Statistical information Japan 1996Japan

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Japan in the World

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Japan - Introduction 1996
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Background: While retaining its time-honored culture Japan rapidly absorbed Western technology during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. After its devastating defeat in World War II Japan recovered to become the second most powerful economy in the world and a staunch ally of the US. While the emperor retains his throne as a symbol of national unity actual power rests in networks of powerful politicians bureaucrats and business executives. The economy experienced a major slowdown in the 1990s following three decades of unprecedented growth.

Japan - Geography 1996
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Location: Eastern Asia, island chain between the North Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan, east of the Korean peninsula

Geographic coordinates

Map reference

Total: 377,835 km²
Land: 374,744 km²
Comparative: slightly smaller than California
Comparative note: Includes Bonin Islands (Ogasawara-gunto), Daito-shoto, Minami-jima, Okinotori-shima, Ryukyu Islands (Nansei-shoto), and Volcano Islands (Kazan-retto)

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 29,751 km

Maritime claims
Exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 12 nm; 3 nm in the international straits_La Perouse or Soya, Tsugaru, Osumi, and Eastern and Western Channels of the Korea or Tsushima Strait

Climate: Varies from tropical in south to cool temperate in north

Terrain: Mostly rugged and mountainous

Extremes lowest point: Hachiro-gata -4 m
Extremes highest point: Fujiyama 3,776 m

Natural resources:
Negligible mineral resources

Land use

Land use
Arable land: 13%
Permanent crops: 1%
Permanent pastures: 1%
Forests and woodland: 67%
Other: 18%

Irrigated land: 28,680 km² (1989)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards


Japan - People 1996
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125,449,703 (July 1996 est.)
125,506,492 (July 1995 est.)

Growth rate:
0.21% (1996 est.)
0.32% (1995 est.)

Noun: Japanese (singular and plural)
Adjective: Japanese

Ethnic groups:
Japanese 99.4%
Other 0.6% (mostly Korean)

Languages: Japanese

Observe both Shinto and Buddhist 84%
Other 16% (including 0.7% Christian)

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years:
16% (male 10,121,414; female 9,644,243)
16% (male 10,542,973; female 9,955,603)

15-64 years:
69% (male 43,624,464; female 43,359,249)
69% (male 43,843,645; female 43,377,425)

65 years and over:
15% (male 7,737,781; female 10,962,552) (July 1996 est.)
15% (male 7,272,829; female 10,514,017) (July 1995 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate:
0.21% (1996 est.)
0.32% (1995 est.)

Birth rate:
10.19 births/1000 population (1996 est.)
10.66 births/1000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate:
7.71 deaths/1000 population (1996 est.)
7.46 deaths/1000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate:
-0.4 migrant(s)/1000 population (1996 est.)
0 migrant(s)/1000 population (1995 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

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's appetite for fish and tropical timber is contributing to the depletion of these resources in Asia and elsewhere
Current issues Natural hazards: many dormant and some active volcanoes; about 1,500 seismic occurrences (mostly tremors) every year; tsunamis
International agreements: party to_Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling; signed, but not ratified_Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Desertification, Law of the sea
International agreements note: Strategic location in northeast Asia

Air pollutants

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: 0.71 male(s)/female
All ages:
0.96 male(s)/female (1996 est.) Infant Mortality Rate:4.4 deaths/1000 live births (1996 est.)
4.3 deaths/1000 live births (1995 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 79.55 years (1996 est.), 79.44 years (1995 est.)
Male: 76.57 years (1996 est.), 76.6 years (1995 est.)
Female: 82.68 years (1996 est.), 82.42 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate:
1.46 children born/woman (1996 est.)
1.56 children born/woman (1995 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write (1970 est.)
Total population: 99%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Japan - Government 1996
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Country name
Conventional long form: none
Conventional short form: Japan

Government type: Constitutional monarchy

Capital: Tokyo

Administrative divisions: 47 prefectures; Aichi, Akita, Aomori, Chiba, Ehime, Fukui, Fukuoka, Fukushima, Gifu, Gumma, Hiroshima, Hokkaido, Hyogo, Ibaraki, Ishikawa, Iwate, Kagawa, Kagoshima, Kanagawa, Kochi, Kumamoto, Kyoto, Mie, Miyagi, Miyazaki, Nagano, Nagasaki, Nara, Niigata, Oita, Okayama, Okinawa, Osaka, Saga, Saitama, Shiga, Shimane, Shizuoka, Tochigi, Tokushima, Tokyo, Tottori, Toyama, Wakayama, Yamagata, Yamaguchi, Yamanashi

Dependent areas

Independence: 660 BC (traditional founding by Emperor Jimmu)

National holiday: Birthday of the Emperor, 23 December (1933)

Constitution: 3 May 1947

Legal system: Modeled after European civil law system with English-American influence; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 20 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state: Emperor AKIHITO (since 7 January 1989)
Head of government: Prime Minister Ryutaro HASHIMOTO (since 11 January 1996) and Deputy Prime Minister Wataru KUBO (since 11 January 1996) were designated by the Diet and appointed by the emperor
Cabinet: Cabinet; appointed by the prime minister

Legislative branch: Bicameral Diet (Kokkai) consists of an upper house or House of Councillors and a lower house or House of Representatives House of Councillors (Sangi-in):Half of the members elected every three years to six-year terms; elections last held 23 July 1995 (next to be held NA 1998; results_percent of vote by party NA; seats_(252 total, with 126 up for election) LDP 110 (49 newly won), Shinshinto 56 (40 newly won), SDP 38 (16 newly won), JCP 14 (8 newly won), Sakigate 3 (3 newly won), others 19 (4 newly won), independents 12 (6 newly won; note_the distribution of seats as of 1 March 1996 is as follows_LDP 111, Heisei-kai 69, SDP 35, JCP 14, Sakigake 3, others and independents 19, vacancies 1 House of Representatives (Shugi-in):All members elected every four years to four-year terms; elections last held on 18 July 1993 (next to be held by 1997; results_percent of vote by party NA; seats_(511 total) LDP 223, SDPJ 70, Shinseito 55, Komeito 51, JNP 35, JCP 15, DSP 15, Sakigake 13, others 4, independents 30; note_the distribution of seats as of 1 April 1995 is as follows_LDP 207, Shinshinto 173, SDPJ 70, Sakigake 21, JCP 15, others 19, vacant 6

Judicial branch: Supreme Court, chief justice is appointed by the emperor after designation by the cabinet, all other justices are appointed by the cabinet

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: AfDB, AG (observer), APEC, AsDB, Australia Group, BIS, CCC, CP, EBRD, ESCAP, FAO, G- 2, G- 5, G- 7, G- 8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MTCR, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OSCE (partner), PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNRWA, UNU, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC

Diplomatic representation

Flag descriptionflag of Japan: White with a large red disk (representing the sun without rays) in the center

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Japan - Economy 1996
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Economy overview: Government-industry cooperation, a strong work ethic, mastery of high technology, and a comparatively small defense allocation (roughly 1% of GDP) have helped Japan advance with extraordinary rapidity to the rank of second most powerful economy in the world. One notable characteristic of the economy is the working together of manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors in closely knit groups called keiretsu. A second basic feature has been the guarantee of lifetime employment for a substantial portion of the urban labor force; this guarantee is slowly eroding. Industry, the most important sector of the economy, is heavily dependent on imported raw materials and fuels. The much smaller agricultural sector is highly subsidized and protected, with crop yields among the highest in the world. Usually self-sufficient in rice, Japan must import about 50% of its requirements of other grain and fodder crops. Japan maintains one of the world's largest fishing fleets and accounts for nearly 15% of the global catch. For three decades overall economic growth had been spectacular:a 10% average in the 1960s, a 5% average in the 1970s and 1980s. Growth came to a halt in 1992-95 largely because of the aftereffects of overinvestment during the late 1980s and contractionary domestic policies intended to wring speculative excesses from the stock and real estate markets. At yearend 1995, the financial structure is shaky with banks holding hundreds of billions of dollars of suspect assets. At the same time, the continued basic strength of the economy has been reflected in substantial trade surpluses, sizable foreign investments, and remarkably low rates of unemployment, inflation, and social disorder. The crowding of the habitable land area and the aging of the population are two major long-run problems.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate:
1.3% (1999 est.)
-0.3% (1998 est.)
0.9% (1997)
3.9% (1996)
3.0% (1985-1995)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: Accounts for only 2.1% of GDP; highly subsidized and protected sector, with crop yields among highest in world; principal crops_rice, sugar beets, vegetables, fruit; animal products include pork, poultry, dairy and eggs; about 50% self-sufficient in food production; shortages of wheat, corn, soybeans; world's largest fish catch of 10 million metric tons in 1991

Steel and non-ferrous metallurgy
Heavy electrical equipment
Construction and mining equipment
Motor vehicles and parts
Electronic and telecommunication equipment and components
Machine tools and automated production systems
Locomotives and railroad rolling stock
Food processing

Industrial production growth rate: Growth rate 3.3% (1995), 1% (1994; accounts for 40.2% of GDP

Labor force: 65.87 million (December 1994)
By occupation trade and services: 54%
By occupation manufacturing and construction: 33%
By occupation agriculture forestry and fishing: 7%
By occupation government: 3% (1988)
Labor force

Unemployment rate:
3.4% (1997)
3.4% (1996)
3.1% (1995)
2.9% (1994)
2.5% (1993)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $595 billion (194 est.), $569 billion (1995 est.)
Expenditures: $829 billion, including capital expenditures (public works only) of about $122 billion (1995 est.), $671 billion, including capital expenditures (public works only) of about $126 billion (1994 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: 1 April_31 March

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

total value. $442.84 billion (f.o.b., 1995)
$395.5 billion (f.o.b., 1994)

Manufactures 97% (including machinery 46%
Motor vehicles 20%
Consumer electronics 10%)

Southeast Asia 38%
U.S. 27%
Western Europe 17%
China 5%

Total value:
$336.09 billion (c.i.f., 1995)
$274.3 billion (c.i.f., 1994)

Manufactures 52%
Fossil fuels 20%
Foodstuffs and raw materials 28%

Southeast Asia 25%
U.S. 22%
Western Europe 16%
China 11%

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: NA

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Yen (¥) per US$1_105.84 (January 1996), 94.06 (1995), 102.21 (1994), 111.20 (1993), 126.65 (1992), 134.71 (1991), 144.79 (1990)

Japan - Energy 1996
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 840 billion kWh

Electricity consumption
Per capita: 6,262 kWh (1993)

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Japan - Communication 1996
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: 64 million telephones (1987 est.); excellent domestic and international service
Domestic: NA
International: satellite earth stations_5 Intelsat (4 Pacific Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean), 1 Intersputnik (Indian Ocean Region), and 1 Inmarsat (Pacific and Indian Ocean Regions); submarine cables to China, Philippines, Russia, and US (via Guam)

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Japan - Military 1996
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $50.2 billion, 1% of GDP (FY95/96)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Japan - Transportation 1996
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 164
With paved runways over 3047 m: 6
With paved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 32
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 34
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 2 (1995 est.)
With paved runways under 914 m: 60

Airports with paved runways
Over 3047 m: 6
2438 to 3047 m: 32
15-24 to 2437 m: 34
914 to 1523 m: 2 (1995 est.)
Under 914 m: 60

Airports with unpaved runways

Heliports: 11 (1995 est.)

Pipelines: Crude oil 84 km; petroleum products 322 km; natural gas 1,800 km



Waterways: About 1,770 km; seagoing craft ply all coastal inland seas

Merchant marine
Total: 796 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 15,944,137 GRT/23,662,930 DWT
Ships by type: bulk 192, cargo 57, chemical tanker 6, combination bulk 2, combination ore/oil 6, container 38, liquefied gas tanker 39, oil tanker 259, passenger 9, passenger-cargo 3, refrigerated cargo 35, roll-on/roll-off cargo 43, short-sea passenger 28, specialized tanker 2, vehicle carrier 77
Note: Japan owns an additional 1,587 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 50,072,815 DWT that operate under the registries of Panama, Liberia, Vanuatu, The Bahamas, Singapore, Cyprus, Philippines, Hong Kong, and Malta (1995 est.)

Ports and terminals

Japan - Transnational issues 1996
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Disputes international

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs

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