Japan is an island nation in East Asia. The characters that make up Japan’s name mean “sun-origin”, which is why Japan is sometimes referred to as the “Land of the Rising Sun”.
Japan is an archipelago of 6,852 islands. The four largest islands are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Shikoku, which together comprise about ninety-seven percent of Japan’s land area. Japan has the world’s tenth-largest population, with over 127 million people. Honshu’s Greater Tokyo Area, which includes the de facto capital city of Tokyo and several surrounding prefectures, is the largest metropolitan area in the world, with over 30 million residents.
A major economic power, Japan has the world’s third-largest economy by nominal GDP and by purchasing power parity. It is also the world’s fourth-largest exporter and fourth-largest importer. Although Japan has officially renounced its right to declare war, it maintains a modern military with the sixth largest military budget, used for self-defense and peacekeeping roles.
After Singapore, Japan has the lowest homicide rate (including attempted homicide) in the world. According to Japan’s health ministry, Japanese women have the second highest life expectancy of any country in the world. According to the United Nations, Japan also has the third lowest infant mortality rate.