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Heavy rain hits scenic central Japan, more damage in south

Flooding and mudslides have stranded hundreds of people in scenic hot springs and hiking areas in central Japan, while rescue workers searched on Thursday for more people missing in the disaster that already has killed nearly ...

Rain pounds central Japan as 61 feared dead in south

Torrential rain pounded central Japan Wednesday as authorities said 61 people were feared dead in days of heavy downpours that have triggered devastating landslides and terrifying floods.

Rain hampers rescue efforts after deadly Japan floods

Torrential rain hampered the efforts of tens of thousands of rescue workers in southwestern Japan Monday as they hunted for survivors from deadly floods and landslides, with more downpours forecast.

Japan begins charging for plastic bags

Retailers in Japan began charging for plastic bags on Wednesday, a move aimed at curbing Japanese consumers' love for packaging and finally bringing the country in line with other major economies.

Japan to boost space cooperation with US in revised policy

Japan said Monday it will step up its defense capability in space and improve its ability to detect and track missiles, while cooperating with the United States in response to what it called a growing threat from North Korea ...

Amyloid formation on the International Space Station

Amyloids, abnormal fibrillar aggregates of proteins, are associated with various disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. Therefore, an in-depth understanding of the mechanisms of amyloid formation is critical for developing ...

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).

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