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Japan is composed of thousands of islands.
75% of the total area is inhabitable, so the Japanese tend to huddle together, creating a very high population density.
 
The archipelago sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, earthquakes are frequent and often devastating.
The magnitude 9.1 quake of 2011 triggered a huge tsunami that knocked out the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant and killed thousands.
 
First humans appeared  some 40.000 year ago and later evolved in the Jomon culture. Around 400 BC settlers from the Asian continent introduced agriculture which kicked of the Yayoi culture.
Since 660 BC Japan is ruled by emperors, but from the13th till 19th century the country was effectively ruled by Shoguns  with their Samurai warriors.

In the 20th century Japan became an aggressive state and invaded large parts of Asia. With the attack on Pearl Harbor it started the war with the USA which ended with the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
 
Today Japan is a prosperous constitutional monarchy with the emperor as head of state.
It is an industrial and fishing based power house with the world`s 3d largest GDP. Of concern are the high debt and the troubled relations with China.
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