The economic power of Japan
Japan is a great economic power. The country has experienced constant growth in its economy for many years. As in Germany, there was talk of a so-called economic miracle. Today Japan is still an economic powerhouse, but is now struggling with difficulties.
Japan’s economic centers
Japan has two major economic centers. This is on the one hand the region around Tokyo and on the other hand the area around the cities of Osaka, Nara and Kyoto.
Agriculture in Japan
Since Japan is very mountainous, only 15 to 20 percent of the land can be used as arable land. The state protects Japanese agriculture by imposing high tariffs on products imported from abroad. The construction industry, which would like to build new houses and factories on the same land, competes with agriculture.
Since there are too few areas, terraces are being created in the mountain slopes where agriculture is only possible. Rice is one of them, and Japan even exports a little rice. Over half of the agricultural area in Japan is rice fields.
Barley, oats, corn, wheat, sugar cane and various vegetables are also grown. Fishing is also important for the Japanese economy, and many people live from it. There is only a small amount of cattle breeding in Japan. Why? There is just not enough space.
High speed train
The Japanese high-speed train connects the widely separated economic regions. It also creates a connection to the south and the north. The name of this train is Shinkansen. It drives up to 320 kilometers an hour. He is considered very safe and very punctual. The first route between Tokyo and Osaka was opened as early as 1964. Lines are still under construction and in planning.
Japan and the water
As a country located in Asia according to petsinclude, Japan has a lot of water, on the one hand fresh water due to the high rainfall and on the other hand salt water due to its island location. The “sea area” belonging to Japan is twelve times as large as the actual national territory. This area covers 4.5 million square kilometers. The sea and the associated fishing are very important for Japan. 12 percent of the world’s fishery products come from Japan.
The Japanese are also leaders in shipbuilding. Japan has the second largest merchant fleet in the world after Greece. The sea thus determines the country’s external borders. But here there is always a dispute. Apart from hard coal, there are no natural resources in Japan.
Japan between the US and China
Japan’s biggest problem now, like many other countries, is getting caught between the fronts of the US-China trade war. Both countries are important to the prosperity and security of Japan. The USA guarantees the security of the country and is also the second largest trading partner. But China is the largest trading partner and also a neighbor of Japan. So it is said not to disappoint either the United States or China. This is not an easy situation for Japan to solve.
Reconstruction and severe setback
In the period after World War II, Japan grew just like Germany. This growth went up and down until the 80s of the last century. Japan thus borrowed heavily and was not able to recover until the turn of the millennium.
There was a big shock on March 11, 2011, when an earthquake that triggered a tsunami damaged the Fukushima nuclear power plant.
There are still three border conflicts with neighboring countries today. In the north there is a dispute over the southern Kuril Islands, which in 1945 were still occupied by Stalin and never returned to Japan. Japan sees them as part of Japan.
In the west there is a dispute with South Korea over some small rocky islands. And in the south there is a dispute with China and Taiwan over the Senkaku Islands. On the one hand, oil was found here, which every country claims to be allowed to extract. At the same time, these islands are on an important shipping route in the East China Sea. This route also transports oil and natural gas, which Japan depends on because it has almost no mineral resources itself.
Japan today is a constitutional monarchy. The administrative capital is Tokyo and the 1947 constitution is still in force today. As with us, there is a division of powers. The emperor is supposed to stay out of the government, but the tenno, as the emperor is called, is revered by the Japanese people.
Yoshihide Suga as the new Prime Minister of Japan since September 2020
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe had to resign in mid-September 2020 for health reasons.He had been the country’s prime minister since 2012. Abe was the longest serving Prime Minister in Japanese history. His successor is called Yoshihide Suga.
What is typically Japanese?
What is actually typically Japanese? Sushi? Friendly people? Riding the subway and heated toilet seats? These are just a few examples of things that are important to the Japanese and therefore also somehow typically Japanese. You can find out more in the little video.