Tourist Information about Japan

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE COUNTRY:

CAPITAL:

Tokyo.

POPULATION:

In Japan there are 126,7 million people (1999), on the main island of Honshu – 101 million on the island of Kyushu – 13.4 million on the island of Shikoku – 4.2 million and on Hokkaido island – 5.7 million people.

Japan’s population is extremely homogeneous in the racial, ethnic, linguistic and religious relations. However there are approx. 600 thousand Koreans, although many of them were born and raised in the Islands, speak Japanese and sometimes Japanese names are. Another minority – this, or burakumin, descendants of the medieval caste, the members of which were engaged in slaughtering, dressing of leather, were the garbage men, clowns and were considered “people of the meanest professions.” Currently, there are about 3 million burakumin.

GEOGRAPHY:

The state total area 377688 sq km, is located in East Asia, located on the 4 large Islands: Kyushu, Shikoku, Honshu, Hokkaido, the Ryukyu Islands and more than 4,000 smaller Islands. On the North it is washed by sea of Okhotsk, in the East – the Pacific ocean, on the South by the Pacific ocean and East China sea, on the West by the Korea Strait and the sea of Japan.

Japanese Islands formed at the intersection of several volcanic island arcs surrounding the Pacific coast of Asia. The Northern island of Hokkaido is located at the intersection of the arc stretching from North-East to South-West and a major North-South strike of the arc, next to the South and includes the main island of the country of Honshu (the so-called “arc of Honshu”). At the southern tip of Honshu is a merge with the two branches of the third arc, which stretches across Honshu from East to West, and its Northern branch (the Tsushima branch) is located North of the Japanese Inland sea, and the South (Shikoku branch) – South. The Japanese Inland sea is an area of subsidence, and usiwausiwa its numerous Islands – the highest fragments of submerged block of land. The southernmost island of Kyushu is located at the intersection of the arc stretching from East to West, and the fourth arch, next to the North-East to South-West and continuing on the Ryukyu Islands and Taiwan.

With the movements of the earth’s crust associated intense volcanic activity on the Japanese Islands. Only Japan has about 200 volcanoes, of which approx. 40 – current. Some high mountains of Japan are volcanoes, the highest of them is mount Fuji (3776 m). Close to both operating, and extinct volcanoes there are thermal springs.

CLIMATE:

Due to large extent of Japan from North to South (from 45° to 22° n) within its territory there are large climatic differences. In General, the climate of Japan is humid, the sea. Total annual precipitation ranges from slightly less than 1000 mm in the East of Hokkaido to 3800 mm on some mountain ranges in the Central Honshu. The number of days with liquid precipitation varies from 130 in some areas of southern Japan to 235 in the North-West Honshu. Snow happen throughout Japan, but in the South – just a few days, and in the North-West of the country – within 95 days.

LANGUAGE:

Japanese (official), English is widely spoken.

RELIGION:

Shintoism (religious, in which there are about 200 different sects), Buddhism. There are also Christians of the world.

POLITICAL STATUS:

Japan is a constitutional monarchy. The Emperor performs certain ceremonial functions (present on the official celebrations, national holidays). Based on the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers he signs official documents prepared by the government, the laws, international treaties, convene the Parliament session and dissolve the lower house, sets the date of elections to the Parliament, assures the appointment and dismissal of Ministers and other top officials, confirmed the authority of their ambassadors and receives foreign ambassadors, confirms the Declaration of Amnesty, he confers awards and honorary titles. By decision of the Parliament the Emperor appoints the Prime Minister and the last member of the Cabinet and chief justice of the Supreme court. Legally, the Emperor is powerless and deprived of the right to vote in matters of governance. However, his personality remains an important figure, because it is, as the Constitution says, “a symbol of state and unity of the nation”.

TIME:

Ahead of Moscow for 6 hours.

CURRENCY:

Yen. In circulation are banknotes of 10,000, 5000 and 1000 yen, and coins in 500, 100, 50, 10, 5 and 1 yen.

RULES OF ENTRY:

For entry into the country must have a passport and visa. Short-term (up to 90 days) stay as tourists need to confirm the ability to pay the costs (e.g. travellers cheques).

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