Japan Geography 2018


Japan Geography 2018

Page last updated on February 28, 2018

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

Map references:

total: 377,915 sq km
[see also: Area - total country ranks ]
land: 364,485 sq km
[see also: Area - land country ranks ]
water: 13,430 sq km
[see also: Area - water country ranks ]
note: includes Bonin Islands (Ogasawara-gunto), Daito-shoto, Minami-jima, Okino-tori-shima, Ryukyu Islands (Nansei-shoto), and Volcano Islands (Kazan-retto)
country comparison to the world: 63

Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than California
Area comparison map: slightly smaller than California

Land boundaries:
0 km

29,751 km
[see also: Coastline country ranks ]

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
[see also: Maritime claims - territorial sea country ranks ]
contiguous zone: 24 nm
[see also: Maritime claims - contiguous zone country ranks ]
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
[see also: Maritime claims - exclusive economic zone country ranks ]

varies from tropical in south to cool temperate in north
More Climate Details

mostly rugged and mountainous

mean elevation: 438 m
[see also: Elevation - mean elevation country ranks ]
elevation extremes: lowest point: Hachiro-gata -4 m highest point: Mount Fuji 3,776 m

Natural resources:
negligible mineral resources, fish
note: with virtually no natural energy resources, Japan is the world's largest importer of coal and liquefied natural gas, as well as the second largest importer of oil

Land use:
agricultural land: 12.5% arable land 11.7%; permanent crops 0.8%; permanent pasture 0%
[see also: Land use - agricultural land country ranks ]
forest: 68.5%
[see also: Land use - forest country ranks ]
other: 19% (2011 est.)
[see also: Land use - other country ranks ]

Irrigated land:
24,690 sq km (2012)
[see also: Irrigated land country ranks ]

Population - distribution:
all primary and secondary regions of high population density lie on the coast; one-third of the population resides in and around Tokyo on the central plain (Kanto Plain)

Natural hazards:
many dormant and some active volcanoes; about 1,500 seismic occurrences (mostly tremors but occasional severe earthquakes) every year; tsunamis; typhoons
volcanism: both Unzen (1,500 m) and Sakura-jima (1,117 m), which lies near the densely populated city of Kagoshima, have been deemed Decade Volcanoes by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to their explosive history and close proximity to human populations; other notable historically active volcanoes include Asama, Honshu Island's most active volcano, Aso, Bandai, Fuji, Iwo-Jima, Kikai, Kirishima, Komaga-take, Oshima, Suwanosejima, Tokachi, Yake-dake, and Usu

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; following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, Japan originally planned to phase out nuclear power, but it has now implemented a new policy of seeking to restart nuclear power plants that meet strict new safety standards

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
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:
strategic location in northeast Asia; composed of four main islands - from north Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu (the "Home Islands") - and 6,848 smaller islands and islets

NOTE: 1) The information regarding Japan on this page is re-published from the 2018 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Japan Geography 2018 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Japan Geography 2018 should be addressed to the CIA.
2) The rank that you see is the CIA reported rank, which may habe the following issues:
  a) The assign increasing rank number, alphabetically for countries with the same value of the ranked item, whereas we assign them the same rank.
  b) The CIA sometimes assignes counterintuitive ranks. For example, it assigns unemployment rates in increasing order, whereas we rank them in decreasing order

This page was last modified 28-Feb-18
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