Located in the Pacific Ocean's northwest Pacific Ocean, Japan is an island nation in East Asia. It is bounded on the west by the Sea of Japan, and it stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south, with the Sea of Okhotsk as its northernmost point. Japan is an empire of 6852 islands spanning 377,975 square kilometres (145,937 square miles), and its five major islands are Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu, and Okinawa. Japan is a member of the Ring of Fire and has an area of 377,975 square kilometres (145,937 square miles). In addition to Tokyo, other important cities in Japan include Yokohama, Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo, Fukuoka, Kyoto, and Yokohama-Kobe.
Japan is the world's eleventh-most populous nation, and it is also one of the most densely inhabited and urbanised countries in the world. The country's topography is hilly to the extent that its population of 125.36 million people is concentrated on small coastal plains. Japan is split into 47 administrative prefectures and eight traditional regions, each with its own language and customs. With a population of more than 37.4 million people, the Greater Tokyo Region is the world's most populated metropolitan area.
Japan is a major world power and a member of several international organisations, including the United Nations (since 1956), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the Group of Seven countries. Despite the fact that it has renounced its authority to declare war, the nation retains Self-Defense Forces that are among the world's most powerful armies in terms of numbers. Following World War II, Japan witnessed unprecedented development as part of an economic miracle, rising to become the world's second-largest economy by 1990. As of 2021, the country's economy is the third-largest in terms of nominal GDP and the fourth-largest in terms of purchasing power parity. Japan, a worldwide powerhouse in the automotive and electronics sectors, has made major contributions to science and technology throughout the course of its history. In the Human Development Index, Japan is ranked "extremely high," indicating that it has one of the world's longest life expectancies, despite the fact that the country's population is declining. Japan's culture is well-known across the globe, and this includes its art, food, music, and popular culture, which includes the country's well-known comic, animation, and video game industries, among other things.