Japan Geography

Eastern Asia, island chain between the North Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan, east of the Korean Peninsula
Geographic coordinates
36 00 N, 138 00 E
total: 377,835 sq km
note: includes Bonin Islands (Ogasawara-gunto), Daito-shoto, Minami-jima, Okino-tori-shima, Ryukyu Islands (Nansei-shoto), and Volcano Islands (Kazan-retto)
water: 3,091 sq km
land: 374,744 sq km
Area - comparative
slightly smaller than California
Land boundaries
0 km
29,751 km
Maritime claims
contiguous zone: 24 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM; between 3 NM and 12 NM in the international straits - La Perouse or Soya, Tsugaru, Osumi, and Eastern and Western Channels of the Korea or Tsushima Strait
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
varies from tropical in south to cool temperate in north
mostly rugged and mountainous
Elevation extremes
lowest point: Hachiro-gata -4 m
highest point: Fujiyama 3,776 m
Natural resources
negligible mineral resources, fish
Land use
arable land: 12.13%
permanent crops: 1.01%
other: 86.86% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land
26,790 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards
many dormant and some active volcanoes; about 1,500 seismic occurrences (mostly tremors) every year; tsunamis; typhoons
Environment - current issues
air pollution from power plant emissions results in acid rain; acidification of lakes and reservoirs degrading water quality and threatening aquatic life; Japan is one of the largest consumers of fish and tropical timber, contributing to the depletion of these resources in Asia and elsewhere.

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