Japan is one of the most developed countries in the world with a thousand-year history, distinctive culture and traditions. This is a country of contrasts: rice-growing rural hinterland and multimillion-dollar Tokyo, Buddhist monks and fashion-obsessed teenagers, solemn religious rituals and the noise of patinko gambling halls, exquisite temple architecture and multi-storey concrete boxes. Japan is located in East Asia, on 6852 islands. The largest are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku, which make up 97% of the entire territory. The Japanese archipelago originates from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north and extends far south to the East China Sea and the island of Taiwan. Despite the relatively small area – 377,944 km2, the country is densely populated. According to 2018 data, 126,225,000 people live here. According to this indicator, small Japan is inferior to huge Russia by only 17.2 million people.
The unofficial name of Japan, often found in the press– is the Land of the Rising Sun. The Japanese themselves widely use the name "Nihon" in everyday life, which translates as "the birthplace of the Sun". The daylight only once, back in 1945, faded over Hiroshima and Nagasaki – two cities that became targets for American atomic bombs that claimed thousands of lives. Thus, Japan today is the only state on the planet against which nuclear weapons have been used. Having survived this terrible tragedy, she was still able to recover, having built a strong economy over the years. In terms of living standards, according to the Human Development Index (HDI), Japan ranks 10th, ahead of Canada, the Republic of Korea and Hong Kong and behind Switzerland, Sweden and Ireland.
In Japan, they are sensitive to historical continuity, which confirms the existence of the institution of the monarchy as a symbol of the unity of the people. Only in this country and nowhere else is the monarch called the emperor, and this position appeared a very long time ago, back in 660 BC. Despite the external conservatism and adherence to traditions, the Japanese are modern and make great strides in the field of high technology, robotics and biomedicine. The government spends fabulous funds on science – 130 billion US dollars a year. More than 700 thousand scientists are involved in various studies. Among them are 13 Nobel laureates, three winners of the Fields Prize and one recipient of the Gauss.
Surprisingly, with such scientific and technological progress and a high level of urbanization, the Japanese manage to preserve the natural environment. Not to mention the rich heritage of antiquity: castles, palaces, monuments, temples have reached our days almost in their original form. Millions of tourists set foot on this ancient land every year, never ceasing to be interested in the history of Japan, sometimes tragic, and admire local attractions.
What is the secret of the success of an island state located, moreover, in an earthquake-prone zone? Every foreigner answers this question in his own way. Some see the basis of prosperity in the peculiarities of the local mentality, others – in an effective management system, and others - in the actual absence of spending on military purposes. I wonder what kind of solution to this phenomenon you will find for yourself when you visit Japan and get to know this peculiar country.