Government, Economy, Culture, and Geography


Japan has a parliamentary government with a constitutional monarchy, and Japanese citizens get to vote when they are 20 years old. Their current constitution was adopted on May 3, 1947. Japan's 3 Branches of government are listed below:

Executive Branch: Emperor Akihito (Since 1989) and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (Since 2012)

Legislative Branch: The Diet (Kokkai) is made up of 2 parts (called chambers). They are called:1. House of Councillors (Sangi-in)2. House of Representatives (Shugi-in), and

Judicial Branch: National and Local Courts

The members of the Diet are elected by the people, and the Diet then chooses the Prime Minister. The Emperor inherits the throne.


Japan is a rich country and has a per capita GDP of $36,200 per person (2012 est). In 2010, most of Japan's labor force (69.7%) worked in services. This means that most people in Japan worked in skilled jobs that require extra schooling, such as doctors, accountants, scientists, teachers, or engineers. 3.9% of Japan's occupations, or jobs, worked in agriculture. This means that only a small portion of Japanese people work with crops and livestock. Lastly, 26.2% of Japan's labor force work in industries, working in factories and producing products and goods.

The crops and meat, or agricultural products that are Japan produces most include rice, sugar beets, vegetables, fruit; pork, poultry, dairy products, eggs, and fish. Their most profitable industries include motor vehicles (13.6%), semiconductors (6.2%), iron and steel products (5.5%), auto parts (4.6%), plastic materials (3.5%), and power generating machinery 3.5%.

Japan imports goods from many countries to meet their needs. Japan's import partners are China 21.5%, US 8.9%, Australia 6.6%, Saudi Arabia 5.9%, United Arab Emirates 5%, and South Korea 4.7%. Their export partners, or countries that Japan sells their goods to, include China 19.7%, US 15.5%, South Korea 8%, Hong Kong 5.2%, Thailand 4.6%.


The people who live in Japan are called Japanese.  The ethnic groups that live there include native Japanese 98.5%, Koreans 0.5%, Chinese 0.4%, other 0.6%.  The most popular language spoken in Japan is Japanese.  Many religions are practiced in Japan.  83.9% follow Shintoism, 71.4% believe in Buddhism 71.4%, 2% are Christians, and the remaining 7.8% follow a different religion.  (Please note that the percentages add up to more than 100% because many people belong to both Shintoism and Buddhism.)
Learn Japanese - Learn to Introduce Yourself in Japanese!

Physical Geography

Japan is mostly rugged and mountainous island nation that is slightly smaller than the state of California in the United States. It is located off of the southeast coast of Asia. It's climate varies from tropical in the south to cool and temperate in the north. It has many natural hazards to adapt to, including volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, and earthquakes.

Japan does not have an abundant supply of natural resources, although it does have some mineral resources and a large supply of fish. With virtually no energy natural resources, it is the world's largest importer of coal and liquefied natural gas, as well as the second largest importer of oil. Most of it's land (87.46%) of it is used for building and development, while the remaining is able to be used as farmland.