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Japan spacecraft starts yearlong journey home from asteroid

A Japanese spacecraft left a distant asteroid on Wednesday, starting its yearlong journey home after successfully completing its mission to gather soil samples and data that could provide clues to the origins of the solar ...

The voyage home: Japan's Hayabusa-2 probe to head for Earth

Japan's Hayabusa-2 probe will leave its orbit around a distant asteroid and head for Earth on Wednesday after an unprecedented mission, carrying samples that could shed light on the origins of the Solar System.

Japan retailers to charge for plastic bags from 2020

Japanese retailers including supermarkets and convenience stores will be required to charge for plastic bags from next summer ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, a government panel agreed Friday.

Four dead in landslides, floods weeks after typhoon hit Japan

Four people were killed and another person was missing in landslides and floods on Friday, local officials and news reports said, as Japan was hit by heavy rains just two weeks after a deadly typhoon barrelled through the ...

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Japan

Japan (日本, Nihon or Nippon?, officially 日本国 Nippon-koku or Nihon-koku) is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, People's Republic of China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south. The characters which make up Japan's name mean "sun-origin", which is why Japan is sometimes identified as the "Land of the Rising Sun".

Japan comprises 6,852 islands making it an archipelago. The four largest islands are Honshū, Hokkaidō, Kyūshū and Shikoku, together accounting for 97% of Japan's land area. 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 de facto capital city of Tokyo and several surrounding prefectures, is the largest metropolitan area in the world, with over 30 million residents.

Archaeological research indicates that people were living on the islands of Japan as early as the Upper Paleolithic period. The first written mention of Japan begins with brief appearances in Chinese history texts from the first century A.D. 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 second largest economy by nominal GDP and the third largest in purchasing power parity. Japan has a significant military equipped with modern defense systems, such as AEGIS, and boasts a large fleet of destroyers. It is also the world's fourth largest exporter and sixth largest importer. It is additionally a member of the G-8 and is the sole Asian power in that organization. It is a developed country with high living standards (8th highest HDI). Japan has the highest life expectancy of any country in the world and the third lowest infant mortality rate (according to both UN and WHO estimates).

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA