Talking About Japan In English

Japanese Geography

You know your family home address, but can you say it in English?

Canada has Provinces, America has States, what does Japan have?

What is the water east, west, north, and south of Japan?

What countries are Japan's neighbors, do you know the English names and what language they speak?

How would you describe the natural terrain in your home prefecture?

Can you describe your hometown in relationship to Tokyo, is it north or south, near or far, an hours commute or a three hour plane ride?

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377,835 sq km
374,744 sq km
water: 3,091 sq km
note: includes Bonin Islands (Ogasawara-gunto), Daito-shoto, Minami-jima, Okino-tori-shima, Ryukyu Islands (Nansei-shoto), and Volcano Islands (Kazan-retto)

Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than California

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Hachiro-gata
-4 m

highest point: Mount Fuji
3,776 m

Geography note:
strategic location in northeast Asia

(July 2005 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: 14.3%
male 9,328,584
female 8,866,772

15-64years: 66.2% male 42,462,533
female 41,942,835

65 years and over:
male 10,435,284
female 14,381,236
(2005 est.)
Eastern Asia, island chain between the North Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan, east of the Korean Peninsula

Geographic coordinates:
36 00 N, 138 00 E

No land boundaries

29,751 km

varies from tropical in south to cool temperate in north

mostly rugged and mountainous

Land use:
arable land: 12.19%
permanent crops: 0.96%
other: 86.85% (2001)
Irrigated land: 26,790 sq km (1998 est.)

Environment - current issues:
air pollution from power plant emissions results in acid rain; acidification of lakes and reservoirs degrading water quality and threatening aquatic life; Japan is one of the largest consumers of fish and tropical timber, contributing to the depletion of these resources in Asia and elsewhere
Environment - international agreements:

party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.73 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2005 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 3.26 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 3.52 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 2.99 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)
Maritime claims:
territorial sea:
12 nm; between 3 nm and 12 nm in the international straits - La Perouse or Soya, Tsugaru, Osumi, and Eastern and Western Channels of the Korea or Tsushima Strait

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

Natural resources:
negligible mineral resources, fish

Natural hazards:
many dormant and some active volcanoes; about 1,500 seismic occurrences (mostly tremors) every year; tsunamis; typhoons

Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population
(2005 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
less than 0.1%
(2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
(2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
500 (2003 est.)

noun: Japanese (singular and plural)
adjective: Japanese
Median age:
total: 42.64 years
male: 40.87 years
female: 44.44 years
(2005 est.)

growth rate:
(2005 est.)

Birth rate:
9.47 births/1,000 population
(2005 est.)

Death rate:
8.95 deaths/1,000 population
(2005 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 81.15 years
male: 77.86 years
female: 84.61 years (2005 est.)

Total fertility rate:
1.39 children born/woman (2005 est.)

observe both Shinto and Buddhist 84%, other 16% (including Christian 0.7%)


Japanese Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99% (2002)
Ethnic groups:
Japanese 99%, others 1%
Korean 511,262, Chinese 244,241, Brazilian 182,232, Filipino 89,851, other 237,914

note: up to 230,000 Brazilians of Japanese origin migrated to Japan in the 1990s to work in industries; some have returned to Brazil (2004)
From north to south the prefectures of Japan are:

1.  Hokkaido
2.  Aomori
3.  Iwate
4.  Miyagi
5.  Akita
6.  Yamagata
7.  Fukushima
8.  Ibaraki
9.  Tochigi
10.  Gunma
11.  Saitama
12.  Chiba
13.  Tokyo
14.  Kanagawa
15.  Niigata
16.  Toyama
17.  Ishikawa
18.  Fukui
19.  Yamanashi
20.  Nagano
21.  Gifu
22.  Shizuoka
23.  Aichi
24.  Mie
25.  Shiga
26.  Kyoto
27.  Osaka
28.  Hyogo
29.  Nara
30.  Wakayama
31.  Tottori
32.  Shimane
33.  Okayama
34.  Hiroshima
35.  Yamaguchi
36.  Tokushima
37.  Kagawa
38.  Ehime
39.  Kochi
40.  Fukuoka
41.  Saga
42.  Nagasaki
43.  Kumamoto
44.  Oita
45.  Miyazaki
46.  Kagoshima
47.  Okinawa

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