Fact Sheet & Country Note on Japan
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Fact Sheet & Country Note on Japan

I. General                     

Official Name

Japan (Nihon or Nippon in Japanese which means ‘Origin of Sun’).



Standard Time

GMT + 9 hours


Land Territory

3,77,915 sq. kms. (61st largest in area)


Long and irregular coast line of about 33,889 km.


Japan known as the ‘Land of Rising Sun’ is a part of a long chain of mountains running from South East Asia to Alaska. It comprises of over six thousand islands. It has long rocky coastline with many small and excellent harbours, numerous valleys, rivers and lakes. Mountainous and hilly areas account for over 75% of total area with 532 mountains over 2,000 meters high. Mt. Fuji is the highest mountain rising up to 3776 meters. Being located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, Japan is prone to tremors and earthquakes.


Predominantly temperate, it is marked by four distinct seasons with pronounced differences in the North and South. Northern Japan has long and harsh winter and relatively cool summers. Central Japan has cold short winter and cool humid summer.

Main Islands

Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu which account for over 90% of total area.

Major regions

Traditionally, there are 8 regions: Hokkaido, Tohoku, Kanto, Chubu, Kansai, Chugoku, Shikoku, and the Kyushu and Ryukyu Islands.

Main Cities



City Population (in millions)


Tokyo (capital) 9.3

Yokohama 3.7

Osaka 2.7

Nagoya 2.3

Sapporo 1.9

Fukouka 1.5

Kobe 1.5

Kyoto 1.4


Total Prefectures

(Administrative division)




Major Prefectures with population (2016)


Name of Prefecture Population (in millions)

Tokyo 13.6

Kanagawa 9.1

Osaka 8.8

Aichi 7.5

Saitama 7.2


Greater Tokyo Area constitutes 28.3% of the total population; making it the world’s most populous metropolitan area.

Population and key demographic factors

(2015 census)

Population: 126.976 million

Male population: 48.65 %

Female population: 51.34%


Birth rate: 7.9

Death rate :10.2

Population growth rate: -0.7

Aging population:

Nearly 26% of the population is over 65 years of age


13% of the population is aged 75 & above.


Japan’s population is projected to drop to around 86.7 million in 2060 with people aged 65 & above making up nearly 40% of the total.

Population Density

336 Persons per sq. kms. –40th in the world

Fertility rate

2014 - 1.42

2015- 1.46

2016 – 1.42

2017 – 1.42

2018 – 1.42

(Note: the fertility rate is well below the 2.07 mark needed to keep the population from declining)

Population Growth

. As on 1 October 2017, the population decreased by 227,000 (0.18%) from the previous year marking an annual decline of 372,000.

Life Expectancy at Birth (years)

Male – 81.1 and Female – 87.1 years (2018)


Shintoism (51%), Buddhists (43%), Christians (1%), Others (5%)

Neighbouring Countries

Russia, North Korea, South Korea, China, Philippines, Pacific Islands, and the US.

Political System

Japan is a constitutional monarchy. The Emperor is the symbol of the State and of the unity of people. He performs his constitutional duties on the advice and with the approval of the cabinet. Japan follows parliamentary democracy with separation of legislative, executive and judicial branches. The term of the government is four years. It may be terminated earlier if the Cabinet dissolves the House of Representatives. The Cabinet headed by Prime Minister is responsible to the Parliament (Diet) consisting of the House of Representatives (Lower House – 465 seats) and the House of Councillors (Upper House – 242 seats). Voting is by universal adult (18 years old and above) suffrage.

Major Political Parties

House of Representatives - 465 seats


Liberal Democratic Party


The Constitutional Democratic Party


Party of Hope




Japanese Communist Party


Nippon Ishin (Japan Innovation Party)


Social Democratic Party




Total Seats

465 (47*)


Note: Elections to the Lower House were held on 22 Oct 2017. The new Cabinet was sworn on 02 October 2018 after the LDP President re-election held on September 20 in which PM Abe won against Mr Shigeru Ishiba for a new 3-year term. Incumbent president Shinzō Abe was running for re-election after a rule change in 2017 that allowed him to run for a third term. PM Abe replaced all but six key members of his Cabinet in an Oct. 2 reshuffle. Among 19 Cabinet members named to join Abe's new, fourth Cabinet, 12 will be serving for the first time. Ms Satsuki Katayama is the only female cabinet member.

*Figures in parentheses show the number of women members


House of Councillors- 242 seats (As of July,2017)


Liberal Democratic Party and The Party for Japanese Kokoro

126 (20)

The Democratic Party and The Shin-Ryokufukai

50 (12)


25 (5)

Japanese Communist Party

14 (5)

Nippon Ishin (Japan Innovation Party)

11 (2)

Hope Coalition(Kibou)

6 (3)

Independents Club

4 (2)

Okinawa Whirlwind

2 (1)


4 (0)

Vacant Seats


Total Members

242 (50)


Note: Figures in parentheses show the number of women members



His Majesty Emperor Akihito

Government leaders


Prime Minister

Mr. Shinzo Abe

Deputy Prime Minister, Finance Minister, State Minister for Financial Services

Mr.Taro Aso

Foreign Minister


Mr. Taro Kono

Economy, Trade & Industry Minister

Mr. Hiroshige Seko

Defence Minister

Mr. Takeshi Iwaya

Land, Infrastructure & Transport Minister

Mr. Keiichi Ishii

Chief Cabinet Secretary

Mr. Yoshihide Suga


II. Key Economic Indicators



The economy of Japan is the third largest in the world by nominal GDP, the fourth largest by purchasing power parity and is the world’s second largest developed economy. Japan is the world’s third largest automobile manufacturing country, has the largest electronics goods industry, and is often ranked among the world’s most innovative countries leading several measures of global patent filings. Facing increasing competition from China and South Korea, manufacturing in Japan today now focuses primarily on high-tech and precision goods, such as optical instruments, hybrid vehicles, and robotics. Besides the Kantō region, the Kansai region is one of the leading industrial clusters and manufacturing centres for the Japanese economy. Japan is the world’s largest creditor nation, generally running an annual trade surplus and having a considerable net international investment surplus.

GDP Per Capita FY 2016

US $39,149


GDP Growth Rate in FY2017

1.7% (Nominal); 1.6 % (Real)

GDP (Nominal)

548.665 trillion Yen ($ 4.94 trillion) (FY2017-18)

GDP (Real)

533.003 trillion Yen ($ 4.80 trillion) (FY2017-18)


Inflation rate

2.7% in 2014*

0.8% in 2015

-0.1% in 2016

0.5% in 2017

1.3% in August 2018

(Source: Statistics Bureau, Ministry of internal Affairs and Communications, Govt. of Japan, * In April, 2014, consumption tax was increased from 5% to 8%.)

Unemployment rate

3.1% (CY 2016)

2.8% (CY 2017)

2.4% ( August 2018)

Foreign Exchange Reserves

$ 1.260 trillion ( September 2018)


$ 709.13 billion (FY2013)

$ 684.85 billion (FY2014)

$ 616.08 billion (FY2015)

$ 660.15 billion (FY2016)

$ 713.76 billion (FY2017)


$ 846.20 billion (FY2013)

$ 770.54 billion (FY2014)

$ 624.40 billion (FY2015)

$ 622.67 billion (FY2016)

$ 691.35 billion (FY2017)

Total trade

$ 1555.33 billion (FY2013)

$ 1455.39 billion (FY2014)

$ 1240.48 billion (FY2015)

$ 1282.83 billion (FY2016)

$ 1405.11 billion (FY2017)

Trade Deficit

$ -137.07 billion (FY2013)

$ -85.69 billion (FY2014)

$ -8.32 billion (FY2015)

$ 37.48 billion (FY2016)

$ 22.41 billion (FY2017)

Total Public Debt

$ 9.79 trillion 198% of GDP (FY2017 government provisional)

(converted on the rate of exchange rate at $1=JPY111.06)

Major Export Destinations

(CY 2017)

USA (19.3 %), China (19%), South Korea (7.6%), Taiwan (5.8%), Hong Kong (5%), Thailand (4.2%), Singapore (3.2%), Germany (2.7%), Australia (2.3%), Vietnam (2.2%)

Major Import Sources


China (24.5%), USA (10.7%), Australia (5.8%), South Korea (4.2%), Saudi Arabia (4.1%), Taiwan (3.8%), Germany (3.5%), Thailand (3.4%), UAE (3.1%), Indonesia (3.0%)

Major Items of Exports

Motor vehicles, semiconductors, iron & steel products,

electronic integrated circuits, power generating machinery, plastic, scientific & optical equipment, organic chemicals and electrical measuring & controlling instruments.

Major Items of Imports

Petroleum products, LNG, clothing & accessories, medical products, telecommunications equipment, semiconductors, electronic integrated circuits, computers & parts, coal and scientific & optical equipment.

Japan’s Major Industries

Motor Vehicles, Electronic Goods, Machinery & Machine Tools, Steel & Non-Ferrous Metals, Ships, Chemicals, Textiles, Processed Food





Indian Origin/Permanent Resident

Total: 547

Indian Expatriates


Total: 30,048

Indian Organizations







Government Organizations



Indian Associations registered with EoI


January 2019