-origin", which is why Japan is sometimes identified as the "Land of the Rising Sun".

Japan comprises over 3,000 islands, the largest of which are Honsh?, Hokkaid?, Ky?sh? and Shikoku. Most of the islands are mountainous, many volcanic; for example, Japan's highest peak, Mount Fuji, is a volcano. Japan has the world's tenth largest population, with about 128 million people. The Greater Tokyo Area, which includes the capital city of Tokyo and several surrounding prefectures, is the largest metropolitan area in the world, with over 30 million residents.

Influence from the outside world followed by long periods of isolation has characterized Japan's history. Since adopting its constitution in 1947, Japan has maintained a unitary constitutional monarchy with an emperor and an elected parliament, the Diet.

A major economic power, Japan has the world's third largest economy by nominal GDP. It is a member of the United Nations, G8, G4, OECD and APEC, with the world's fifth largest defense budget. It is also the world's fourth largest exporter and sixth largest importer and a world leader in technology and machinery.

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Divers inspect the wreckage of Ehime Maru off Oahu, November 5, 2001.
The Ehime Maru and USS Greeneville collision was a ship collision between the United States Navy submarine USS Greeneville (SSN-772) and the Japanese fishing training ship Ehime Maru on February 9, 2001, about 9 nautical miles (17 km) off the south coast of Oahu, Hawaii, USA. In a demonstration for some civilian visitors, Greeneville performed an emergency surfacing maneuver. As the submarine surfaced, it struck Ehime Maru, a high-school fishing training ship from Ehime Prefecture, Japan. Within minutes of the collision, Ehime Maru sank. Nine of its crewmembers were killed, including four high school students. Many Japanese, including government officials, were concerned over news that civilians were present in Greeneville's control room at the time of the accident. Some expressed anger because of a perception that the submarine did not try to assist Ehime Maru's survivors and that the submarine's captain, Scott Waddle, did not apologize immediately afterwards. The United States Navy (USN) conducted a public court of inquiry, placed blame on Waddle and other members of Greeneville's crew, and dealt nonjudicial punishment or administrative disciplinary action to the captain and some crew members. In response to requests from the families of Ehime Maru's victims and the government of Japan, the USN raised Ehime Maru from the ocean floor in October 2001 and moved it to shallow water near Oahu. Once there, Navy and Japanese divers located and retrieved the remains of eight of the nine victims from the wreck.

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Onna yu, (Bathhouse women)

Onna yu, (Bathhouse women) is a ukiyo-e print by artist Torii Kiyonaga. This copy was printed sometime between 1890 and 1940.

On this day...

September 23:




In the news

16 September 2020 -
Yoshihide Suga is elected Prime Minister of Japan, following the resignation of his predecessor Shinzo Abe over health concerns. (BBC)
14 September 2020 - 2020 Liberal Democratic Party (Japan) leadership election
Yoshihide Suga wins a ruling Liberal Democratic Party leadership election, paving the way for him to become Prime Minister in a parliamentary vote this week. (Reuters)
11 September 2020 - Japan-United Kingdom relations, Impact of Brexit
Japan and the United Kingdom reach a tentative free trade agreement, which British trade secretary Liz Truss hails as the UK's "first major post-Brexit trade deal". (CNBC)
5 September 2020 - 2020 Pacific typhoon season
Typhoon Haishen approaches Japan, threatening the coasts of Okinawa and the island of Kyushu. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga says the government is setting up a crisis response team and urges people to take precautions. Officials compare the typhoon to Typhoon Vera, which in 1959 killed more than 5,000 people. (ABC News)
3 September 2020 - 2020 Pacific typhoon season
Panamanian-flagged cargo ship Gulf Livestock 1 with 43 crew members and thousands of cattle onboard is reported missing in the East China Sea. The Japan Coast Guard says it has found one person drifting in rough waters in a lifejacket. A distress signal was sent from the ship shortly before disappearing. (BBC)
3 September 2020 -
United Nations Secretary General António Guterres urges Japan and other wealthy nations to give up on their reliance on fossil fuels and invest in green energy. Guterres noted that many countries are using green energy to keep global warming at 1.5 °C (2.7 °F). (AP)

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Rieko Kodama (Japanese: , Hepburn: Kodama Rieko, born May 1963), also known as Phoenix Rie, is a Japanese video game artist, director, and producer employed by Sega. She is one of the first noted female artists in the industry, joining Sega as a graphic designer in 1984. Kodama is primarily known for her work on role-playing games (RPGs) including the original Phantasy Star series, the 7th Dragon series, and Skies of Arcadia (2000). She is also known for her artistic contributions to Master System and Mega Drive games, including Altered Beast (1988) and Sonic the Hedgehog (1991). Although she started as a graphic designer, she eventually rose to the rank of director and then to the rank of producer, a role which she maintains today.

Kodama is often recognized as one of the first successful female video game developers, including by Nintendo Power which dubbed her the "First Lady of RPGs." In this regard, she is often asked for her thoughts on the relationship between women and video games. Kodama believes that more women are gradually taking an interest in gaming culture because they are growing up around them more as young girls. While she does not design games strictly for female audiences, she designs characters that are appealing to both men and women and avoids including elements that treat women unfairly. Read more...

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Flag of Yamagata Prefecture
Yamagata Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located in the Tohoku region on Honsh? island. Its capital is Yamagata. The aboriginal Ezo people once inhabited the area now known as Yamagata. During the Heian Period (794-1185), the Fujiwara family ruled the area. Yamagata City flourished during the Edo Period (1603-1867) due to its status as a castle town and post station, famous for beni (red safflower dye used in the production of handspun silk). In 1649, the famous haiku poet, Matsuo Bash? visited Yamagata during his five-month trip to the northern regions of Japan. Yamagata, with Akita Prefecture, composed Dewa Province until the Meiji Restoration. Yamagata Prefecture is located in the southwest corner of Tohoku, facing the Sea of Japan. It borders Niigata Prefecture and Fukushima Prefecture on the south, Miyagi Prefecture on the east, and Akita Prefecture on the north. All of these boundaries are marked by mountains, with most of the population residing in a limited central plain. Yamagata Prefecture is the largest producer of cherries and pears in Japan. A large quantity of other kinds of fruits such as grapes, apples, peaches, melons, persimmons and watermelons are also produced here. As of October 2004, Yamagata Prefecture had a population of 1,223,000. This represented a 5.3% decrease on the previous year, giving Yamagata the equal-fourth highest depopulation rate in Japan. This figure consists of a 2.2% natural decrease in the population, and a net 3.1% emigration to other prefectures, again one of the highest rates in Japan.

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The Hon-d? at Shin-Yakushi-ji

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The following are images from various Japan-related articles on Wikipedia.

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Eras Paleolithic | J?mon | Yayoi | Kofun | Asuka | Nara | Heian | Kamakura | Muromachi | Azuchi-Momoyama | Edo | Meiji | Taish? | Sh?wa | Heisei | Reiwa
History Economic history | Educational history | Military history | Naval history | Sengoku period | Meiji Restoration | Empire of Japan | Occupied Japan | Post-occupation Japan
Politics Constitution | Government | Emperors | Imperial Household Agency | Prime Ministers | Cabinet | Ministries | National Diet (House of Councillors · House of Representatives) | Judicial system | Law of Japan | Elections | Political parties | Japanese political values | Japan Self-Defense Forces | Foreign relations
Culture Clothing | Customs and etiquette | Education | Festivals | Food | Holidays | Language | Religion | Imperial House of Japan | National symbols of Japan | National Treasure (Japan) | Monuments of Japan | Media of Japan | Honne and tatemae | Kawaii | Yamato-damashii | Wa | Miai | Ishin-denshin | Isagiyosa | Hansei | Amae | Kotodama | Onsen | Geisha | Kimono | Bushido | Shogun | Samurai | Ninja | Yakuza | Mythology | Karaoke
Art Architecture | Cinema | Literature | Music | Pornography | Theatre (Noh · Kabuki · Bunraku) | Anime | Manga | Ukiyo-e | Japanese tea ceremony | Japanese aesthetics | Ikebana | Poetry | Bonsai | Origami
Sports Sumo wrestling | Nippon Professional Baseball | Football J1 League | Super GT | All Japan Road Race Championship | Judo | Karate | Kendo | Ky?d? | Jujutsu | Ninjutsu | Aikido
Economy Japanese Companies | Primary sector | Industry | Tourism | Currency | Tokyo Stock Exchange | Japanese economic miracle | Communications | Transportation (Shinkansen · Tokyo Metro · Railway companies) | Japan Business Federation | Housing in Japan
Science and Technology Consumer electronics in Japan | Japanese automotive industry | Japanese inventions | Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) | Nuclear power in Japan | Japanese robotics
Geography Geography of Japan | Japanese archipelago | Islands of Japan | Cities | Lakes | Rivers | Waterfalls | Mountains | National Parks | Japanese Alps | Mount Fuji | Lake Biwa | Seto Inland Sea | Sea of Japan | EEZ of Japan
Demographics Demographics | Yamato people | H?fu (half Japanese people) | Ainu people | Japanese people | Japanese names | Aging of Japan
Animals Animals in Japan | Japanese macaque | Japanese raccoon dog (Tanuki) | Japanese Green pheasant | Koi | Japanese Bobtail | Hokkaido dog | Shiba Inu | Akita (dog) | Asian giant hornet | Japanese badger
Other Tokyo | Kyoto | Nara | Osaka | Sapporo | Okinawa | Kinkaku-ji | Kiyomizu-dera | Yakushi-ji temple | T?dai-ji temple | Sens?-ji temple | Meiji Shrine | Akihabara | Shinjuku | Tokyo Tower | Tokyo Imperial Palace | Himeji Castle | Matsumoto Castle | Osaka Castle | Nagoya Castle | Tokyo Disney Resort


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Coordinates: 36°30?N 139°00?E / 36.5°N 139°E / 36.5; 139

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