Why Study Japan?: An Overview Lecture PSC Political Economy of Japan Professor Margarita Estévez-Abe Map of Japan from : http://www.travelblog.org/Maps/map-of-japan-ja.gif A Quick Virtual Trip to Tokyo, Japan’s Capital http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Izq7Xqi48nA&feature=related A slightly eccentric version! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bygdRMCwC6s&feature=fvw Geography An archipelago in the Pacific, Japan is separated from the east coast of Asia by the Sea of Japan. It is approximately the size of Montana. Japan's four main islands are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Shikoku. The Ryukyu chain to the southwest was U.S.-occupied from 1945 to 1972, when it reverted to Japanese control, and the Kurils to the northeast are Russian-occupied. Three Reasons to Study Japan An Intellectual Reason Japan was the first non-Western country to successfully industrialize. Many Asian countries followed its model. A Practical Reason Still the 2nd largest economy. A major trading partner of the US. Cutting edge technologies in manufacturing, etc. Cultural influence. A Counter-Intuitive Reason You can learn a great deal about the US! Basic Figures about Japan Population (2008 est.): 127,288,419 (growth rate: -0.1%) Ethnicity/race: Japanese 99%; Korean, Chinese, Brazillian, Filipino, other 1% (2004) Religions: Shintoist and Buddhist 84%, other 16% (including Christian 0.7%) Government in Japan Constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary government. Japan has an emperor rather than a king. Current Emperor is Akihito. First monarch: Emperor Jimmu Formation: 660 BC Bi-Cameral Parliament Prime Minister—currently Yukio Hatoyama. Some peculiarities Japan has a special calendar. Each period is named after the emperor who reigned. 1868-1911 Meiji Period 1912-1925 Taisho Period 1926-1988 Showa Period 1989-Present Heisei Period Japan’s Economy Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2007 est.): $4.29 trillion; per capita $33,600. Real growth rate: 2.1%. Inflation: 0%. Unemployment: 4%. The 2nd largest economy GDP wise. 3rd largest GDP/PPP wise Natural resources: negligible mineral resources, fish. Exports: $665.7 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.): transport equipment, motor vehicles, semiconductors, electrical machinery, chemicals. Imports: $571.1billion f.o.b. (2007 est.): machinery and equipment, fuels, foodstuffs, chemicals, textiles, raw materials. Japan’s Major trading partners U.S., China, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Australia, Saudi Arabia, UAE. A major shift in the line-up of its top trading partners in recent years. (The rise of China.) Logistics Take a look at the syllabus. How to get the readings. Class assignments? Any questions?