Japan Economy

Japan Economy - overview

Government-industry cooperation, a strong work ethic, mastery of high technology, and a comparatively small defence allocation (1% of GDP) have helped Japan advance with extraordinary rapidity to the rank of second most technologically powerful economy in the world after the US and third largest economy in the world after the US and China. One notable characteristic of the economy is the working together of manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors in closely-knit groups called keiretsu. A second basic feature has been the guarantee of lifetime employment for a substantial portion of the urban labor force. Both features are now eroding. Industry, the most important sector of the economy, is heavily dependent on imported raw materials and fuels. The much smaller agricultural sector is highly subsidized and protected, with crop yields among the highest in the world. Usually self-sufficient in rice, Japan must import about 50% of its requirements of other grain and fodder crops. Japan maintains one of the world's largest fishing fleets and accounts for nearly 15% of the global catch. For three decades overall real economic growth had been spectacular: a 10% average in the 1960s, a 5% average in the 1970s, and a 4% average in the 1980s. Growth slowed markedly in the 1990s largely because of the aftereffects of overinvestment during the late 1980s and contractionary domestic policies intended to wring speculative excesses from the stock and real estate markets. Government efforts to revive economic growth have met with little success and were further hampered in 2000-02 by the slowing of the US and Asian economies. The crowding of habitable land area and the aging of the population are two major long-run problems. Robotics constitutes a key long-term economic strength, with Japan possessing 410,000 of the world's 720,000 "working robots". Internal conflict over the proper means to reform the ailing banking system will continue in 2003.

Japan Economy - Currency

yen (JPY)
Currency code
JPY
Exchange rates
yen per US dollar - 132.66 (January 2002), 121.53 (2001), 107.77 (2000), 113.91 (1999), 130.91 (1998), 120.99 (1997)
Fiscal year
1 April - 31 March

Japan Economy - Communications

Telephones - land lines
Phone boxes used to be ubiquitous but are slowly disappearing since Japan has an extremely high rate of cellphone penetration. Public phones take either special cards or coins. It is also possible to use foreign calling cards such as AT&T from most phones.
Telephones - mobile cellular
You cannot use GSM phones in Japan (nor CDMA ?), however it is generally possible to rent a cell phone from an operator that has some reciprocal arrangement with your own carrier. Japan does have a 3G (WCDMA or 3GSM) network so if you have a 3G phone then that will work.
Telephone system
general assessment: excellent domestic and international service
domestic: high level of modern technology and excellent service of every kind
international: satellite earth stations - 5 Intelsat (4 Pacific Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean), 1 Intersputnik (Indian Ocean region), and 1 Inmarsat (Pacific and Indian Ocean regions); submarine cables to China, Philippines, Russia, and US (via Guam) (1999)
Television broadcast stations
211 plus 7,341 repeaters
note: in addition, US Forces are served by 3 TV stations and 2 TV cable services (1999)
Internet country code
.jp
Internet Service Providers (ISPs)
73 (2000)
Internet users
56 million (2002)

Japan Economy - Transportation

Railways
total: 23,654 km (15,895 km electrified)
standard gauge: 3,059 km 1.435-m gauge (entirely electrified)
narrow gauge: 77 km 1.372-m gauge (entirely electrified); 20,491 km 1.067-m gauge (12,732 km electrified); 27 km 0.762-m gauge (entirely electrified) (2000)
Highways
total: 1,152,207 km
paved: 863,003 km (including 6,114 km of expressways)
unpaved: 289,204 km (1997 est.)
Waterways
1,770 km approximately
note: seagoing craft ply all coastal inland seas
Pipelines
crude oil 84 km; petroleum products 322 km; natural gas 1,800 km
Ports and harbors
Akita, Amagasaki, Chiba, Hachinohe, Hakodate, Higashi-Harima, Himeji, Hiroshima, Kawasaki, Kinuura, Kobe, Kushiro, Mizushima, Moji, Nagoya, Osaka, Sakai, Sakaide, Shimizu, Tokyo, Tomakomai
Airports
173 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways
total: 141
over 3,047 m: 7
2,438 to 3,047 m: 37
914 to 1,523 m: 27
under 914 m: 32 (2002)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 38
Airports - with unpaved runways
total: 31 31
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 1
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 1 27 (2002)
Heliports
15 (2002)

(Article based on Wikitravel article by Based on work by Brian Kurkoski, Mitch Sako, Paul N. Richter, Rene Malenfant, Evan Prodromou, Ryan, Jose Ramos, Namgay Dorji, David Zentgraf, Bujdos� Attila, Niels, Richard Petersen, Craig Fryer, Sat.K, Ted O'Neill and Yann Forget and Wikitravel user(s) Nightingale, Jpatokal, WindHorse, Maj, Sekicho, Ravikiran r, Littleblackpistol, Cjensen, PierreAbbat, MMKK, Historian, Nzpcmad, KagakuyaSan, Mark, Bijee, InterLangBot, Chris j wood, Nils, Joi, MykReeve, Huttite, Dhum Dhum, �?, Luke, Karen Johnson and CIAWorldFactbook2002. Article used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 1.0.)

Japan

JAPAN

JAPAN DESTINATIONS


Beppu
Fukuoka
Hakodate
Hakone
Himeji
Hiroshima
Kagoshima
Kamakura
Kanazawa
Kansai Airport
Kobe
Kyoto
Matsumoto
Matsuyama
Mt Fuji
Nagano
Nagasaki
Nagoya
Nara
Narita Airport
Nikko
Niseko
Okinawa
Osaka
Sapporo
Shirakawa-go
Takayama
Tokushima
Tokyo
Yamagata
Yokohama

REGIONS
Chubu
Chugoku
Hokkaido
Kansai
Kanto
Kyushu
Shikoku
Tohoku

More Destinations...
Prefectures


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