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Japan (Japanese: 日本, Nippon or Nihon, and formally 日本国, Nihonkoku) is an island country in East Asia. It is situated in the northwest Pacific Ocean, and is bordered on the west by the Sea of Japan, while extending from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north toward the East China Sea, Philippine Sea, and Taiwan in the south. Japan is a part of the Ring of Fire, and spans an archipelago of 6852 islands covering 377,975 square kilometers (145,937 sq mi); the five main islands are Hokkaido, Honshu (the "mainland"), Shikoku, Kyushu, and Okinawa. Tokyo is the nation's capital and largest city, followed by Yokohama, Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo, Fukuoka, Kobe, and Kyoto.

Japan is the eleventh most populous country in the world, as well as one of the most densely populated and urbanized. About three-fourths of the country's terrain is mountainous, concentrating its population of 123.2 million on narrow coastal plains. Japan is divided into 47 administrative prefectures and eight traditional regions. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world, with more than 35.6 million residents.

Japan has been inhabited since the Upper Paleolithic period (30,000 BC), though the first written mention of the archipelago appears in a Chinese chronicle (the Book of Han) finished in the 2nd century AD. Between the 4th and 9th centuries, the kingdoms of Japan became unified under an emperor and the imperial court based in Heian-kyō. Beginning in the 12th century, political power was held by a series of military dictators (shōgun) and feudal lords (daimyō) and enforced by a class of warrior nobility (samurai). After a century-long period of civil war, the country was reunified in 1603 under the Tokugawa shogunate, which enacted an isolationist foreign policy. In 1854, a United States fleet forced Japan to open trade to the West, which led to the end of the shogunate and the restoration of imperial power in 1868.

In the Meiji period, the Empire of Japan adopted a Western-modeled constitution and pursued a program of industrialization and modernization. Amidst a rise in militarism and overseas colonization, Japan invaded China in 1937 and entered World War II as an Axis power in 1941. After suffering defeat in the Pacific War and two atomic bombings, Japan surrendered in 1945 and came under a seven-year Allied occupation, during which it adopted a new constitution and began a military alliance with the United States. Under the 1947 constitution, Japan has maintained a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy with a bicameral legislature, the National Diet. (Full article...)

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Circuit TI (Aida)
Circuit TI (Aida)
The 1995 Pacific Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on October 22, 1995 at the TI Circuit, Aida, Japan. It was the 15th race of the 1995 Formula One season. The race, contested over 83 laps, was won by Michael Schumacher for the Benetton team after starting from third position. David Coulthard, who started the Grand Prix from pole position, finished second in a Williams car, with Damon Hill third in the other Williams. Schumacher's win confirmed him as 1995 Drivers' Champion as Hill could not pass Schumacher's points total with only two races remaining. Hill started the race alongside Coulthard on the front row, amidst pressure from the British media for not being "forceful" enough in battles. Schumacher attempted to drive around the outside of Hill at the first corner, but Hill held Schumacher off as Jean Alesi, driving for Ferrari, got past both on the inside line to take second position. As a result, Hill dropped down to third and Schumacher dropped down to fifth behind Gerhard Berger. Schumacher managed to get past Alesi and Hill during the first of three pit stops. This allowed him, on a new set of slick tyres, to close on Coulthard who was on a two-stop strategy. Schumacher opened up a gap of 21 seconds by lapping two seconds faster per lap than Coulthard, so that when his third stop came, he still led the race. (Full article...)

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December 9:

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9 December 2022 –
A Japanese research team of the Yamagata University announces the discovery of 168 new big figures near the Nazca Lines, Peru. (El Mundo)
18 November 2022 – 2021–2022 North Korean missile tests
North Korea fires a suspected intercontinental ballistic missile that lands 200 kilometres off the coast of Japan, within Japan's exclusive economic zone. (Reuters)
18 November 2022 – 2021–2022 inflation surge, Economy of Japan
It is announced that inflation in Japan increased by 3.6% in October, which is the highest level of inflation recorded in the country since 1982. (Al Jazeera)

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TatsuguchiArmy.jpg
Tatsuguchi soon after his induction into the Imperial Japanese Army in 1941 and his initial assignment to the First Imperial Guard Regiment in Tokyo

Paul Nobuo Tatsuguchi (辰口 信夫, Tatsuguchi Nobuo), sometimes mistakenly referred to as Nebu Tatsuguchi (August 31, 1911 – May 30, 1943), was a Japanese soldier and surgeon who served in the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) during World War II. He was killed during the Battle of Attu on Attu Island, Alaska, United States, on May 30, 1943.

A devout Seventh-day Adventist, Tatsuguchi studied medicine and was licensed as a physician in the United States (US). He returned to his native Japan to practice medicine at the Tokyo Adventist Sanitarium, where he received further medical training. In 1941, he was ordered to cease his medical practice and conscripted into the IJA as an acting medical officer, although he was given an enlisted rather than officer rank because of his American connections. In late 1942, Tatsuguchi was sent to Attu, which had been occupied by Japanese forces in June 1942. On May 11, 1943, The United States Army landed on the island, intending to retake American soil from the Japanese. (Full article...)

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Flag of Tochigi Prefecture
Tochigi Prefecture is a prefecture located in the Kantō region on the island of Honshū, Japan. The capital is the city of Utsunomiya. Utsunomiya is famous for its many gyoza specialist shops. Also located in Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture has one of the largest shopping malls in the North Kantō region, Bell Mall. Nikkō, whose ancient Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples UNESCO has recognized by naming them a World Heritage Site, is in this prefecture. Nikkō is approximately one hour by train from Tokyo and approximately 35 km west of the capital Utsunomiya. Other famous parts of Tochigi include a region called Nasu known for onsen and local sake and ski resorts. The Imperial family has a villa in Nasu. Nasu Shiobara is a major Shinkansen station. Another onsen resort is at Kinugawa Onsen. Situated among the inland prefectures of the Northern portion of the Kanto region, Tochigi is contiguous with the four prefectures of Ibaraki, Gunma, Saitama, and Fukushima. The climate of Tochigi may be classified as a humid temperate zone in which there are broad variations in temperature. Winters are arid with dry winds, while summers are humid and punctuated with frequent thunderstorms. The population of Tochigi, as of March 2007, was approximately 2,014,900 and was increasing until 2005. In 2006, the population started to decrease, mirroring that of the nation's population decrease. About 500,000 people live in the prefectural capital city of Utsunomiya, with the remainder dispersed over 14 other cities and 17 towns.

Did you know... – show different entries

A. c. japonica forming a "bee ball" in which two giant hornets (Vespa simillima xanthoptera) are engulfed and are being heated

  • ... that when a Japanese honeybee hive is invaded by a giant hornet scout, the honeybees "bake" the hornet in a ball of about 500 bees (pictured)?
  • ... that Ichitaro Kanie grew Japan's first tomatoes in 1899, founding the ¥157 billion Kagome tomato empire?

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Coordinates: 36°30′N 139°00′E / 36.5°N 139°E / 36.5; 139