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Japan Geography 1999

    Location: Eastern Asia, island chain between the North Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan, east of the Korean Peninsula

    Geographic coordinates: 36 00 N, 138 00 E

    Map references: Asia

    total: 377,835 sq km
    land: 374,744 sq km
    water: 3,091 sq km
    note: includes Bonin Islands (Ogasawara-gunto), Daito-shoto, Minami-jima, Okino-tori-shima, Ryukyu Islands (Nansei-shoto), and Volcano Islands (Kazan-retto)

    Area—comparative: slightly smaller than California

    Land boundaries: 0 km

    Coastline: 29,751 km

    Maritime claims:
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    territorial sea: 12 nm; between 3 nm and 12 nm in the international straits—La Perouse or Soya, Tsugaru, Osumi, and Eastern and Western Channels of the Korea or Tsushima Strait

    Climate: varies from tropical in south to cool temperate in north

    Terrain: mostly rugged and mountainous

    Elevation extremes:
    lowest point: Hachiro-gata -4 m
    highest point: Fujiyama 3,776 m

    Natural resources: negligible mineral resources, fish

    Land use:
    arable land: 11%
    permanent crops: 1%
    permanent pastures: 2%
    forests and woodland: 67%
    other: 19% (1993 est.)

    Irrigated land: 27,820 sq km (1993 est.)

    Natural hazards: many dormant and some active volcanoes; about 1,500 seismic occurrences (mostly tremors) every year; tsunamis

    Environment—current issues: air pollution from power plant emissions results in acid rain; acidification of lakes and reservoirs degrading water quality and threatening aquatic life; Japan is one of the largest consumers of fish and tropical timber, contributing to the depletion of these resources in Asia and elsewhere

    Environment—international agreements:
    party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertication, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
    signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol

    Geography—note: strategic location in northeast Asia

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)