Japan’s Culture, Geography, Government, Economy

Table of Contents


Japan lies on the eastern side of the Asian continent and is enclosed by the waters of the Pacific Ocean. To the east, its neighbors are China, Russia and North Korea whereas Taiwan borders it to the south. The country has a total of 6 852 islands, which together form approximately 97 per cent of the country’s total land surface (Kato et al. 1986). According to the world’s population records, Japan’s population ranks among the top 10 among nations with large populations (World Population Prospects).


The country has islands, which form the Japanese Archipelago, stretching alongside the Pacific Ocean in the Asian coast. Most parts of the country are mountainous and forested; this renders them unsuitable for residential, food cultivation, and industrial use. As a result, most of the populations have settled in the coastal areas, which are safer zones (World Fact Book publications).

The country’s climate is predominantly temperate. It has six major climatic zones that are determined by its geographical features. However, the highest temperature the country has ever experienced was 40.9 degrees Celsius in August 2007.

The rainy season starts at the beginning of the month of May and goes on until late July, although this greatly varies among the islands.


The culture in Japan has greatly grown over the recent years. The main dominating culture in Japanese in the past was the Jomon culture. Today, Japanese modern culture takes a combination of external influences especially from North America, Europe, and Asia to an extent. The country’s indigenous arts include pottery, origami, dolls, and ikebana among others.

The performances include kabuki, local dances, Bunraku, and rakugo and its traditions include Budo, tea ceremony, games, cuisine, swords, and architecture. The country has an assorted type of music enriched by the styles, scales, and instruments borrowed from the neighboring cultures.

Karaoke is the most popular cultural activity in the country. It is a type of music whereby singers dance to the tune of an already recorded music.


The Head of the Government in Japan is the Prime Minister, appointed by the country’s Emperor. Japan’s main organ of legislation is known as the National Diet, which consists of the House of Representatives (480 seats) and the House of councilors (242 seats). Election to the National Diet is by popular votes; however, members of the House of Representatives serve for a period of four years whereas the Councilors serve up to a six-year term. The Prime Minister in Japan chairs the cabinet and has the prerogative to hire and the state ministers

Educational system

Meiji Restoration led to the introduction of primary, secondary and university education in Japan in the year 1872. From 1947, compulsory Japanese education consists of middle and elementary schools that last for a period of nine years. Most of the children continue to the high school level and up to the universities. The International Student Assessment Program ranks Japanese skills and knowledge among children aged 15 years as sixth in the world’s best education.

Religious system

A large population of the country believes in Buddhism and Shintoistism. However, these estimates merely consider those using the Buddhism and Shintoistism temples as the true followers of those religions.The county’s religion tends to be syncretic proved by various practices such as Shinto rituals in families, prayers at the start of examinations and practice of church weddings.


Japan is among the easiest countries to do business in; it was ranked 12th in the 2008 Ease of Doing Business Survey, which included 178 other countries. Its companies have become famous over the time because of their first-rate management techniques for example, the Toyota Way. The country exports electronics, motor vehicles, chemicals and electronic materials to other countries such as the United States, European Union, China, and South Korea among other States (Hjorth et al, 2007).

Its economy makes the country to rank as a high tech country because it is the chief producer of most of the World’s technological and electronic equipment supplied all over the world.

Japan’s status as a high-tech or low-tech nation

Japanese high-tech production industries have progressively become an important component of its economy. The high-tech manufacturing industries have persistently been on a path of steady growth in global market share and accounts for about 10 percent of the country’s total production. These firms are associated with innovation, high value-added production and other gains that often lead to productivity, creation of high-wage jobs, and business expansions.

Most of economic activities related to farming and food production are usually referred to as low tech activities. They are not typically considered as the key development pathway and often considered as an intermediary segment towards high-tech production industries.


Hjorth, L. S., Eichler, B. A., Khan, A. S Morello J A (2007) Technology and Society: Issues for the 21st Century and Beyond, 3rd Ed, New Jersey: Prentice Hall

Kato S, Chibbett D, Dore R P (1986) A history of Japanese literature, Volume 1 US: Macmillan Publishers

World Population Prospects, (2007) UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Web.

World Fact Book publications, Japan. 2010.

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