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Portal:Japan

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Japan, officially Nippon-koku (日本国) is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of China, Korea and Russia. The characters that make up Japan's name mean "sun-origin", which is why Japan is sometimes identified as the "Land of the Rising Sun".

Japan comprises over 3,000 islands, the largest of which are Honshū, Hokkaidō, Kyūshū and Shikoku. Most of the islands are mountainous, many volcanic; for example, Japan’s highest peak, Mount Fuji, is a volcano. Japan has the world's tenth largest population, with about 128 million people. The Greater Tokyo Area, which includes the capital city of Tokyo and several surrounding prefectures, is the largest metropolitan area in the world, with over 30 million residents.

Influence from the outside world followed by long periods of isolation has characterized Japan's history. Since adopting its constitution in 1947, Japan has maintained a unitary constitutional monarchy with an emperor and an elected parliament, the Diet.

A major economic power, Japan has the world's third largest economy by nominal GDP. It is a member of the United Nations, G8, G4, OECD and APEC, with the world's fifth largest defense budget. It is also the world's fourth largest exporter and sixth largest importer and a world leader in technology and machinery.

Selected article

Divers inspect the wreckage of Ehime Maru off Oahu, November 5, 2001.
The Ehime Maru and USS Greeneville collision was a ship collision between the United States Navy submarine USS Greeneville (SSN-772) and the Japanese fishing training ship Ehime Maru on February 9, 2001, about 9 nautical miles (17 km) off the south coast of Oahu, Hawaii, USA. In a demonstration for some civilian visitors, Greeneville performed an emergency surfacing maneuver. As the submarine surfaced, it struck Ehime Maru, a high-school fishing training ship from Ehime Prefecture, Japan. Within minutes of the collision, Ehime Maru sank. Nine of its crewmembers were killed, including four high school students. Many Japanese, including government officials, were concerned over news that civilians were present in Greeneville's control room at the time of the accident. Some expressed anger because of a perception that the submarine did not try to assist Ehime Maru's survivors and that the submarine's captain, Scott Waddle, did not apologize immediately afterwards. The United States Navy (USN) conducted a public court of inquiry, placed blame on Waddle and other members of Greeneville's crew, and dealt nonjudicial punishment or administrative disciplinary action to the captain and some crew members. In response to requests from the families of Ehime Maru's victims and the government of Japan, the USN raised Ehime Maru from the ocean floor in October 2001 and moved it to shallow water near Oahu. Once there, Navy and Japanese divers located and retrieved the remains of eight of the nine victims from the wreck.

Selected picture

Pillars of Sagami Temple at Hyōgo Prefecture in Japan.
Credit: 663highland

A view of the colorful dougong supporting Sagami Temple, a Shingon Buddhist temple located in Kasai, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan.

On this day...

November 18:

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Selected quote

Kōki Hirota, diplomat, politician and the 32nd Prime Minister

Selected biography

Murasaki shown writing at her desk at Ishiyama-dera inspired by the Moon, ukiyo-e by Suzuki Harunobu, c. 1767
Murasaki Shikibu was a Japanese novelist, poet and lady-in-waiting at the Imperial court during the Heian period. She is best known as the author of The Tale of Genji, written in Japanese between about 1000 and 1012. In about 1005, Murasaki was invited to serve as a lady-in-waiting to Empress Shōshi at the Imperial court, probably because of her reputation as a writer. She continued to write during her service, adding scenes from court life to her work. After five or six years, she left court and retired with Shōshi to the Lake Biwa region. Murasaki wrote The Diary of Lady Murasaki, a volume of poetry, and The Tale of Genji. Within a decade of its completion, Genji was distributed throughout the provinces; within a century it was recognized as a classic of Japanese literature, and had become a subject of scholarly criticism. Early in the 20th century her work was translated; a six-volume English translation was completed in 1933. Scholars continue to recognize the importance of her work, which reflects Heian court society at its peak.

In the news

March 7: 9 people die in a helicopter crash in Nagano.
  • June 12: Japan's National Diet passes law allowing Emperor Akihito to abdicate within three years
  • January 23: Federer beats Nishikori in Australian Open's fourth round
  • December 24: Fire engulfs 140 buildings in Itoigawa, Japan
  • October 6: Yoshinori Ohsumi wins Nobel Prize for research on autophagy
  • October 3: Indonesian authorities investigate after pornographic film screened on billboard in Jakarta
  • August 25: North Korea fires balistic missile from submarine
  • July 19: ARM to be bought by SoftBank
  • July 6: Arsenal signs Japanese Takuma; Chelsea signs Batshuayi
  • June 9: IUPAC proposes four new chemical element names
  • February 8: North Korea launches long-range missile
  • December 20: Barça beat River Plate 3-0 to win third FIFA Club World Cup
  • December 18: Suárez scores a hat-trick, Barcelona advances to FIFA Club World Cup 2015 Final
  • September 11: Typhoon Etau causes more leakage at Fukushima
  • April 24: Power outage at Fukushima poses radioactive risk
  • March 4: Explorers find shipwreck thought to be massive WWII battleship Musashi
  • January 22: Japanese Olympic judoka Hitoshi Saito dies aged 54
  • September 18: Chinese President signs multiple trade deals with India
  • June 29: Canada wins 2014 Women's World Wheelchair Basketball Championship
  • June 28: Germany and Canada into 2014 Women's World Wheelchair Basketball Championships final
  • June 27: Germany, Netherlands, Canada and USA into Women's Wheelchair Basketball Championships semi-finals
Knewsticker.png Wikinews Japan

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Atrium in the Sapporo Factory

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Coordinates: 36°30′N 139°00′E / 36.5°N 139°E / 36.5; 139

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