Participants - Japan

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Presented by: Japan Student Association
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Japan, island nation in East Asia, located in the North Pacific Ocean off the coast of the Asian continent. Japan comprises the four main islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Shikoku, in addition to numerous smaller islands. The Japanese call their country Nihon or Nippon, which means “origin of the sun.” The name arose from Japan's position east of the great Chinese empires that held sway over Asia throughout most of its history. Japan is sometimes referred to in English as the “land of the rising sun.” Tokyo is the country's capital and largest city.

Mountains dominate Japan's landscape, covering 75 to 80 percent of the country. Historically, the mountains were barriers to transportation, hindering national integration and limiting the economic development of isolated areas. However, with the development of tunnels, bridges, and air transportation in the modern era, the mountains are no longer formidable barriers. The Japanese have long celebrated the beauty of their mountains in art and literature, and today many mountain areas are preserved in national parks.

Most of Japan's people live on plains and lowlands found mainly along the lower courses of the country's major rivers, on the lowest slopes of mountain ranges, and along the sea coast. This concentration of people makes Japan one of the world's most crowded countries. Densities are especially high in the urban corridor between Tokyo and Kobe, where 45 percent of the country's population is packed into only 17 percent of its land area. An ethnically and culturally homogeneous nation, Japan has only a few small minority groups and just one major language–Japanese. The dominant religions are Buddhism and Shinto (a religion that originated in Japan). -- quoted from

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