Japan – Understanding the Land

Japan is a country that is comprised of over 3,000 islands. It is a modern day juxtaposition of things that seem to be a contradiction in everything we know. This, then, can be both one of its strengths and a weakness. The history and culture of Japan dates back to approximately 30,000BC but is one of the most technologically advanced cultures in the world today. But this isn’t to say that it doesn’t have a weakness or poverty issue.

Japan’s political affiliation is one that is known as a constitutional monarchy. While still ruled by an Emperor, his power is extremely limited. The actual power is held by Japan’s Prime Minister and, subsequently, the elected members of his Diet. The country’s sovereignty is vested within Japan’s people. Japan continues to maintain its close economic, military, and political ties with its main key ally, the United States. It has many other strong political ties such as being a standing member of the United Nations since 1956 has also been a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for a total of 18 years.

A weakness of Japan has been a major pollution problem due to its rapid economic growth that immediately followed World War II. By 1970, environmental plans were put into place to combat the effects. Because of this, Japan has been at the core of developing some of the most environmentally friendly technologies available the world over. Japan is also working constantly to improve conditions for the climate, ranking the world’s 30th best in the Environmental Sustainability Index. The technology that Japan creates isn’t simply limited to environmental technologies, either. Japan boasts the second largest economy in the world, second only to the United States, and third in purchasing power.

One of Japan’s major strengths is in the science and technology field. As one of the world leaders in scientific research, it has been accredited with amazing discoveries in the fields of technology, machinery, and biomedical research. It also is the world’s largest automotive producer and possesses more than half of the industrial robots used for manufacturing. With all of these great things, though, Japan is facing a rapidly aging population that doesn’t have the younger demographic to support it. This is one of the key hot button issues often being debated on how to keep the population from rapid decline. This is also where the poverty lies in Japan. Most of the citizens that are in poverty are of the older generation.