The national capital of Japan is Tokyo. Tokyo is located in the eastern part of the country. As of May 1, 2002 Tokyo had a population of 12.24 million people making it the most crowded urban center in the world. Tokyo is a major cultural and educational center in Japan. Twenty five percent of the Japan's universities are located in Tokyo. These universities enroll 30 percent of the nation's college students.Tokyo is also the national center for the performing arts.
The country has an area of 143,574 square miles.
It is the ninth most populous country in the world with a total population of approxiamately 127,000,000 million people. Although Japan is one of the most populous countries in the world, it is also one of the slowest growing populations. This can be attributed to two factors. A low rate of foriegn immigration and a low birth rate among the population living in Japan. The national average birthrate is 10 births to 1000 people. The average Japanese family usually has one or two children. The population of the country is expected to decline soon since the net reproduction rate of Japan has been below 1.0 for some years. This means that the population has not been replacing itself. This has raised concerns in Japan that a diminishing population could result in a shortage of labor which would not only compromise the economic needs of the country, but would make it very difficult for the country to support the growing elderly population(In 1995 Japan's elderly outnumbered its youth for the first time in its national history).
Japan is also on of the most culturally homogeneous countries in the world in terms of ethnicity or country of national origin.Only about 2 percent of the country is not Japanese.The largest single group immigrants are from Korea.They comprise about 51% of the immigrant population of Japan.These immigrants are usually the children of Koreans who were forced to move to Japan during the war to work in the Japanese mines.The second largest group are the Chinese who arrived in Japan under the same circumstances as the Koreans(to work in the mines during the war).
The major religions are Shintoism and Buddhism. Although it is important to note that Japan is primarily a secular society.
Japan is the most economically developed nation in Asia.It has the second largest economy in the world next to the United States of America.The Japanese Gross Domestic Product(GDP) for the year 2000 was 4.84 trillion dollars as compared to the United States which had a GDP of 9.84 trillion.The service sector accounts for 66% of Japan's GDP, while industry accounts for 32% and finally agriculture mades up the remaining 1%. Japan has one of the highest living standards in the world.
The Japanese government is a parliamentary democracy.