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Archipelago off the northeast coast of Asia, ruled since 1947 by the Nippon-koku

Japan (Japanese: 日本; Nippon or Nihon; formally 日本国 Nippon-koku or Nihon-koku, lit. "State of Japan") is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian mainland and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and China in the southwest. The kanji that make up Japan's name mean "sun origin", and it is often called the "Land of the Rising Sun". Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago consisting of about 6,852 islands. The four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku, which make up about ninety-seven percent of Japan's land area and often are referred to as home islands. The country is divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions, with Hokkaido being the northernmost prefecture and Okinawa being the southernmost one. The population of 127 million is the world's tenth largest. Japanese people make up 98.5% of Japan's total population. About 9.1 million people live in Tokyo, the capital of Japan.

Geographical type: Archipelago

Latitude: 35° N — Longitude: 136° E

Area: 377,972 km²

ISO 3166-2 code: JP

Birthplace of

Sadako Sasaki, in Yamaguchi, on 7 Jan 1943
George H. Smith, George H. Smith, on 10 Feb 1949

Deathplace of

Sadako Sasaki, in Hiroshima, on 25 Oct 1955

Measures of Freedom

Human Freedom Index [PDF], The Human Freedom Index 2023: A Global Measurement of Personal, Civil, and Economic Freedom
2021: 8.40, Rank: 16, Personal freedom: 8.83, Economic freedom: 7.79
Japan | Freedom House, Freedom in the World 2024
2016: Status: Free, Aggregate Score: 96, Political Rights: 1, Civil Liberties: 1
In September 2015, Prime Minister Shinzō Abe's governing Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) passed security legislation that permits the country's self-defense forces to aid allies that come under attack. The legislation, to take effect in 2016, ushered in a fundamental reinterpretation of Japan's constitution, which previously had been viewed as permitting the use of force only in cases of self-defense. The measure prompted significant opposition in the parliament and inspired mass protests.
Level of Economic Freedom, Economic Freedom of the World
2014: 7.42, Rank: 40


10 Things You Never Knew About Orwell's 1984, by Anna Mathews, 13 Jul 2017
Ten brief items that most people are unlikely to know about Orwell and his novel
In addition to borrowing a piece of Russian propaganda, Orwell also borrowed some Japanese propaganda for his novel. The 'Thought Police' are based on the Japanese wartime secret police who literally arrested Japanese citizens for having 'unpatriotic thoughts.' Their official name was the Kempeitai, and they officially named their pursuit the 'Thought War.'
Examining Reagan's Record on Free Trade, by Sheldon Richman, The Wall Street Journal, 10 May 1982
Analyzes several actions taken by the Reagan administration that belie Mr. Reagan's alleged pro-free trade stance
Mr. Reagan said of the automakers' hard times:
Japan is part of the problem ... If Japan keeps on doing everything it's doing ... obviously there's going to be what you call protectionism.
... [T]he administration has accelerated its provocation of trade warfare with ... Japan over autos, airline service and high-technology products ... Throughout the debate on how to slow imports from Japan, Mr. Reagan professed allegiance to free trade. Yet the Japanese officials finally agreed to "voluntary" quotas when Mr. Reagan threatened to sign a Senate bill to impose harsher restrictions.
The Final Secret of Pearl Harbor, by John T. Flynn, Oct 1945
Written shortly after the release of the U.S. Army and Navy reports on the Pearl Harbor attack, Flynn claims it was the result of "three incredible blunders" and that President Roosevelt "personally managed the whole crisis"
Japan's ruthless policy of conquest had brought her into deep water. ... One party – the militarists – was for seizing the Dutch East Indies which would solve the supply problem. But that would mean war with England and – almost certainly – with the United States. The Counselor of the American Embassy in Tokyo had so informed the Japanese Foreign Office. Nevertheless the extremists were for the desperate try. The other party – the moderates, led by the Japanese Premier Konoye – was for making the best terms possible with the United States and getting out of the China affair as best they could.
Harry Elmer Barnes as Revisionist of the Cold War, by Murray N. Rothbard, Harry Elmer Barnes: Learned Crusader, 1968
Contrasts Court Intellectuals with revisionists and the narrow with the broad revisionists, and then discusses Harry Elmer Barnes' contributions as a broad revisionist of the Cold War
One of Barnes' most important contributions ... came in the spring of 1958, when he published ... the best single article on ... the real reasons for dropping the A-bombs on Japan. Barnes was here the only writer ... to make use of the highly significant MacArthur memorandum to F.D.R. of January 20, 1945. This forty-page memorandum explicitly set forth the terms of an authentic Japanese peace offer which were virtually identical with the final surrender terms that we accepted from the Japanese seven months later–at the cost of countless needlessly expended lives, Japanese and American alike.
How Franklin Roosevelt Lied America Into War, by William Henry Chamberlin, Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, 1953
Excerpted from chapter 8, "The Bankruptcy of a Policy", of the Harry Elmer Barnes anthology; describes several actions by Roosevelt and his administration which contradicted his campaign pledges "to keep our country out of war"
The freezing of Japanese assets in the United States on July 25, 1941. This step ... amounted to a commercial blockade of Japan. ... When the Japanese Prime Minister, Prince Fumimaro Konoye, appealed for a personal meeting with Roosevelt to discuss an amicable settlement in the Pacific, this appeal was rejected, despite the strong favorable recommendations of the American ambassador to Japan, Joseph C. Grew. ... Hull ... dispatched a veritable ultimatum on November 26, which demanded unconditional Japanese withdrawal from China and from Indochina ...
Protectionism and Unemployment, by Hans F. Sennholz, The Freeman, Mar 1985
Discusses why foreign and domestic trade are both beneficial, mercantilism and neo-mercantilism, the groups wanting tariffs and protectionism, the effects of trade restrictions on labor, the factors affecting industry competitiveness and more
The legislation hit hard at Japanese levels of living by cutting [them] off from Alaskan crude oil ... [U]nder free-trade conditions, [Japan] could be expected to buy some $15 billion annually, which alone would eliminate the [U.S.] merchandise trade deficit with Japan. The Japanese people must import almost all of their oil. In a free world unhampered by trade barriers Alaskan producers would be their least-cost suppliers ... There are 20,000 saw mills in Japan, supplying housing and furnishings for 120 million people, but U.S. legislation passed in 1968 practically bars them from American markets.
The Reagan Record On Trade: Rhetoric Vs. Reality [PDF], by Sheldon Richman, Policy Analysis, 30 May 1988
Analysis of Reagan's stance on free trade and protectionism, contrasting what he and those in his administration said with a lengthy list of actual quotas, tariffs and trade negotiation results
The administration's first major protectionist move was pressuring Japan into accepting so-called voluntary restraints on the export of autos ... [A] tariff was imposed after Japan allegedly violated an agreement to keep microchip prices high—an agreement imposed on the Japanese by the ... administration. When Japan first accepted the agreement, Reagan rejoiced ... One of the many ways [he] embraced trade restrictions was through imposition of a special 45 percent tariff over a five-year period (on top of the regular 5 percent duty) on Japanese heavy motorcycles as a favor to Harley Davidson.
Say's Law and the Keynesian Revolution, by Richard Ebeling, Freedom Daily, Feb 1999
Review of Say's Law and the Keynesian Revolution: How Macroeconomic Theory Lost Its Way (1998) by Steven Kates
And in contemporary Japan, the inflationary boom of a few years ago resulted in misdirected investments in excess of actual market demands for various products. But rather than allow markets in Japan to adjust through bankruptcies and capital investment write-offs, as well as changes in the patterns of labor employment, the Japanese government has attempted to keep unprofitable businesses afloat and workers employed in particular lines of production where there is clearly not enough demand, given the wages Japanese labor unions insist upon.
Truman, A-Bombs, and the Killing of Innocents, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 9 Aug 2013
Written on the 68th anniversary of the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, discusses whether that bombing and the previous one at Hiroshima were really necessary and whether they should be considered war crimes
Greg Mitchell writes, "Hiroshima did contain an important military base, used as a staging area for Southeast Asia, where perhaps 25,000 troops might be quartered. But the bomb had been aimed not at the 'Army base' but at the very center of a city of 350,000, with the vast majority women and children and elderly males." ... And Nagasaki? It, Mitchell writes, "had become a Mitsubishi company town, turning out ships and armaments for Japan's increasingly desperate war effort. Few Japanese soldiers were stationed here, and only about 250 of them would perish in the atomic bombing ..."
Related Topics: Ethics, War, World War II


Interview with Adam Smith [via Edwin West], by E. G. West, The Region, Jun 1994
Professor Edwin G. West stands in for Adam Smith and answers questions from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis banking and policy issues magazine
Smith: It is true that Japan has an "industrial policy," but this amounts to general measures to enhance the environment of industry rather than selective interventions on the European model ... There is one aspect of Japanese policy, however, that conflicts with my principle of natural liberty. Japan has used controls to reduce imports with the apparent aim of reducing workers' living standards in order to devote more national resources to industrial investment ... Insofar as it has succeeded the result has been what I used to call a derangement, but what you now term a misallocation of resources.

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Japan" as of 26 Sep 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.