377,864 square kilometres (145,894 square miles).
127,130,000 people (official estimate 2001).
336.4 people per square kilometre.
8,130,000 (official estimate 2000).
Japan is disconnected from the Asian mainland by 160 kilometres
(100 miles) of sea. Approximately 70 % of the country is covered
by mountains and hills, many of which are dormant or active volcanoes.
A group of mountain ranges runs from northern Hokkaido to southern
Kyushu. The Japanese Alps (the most prominent range) run north
to south through central Honshu. The highest mountain is Mount
Fuji at 3,776 metres (12,388 feet). Plains and lowlands are small
and scattered, mainly lying along the coast and consisting of
alluvial lowlands and diluvial uplands. The coastline is quite
long in relation to the land area, and has varied features. The
deeply indented bays with good natural harbours sit adjacent to
Head of State: Emperor Akihito since 1989.
Head of Government: Prime Minister Junichiro
Koizumi since 2001.
The official language is Japanese. Some English is spoken
in major cities.
Shintoism and Buddhism (most Japanese practice both religions)
with a Christian minority. Although, In Okinawa, people believe
in Niraikanai, the realm of the dead beyond the sea.
GMT + 9.
100 volts AC, 60Hz in the west (Osaka); 100 volts AC,
50Hz in eastern Japan and Tokyo. Plugs are the flat two-pin type,and
light bulbs are screw-type.