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Japan


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

    • Map references:
      Asia

    • Area:

        total area:
        377,835 sq km

        land area:
        374,744 sq km

        comparative area:
        slightly smaller than California

        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

    • International disputes:
      islands of Etorofu, Kunashiri, Shikotan, and the Habomai group occupied by the Soviet Union in 1945, now administered by Russia, claimed by Japan; Liancourt Rocks disputed with South Korea; Senkaku-shoto (Senkaku Islands) claimed by China and Taiwan

    • Climate:
      varies from tropical in south to cool temperate in north

    • Terrain:
      mostly rugged and mountainous

    • Natural resources:
      negligible mineral resources, fish

    • Land use:

        arable land:
        13%

        permanent crops:
        1%

        meadows and pastures:
        1%

        forest and woodland:
        67%

        other:
        18%

    • Irrigated land:
      28,680 sq km (1989)

    • 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's appetite for fish and tropical timber is contributing to the depletion of these resources in Asia and elsewhere

        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

    • Note:
      strategic location in northeast Asia






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Revised 13-August-1997