|Road network length||1,200,000 km|
|Length of highway network||12,115 km|
|Motorway name||高速道路 kōsokudōro|
|License plate code||J|
Japan is a populous island nation in Asia. The country is located in the Pacific (Pacific) Ocean. The Japanese name is 日本 or Nippon. The country has approximately 125 million inhabitants and the de facto capital is Tokyo. The country has an area of 377,873 square kilometers and is therefore more than 9 times the size of the Netherlands.
According to ABBREVIATIONFINDER, Japan consists of about 3,000 islands, but the number of large islands is limited. The main islands are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku. Japan has no borders with other countries. Nearby countries are South Korea and Russia. The greatest distance between the four main islands is almost 2,000 kilometers. South of Japan are a number of islands, including Okinawa, which also belong to Japan, and are almost off the coast of Taiwan. Japan claims the Kurilen, a chain of islands occupied by Russia at the end of World War II, but originally Japanese.
Japan is extremely mountainous. The highest mountains can be found on Honshu and Hokkaido, with Mount Fuji at 3,776 meters as the highest point. This mountain is from the capital Tokyo clearly visible. Most of the islands are volcanic in origin, except Shikoku. 73% of Japan is forested. Much of the country is not suitable for housing or agriculture, which means that the Japanese population is highly concentrated in the few flat areas of the country. Japan generally has a temperate maritime climate, with a humid continental climate in the mountains and the north to a subtropical climate in the south of Kyushu. There is a lot of snow in the north, especially on Hokkaido where snow depths can reach several meters in winter. Honshu also regularly snows, especially the west coast is known for its snow storms. Snow can also fall on the southern islands of Kyushu and Shikoku. Summer lasts longest in the south and is hot and humid.
Japan has a number of very large cities, including the largest urban agglomeration in the world, the Tokyo region (also known as the Kanto region) with over 37 million inhabitants. See Japan population density. The second largest agglomeration is Hanshin, around the cities of Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe with over 19 million inhabitants. The third largest conurbation is around the city of Nagoya. Other major cities include Sapporo on Hokkaido, Sendai on the north of Honshu, Niigata on the west coast of Honshu, Hiroshima on the southwest of Honshu, and Kitakyushu and Fukuoka on the southern island of Kyushu. The island of Shikoku is the least urban.
Japan was originally an isolated archipelago. There has been relatively little foreign interference as has been the case on the Asian mainland. At the end of the 19th century, Japan became a powerful industrial nation. A number of wars followed, such as the First Sino-Japanese War between 1894 and 1895, the Russo-Japanese War between 1904 and 1905, after which Japan took control of Sakhalin, Korea and Taiwan. The population grew from 35 million in 1873 to 70 million in 1935. In 1931 Japan occupied Manchuria in northern China. It invaded the rest of China in 1937, which is considered by some to be the real start of World War II. In 1940 Japan invaded French Indochina. The bombing of the US Navy at Pearl Harbor (Hawaii) on December 7, 1941 marked a significant expansion of the war zone. For the next 3.5 years, Japan waged a fierce war with the United States in the Pacific. Japan lost out in the summer of 1945 after the US Air Force bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki with nuclear weapons. After World War II, Japan had to be rebuilt, as almost all major cities had been destroyed by strategic bombing. The destruction of those bombings was almost equivalent to the atomic explosions in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. From the 1960s, Japan developed into one of the most modern and prosperous countries in the world. Until 2010, it was the second largest economy in the world, after the United States.
The Japanese economy is diverse. The economy is characterized by services, technology and heavy industry. The car industry in Japan is particularly important, Toyota is the largest car manufacturer in the world. Japan has many major ports that have dramatically changed the coastlines around major cities with artificial peninsulas serving as harbor areas, particularly in cities such as Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Hiroshima, and Kitakyushu.