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Japan (JP) is a country located in western pacific. It is a constitutional monearchy however Japan's legislative organ is its bicameral parliament, the National Diet (Kokkai). The Diet consists of a House of Representatives (Lower House or Shūgi-in) containing 480 seats, elected by popular vote every 4 years or when dissolved, and a House of Councillors (Upper House or Sangi'in) of 242 seats, whose popularly-elected members serve six-year terms. There is universal adult (over 20 years old) suffrage, with a secret ballot for all elective offices.
Prefectures & Cities
Prefectures are the 47 sub-national jurisdictions: one "metropolis" (都 to), Tokyo; one "circuit" (道 dō), Hokkaidō; two urban prefectures (府 fu), Osaka and Kyoto; and 43 other prefectures (県 ken) at divide the country much like states in the United States however prefectures has much less control in governmental functions. In Japanese, they are commonly referred to as todōfuken (都道府県). Prefectures are governmental bodies larger than cities, towns, and villages. Each prefecture is led by a directly elected governor and a single-chamber parliament.
After several waves of immigration from the continent and nearby Pacific islands, followed by a heavy importation of culture from China, the inhabitants of Japan experienced a long period of relative isolation from the outside world under the Tokugawa shogunate until the arrival of the "The Black Ships" and the Meiji era. As a result, a culture distinctively different from other Asian cultures developed, and echoes of this persist in contemporary Japan.
The Japanese language has always played a significant role in Japanese culture. Nemawashi, for example, indicates consensus achieved through careful preparation. It reflects the harmony that is desired and respected within Japanese culture. Although the Japanese are better known for their physical comedy outside of Japan, they have intricate humor and jokes. Because this humor relies so heavily on Japanese language, culture, religion, and ethics, it is generally considered to be very difficult to translate.
Japan's industrialized, free-market economy is the world's third-largest purchasing power parity (PPP) after the United States and the People's Republic of China. It is the second-largest by market exchange rates. Its economy is highly efficient and competitive in areas linked to international trade although productivity is lower in areas such as agriculture, distribution, and services.
Government-industry cooperation, a strong work ethic, mastery of high technology, and a comparatively small defense allocation have helped Japan advance with extraordinary speed to become one of the largest economies in the world. Its reservoir of industrial leadership and technicians, well-educated and industrious work force, high savings and investment rates, and intensive promotion of industrial development and foreign trade have produced a mature industrial economy. Japan has few natural resources, and trade helps it earn the foreign exchange needed to purchase raw materials for its economy.
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