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In 1931-32 Japan occupied Manchuria, and in 1937 it launched a full-scale invasion of China. Japan attacked US forces in 1941 – triggering America’s entry into World War II – and soon occupied much of East and Southeast Asia. After its defeat in World War II, Japan recovered to become an economic power and a staunch ally of the US. While the emperor retains his throne as a symbol of national unity, elected politicians – with heavy input from bureaucrats and business executives – wield actual decision-making power. The economy experienced a major slowdown starting in the 1990s following three decades of unprecedented growth, but Japan still remains a major economic power, both in Asia and globally.
15-64 years: 64% (male 40,815,840/female 40,128,235)
65 years and over: 22.9% (male 12,275,829/female 16,658,016) (2011 est.)
conventional short form: Japan
local long form: Nihon-koku/Nippon-koku
local short form: Nihon/Nippon
geographic coordinates: 35 41 N, 139 45 E
time difference: UTC+9 (14 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
over 3,047 m: 6
2,438 to 3,047 m: 45
1,524 to 2,437 m:38
914 to 1,523 m: 29
under 914 m: 25 (2012)
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