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Portal:Japan

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Japan, officially Nippon (日本) 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 image

Gasshukoku suishi teitoku kōjōgaki (Oral statement by the American Navy admiral) c.1854
Credit: Unknown

Gasshukoku suishi teitoku kōjōgaki (Oral statement by the American Navy admiral) is a Japanese print showing three men, believed to be Commander Anan, Commodore Matthew Perry and Captain Henry Adams, who opened up Japan to the west. The text being read may be President Fillmore's letter to Emperor of Japan.

On this day...

June 19:

Events

  • 1917 - RIKEN is installed in Tokyo as an institution that performs Japan's first basic and applied research.
  • 1933 - Tanna Tunnel is completed, in 7.8 km, and was opened in December 1, 1934.
  • 1944 - Mariana offshore battle.
  • 1985 - Investment journal president Shigeki Nakae is arrested.

Births

Selected quote


Selected biography

Felice Beato, c. 1866.
Felice Beato, sometimes known as Felix Beato, was a Corfiote photographer. He was one of the first photographers to take pictures in East Asia and one of the first war photographers. He is noted for his genre works, portraits, and views and panoramas of the architecture and landscapes of Asia and the Mediterranean region. Beato's travels to many lands gave him the opportunity to create powerful and lasting images of countries, people and events that were unfamiliar and remote to most people in Europe and North America. To this day his work provides the key images of such events as the Indian Rebellion of 1857 and the Second Opium War. His photographs represent the first substantial oeuvre of what came to be called photojournalism. He had a significant impact on other photographers, and Beato's influence in Japan, where he worked with and taught numerous other photographers and artists, was particularly deep and lasting. The origins and identity of Felice Beato have been problematic issues, but the confusion over his birth date and birthplace seems now to have been substantially cleared up. Based on an application for a travel permit that he made in 1858, Beato was born in 1833 or 1834 on the island of Corfu.

In the news

19 June 2019 – Japan–North Korea relations
The Japanese coast guard says its patrol boats have been pushing back hundreds of North Korean boats trying to poach in fishing grounds rich with squid off Japan's northern coast. (Japan Today)
17 June 2019 –
Japanese anime developers report that the industry is in crisis, even as its popularity soars in its native country. Among the reasons are low pay, long hours, and a huge shortage of artists – just as its global popularity reaches record levels. (Japan Today)
A man identified as Yujiro Iimori, who allegedly stabbed and robbed a police officer of his gun, is arrested in Osaka, Japan. He presents a mental health certificate as defense. (The Japan Times)
16 June 2019 – Japan–Mongolia relations, Japan–North Korea relations
Foreign Minister of Japan Tarō Kōno seeks cooperation from Mongolia over efforts to settle the issue of past abductions of Japanese nationals by North Korea, as Mongolia maintains friendly ties with Pyongyang. Japan has no ties with North Korea and pushes for further sanctions. (The Japan Times)
15 June 2019 – Japan–United States relations
U.S. President Donald Trump thanks Prime Minister of Japan Shinzō Abe by phone for his effort to mediate between the U.S. and Iran. (The Rahuma Daily)
14 June 2019 – June 2019 Gulf of Oman incident
The president of the Japanese shipping company offers a different account of the attack than that provided by the United States. Yutaka Katada says the Filipino crew of the Kokuka Courageous oil tanker said their vessel was apparently first hit by an artillery shell rather than a mine. The United States said the tanker was attacked by limpet mines and released a video it says shows Iranian special forces removing an unexploded mine from the oil tanker's side. (The Washington Post) (BBC)

Did you know...

Depiction of Naoe Kanetsugu in a rice field, an example of Tanbo art

  • ... that tanbo art (example pictured) is a Japanese practice where giant pictures are created in rice fields?

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

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