Japan Geography

by Kevin R Burns
(Kanagawa, Japan)



Japan geography, it is one of the longest countries in the world. It is amazingly long and skinny. Japanese often say their country is small, however it is larger than many European nations and larger than New Zealand.



The thing about Japan though, is that so much of it is mountainous and uninhabited. So people are concentrated in the valleys, in the few plains, and along the coasts.



Japan Geography: this country is an amazingly long one!

It stretches from the the Northern tip of Hokkaido all the way down to the southern islands of Okinawa. The weather on any given day can be quite different from one location to the next.


Japan Population


The population is going down year on year, as immigration is limited and the birth rate is so low.


Japan Population: how many people live in Japan and where do they live?




How many people live in this long mountainous and where do they live?



Japan is a very long, mountainous country. It is actually amazingly mountainous with mountains running virtually down the center of Japan. A British man once made a documentary highlighting the fact that most of Japan was uninhabited, alpine terrain, where you were very likely to never meet anyone. Around 90% of the country is mountainous.

Yet with about 130 million people, if they don`t live in the mountains, where do they live?

They are crowded into the few plains and along the coast of the country. So the cities are amazingly crowded.

Tokyo is one of the largest cities in the world. I love Tokyo for its energy--the engergy of 15 million people! There is always a lot going on to say the least!



Japan Census Data

Tokyo: 13,000,000

There are more people within 50 kilometres of Tokyo than in ALL of Canada!

Yokohama: 3,580,000

Osaka: 2.6 million

Nagoya: 2.2 million

Sapporo: 1.9 million

Kobe: 1.5 million

Kyoto: 1.5 million

Fukuoka: 1.4 million

Kawasaki: 1.3 million

Saitama: 1.2 million

Hiroshima: 1.15 million

Sendai: 1 million



An Aging Population

Japanese are having few babies. Not enough in fact to replace those who die of old age. It is a huge problem that looms over the future of Japan and affects the planning for the future.

How will we pay for the many social programs that we have now if the older people no longer work. How can a small population of younger people support the old?

Should Japan allow immigration? If so, how? In what way?

Allow skilled workers, unskilled workers, the rich, the educated?

How many immigrants should Japan allow per year?

These are the difficult questions this very insular nation is facing.

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