Brief Overview of Japanese Economy
The World's 3rd Largest Economy in the Small Islands of Asia
The economy of Japan is the third largest in the world by GDP, and is the world's second largest developed economy. Japan was able to establish and maintain itself as the world's second largest economy from 1978 until 2010, when it was supplanted by China.
Japanese-yen is One of the Most Powerful Global Currency
The Japanese-yen (JPY:¥) is the official currency of Japan. It is the third most traded currency in the foreign exchange market after the U.S. dollar and the euro. It is also widely used as a reserve currency after the U.S. dollar, the euro, and the pound sterling.
The Largest Creditor Nation in the World
Japan is the world's largest creditor nation, generally running an annual trade surplus and having a considerable net international investment surplus. As of 2010, Japan possesses 13.7% of the world's private financial assets (the second largest in the world) at an estimated $14.6 trillion.
One of the Most Successful Industrial Nation with High-technology
Japan is the world's third largest automobile manufacturing country, has the largest electronics goods industry, and is often ranked among the world's most innovative countries leading several measures of global patent filings. As of 2013, 62 of the Fortune Global 500 companies are based in Japan. Facing increasing competition from China, manufacturing in Japan today now focuses primarily on high-tech and precision goods, such as optical instruments, hybrid vehicles, and robotics.
Go to Economic history of Japan (Wikipedia)
Review of Japan's Economic Success (2:47)
The Industry of Japan
Japanese manufacturing and industry is very diversified, with a variety of advanced industries that are highly successful. Industry accounts for 24% of the nation's GDP.
Industry is concentrated in several regions, with the Kanto region surrounding Tokyo, as well as the Kansai region surrounding Osaka and the Tokai region surrounding Nagoya. Other industrial centers include the southwestern part of Honshū and northern Shikoku around the Seto Inland Sea; and the northern part of Kyushu. In addition, a long narrow belt of industrial centers called the Taiheiyo Belt is found between Tokyo and Fukuoka, established by particular industries, that have developed as mill towns.
Japan Produce the Strongest Products in the World
Japan enjoys world’s largest and most technologically advanced development in many fields, including consumer electronics, automobile manufacturing, semiconductor manufacturing, optical fibers, optoelectronics, optical media, facsimile and copy machines, and fermentation processes in food and biochemistry. Japan has more than 250 exporting products which are the No.1 market share in the world. However, many Japanese companies are facing emerging rivals from the U.S.A. and China.
The Finance of Japan
The Tokyo Stock Exchange is the second largest stock exchange in the world by market capitalization, as well as the largest stock market in Asia, with 2,292 listed companies. The Nikkei 225 and the TOPIX are the two important stock market indexes of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The Tokyo Stock Exchange and the Osaka Stock Exchange, merged on January 1, 2013, creating one of the world's largest stock exchanges. Other stock exchanges in Japan include the Nagoya Stock Exchange, Fukuoka Stock Exchange and Sapporo Securities Exchange.
The Infrastructure of Japan
Energy of Japan
About one half of Japan's energy was produced from petroleum, a fifth from coal, and 14% from natural gas. Nuclear power in Japan made a quarter of electricity production. About 84% of Japan's energy is imported from other countries. Japan is the world's largest liquefied natural gas importer, second largest coal importer, and third largest net oil importer. Given its heavy dependence on imported energy, Japan has aimed to diversify its sources. Since the oil shocks of the 1970s, Japan has reduced dependence on petroleum as a source of energy from 77.4% in 1973 to about 43.7% in 2010 and increased dependence on natural gas and nuclear power. Other important energy source includes coal, and hydroelectricity is Japan's biggest renewable energy source. Japan's solar market is also currently booming. Kerosene is also used extensively for home heating in portable heaters, especially farther north area. Many taxi companies run their cars on liquefied natural gas. A recent success towards greater fuel economy was the introduction of mass-produced Hybrid vehicles.
Roadway of Japan
Japan's spending on roads has been very large for small island country. The 1.2 million kilometers of paved road are the 6th longest roadway in the world, and it is major means of transportation. Japan has left-hand traffic. A single network of speed, divided, limited-access highway connects major cities. New and used cars are inexpensive, and the Japanese government has encouraged people to buy hybrid vehicles. Car ownership fees and fuel levies are used to promote energy-efficiency.
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Railway of Japan
Rail transport is a major means of transport in Japan. Dozens of Japanese railway companies compete in regional and local passenger transportation markets. Often, strategies of these enterprises contain real estate or department stores next to stations, and many major stations have major department stores near them. The Japanese cities of Fukuoka, Kobe, Kyoto, Nagoya, Osaka, Sapporo, Sendai, Tokyo and Yokohama all have subway systems. Some 320km/h high-speed bullet trains connect major cities. All trains are known for punctuality, and a delay of 90 seconds can be considered late for train services.
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Airport and Port of Japan
There are 175 total airports in Japan, and flying is a popular way to travel. The largest domestic airport, Tokyo International Airport, is Asia's second busiest airport. The largest international gateways are Narita International Airport (Tokyo area), Kansai International Airport (Osaka/Kobe/Kyoto area), and Chūbu Centrair International Airport (Nagoya area). The largest ports in Japan include the Port of Nagoya, the Port of Yokohama, the Port of Tokyo and the Port of Kobe.