Japan is an East Asian state consisting of numerous islands in the Pacific Ocean. It is well-known for its traditional and contemporary culture, foods and arts. Its main islands are Hokkaido, Shikoku, Honshu, and Kyushu.
Even though Japan’s population growth has shown a negative trend during recent years, its population figures are remarkably high. Its fertility rate, i.e. the number of children born per woman on average, seems quite stable and has been increasing over the last few years. One reason for the high population figures is certainly the high life expectancy and a resulting one third of Japanese people being aged 65 and older.
More and more Japanese have been moving to the cities over the last decade; today, more than 90 percent live in urban areas and metropolises. Only a tiny share of Japan’s GDP is thus generated in the agricultural sector, the vast majority of the Japanese workforce is employed in the services sector, which typically includes tourism, sales and teaching, among other professions - most of which are available in the cities. Japan’s unemployment rate has been steadily decreasing for years now and is expected to settle at around 3 percent - quite low, even for a developed country.
Japan’s main trade partners are China and the United States. The country imports mainly machinery, beef and fossil fuels. Since it is considered an innovative force in consumer electronics and technology, Japan exports mainly goods of this category. Additionally, Japan is one of the leading fishing nations in the world, and recently came under scrutiny for its whale and dolphin hunting.
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