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Description of the country: Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, the East China Sea, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south. It has high-rise-filled cities, imperial palaces, mountainous national parks and thousands of shrines and temples. The word Japan refers to “sun origin”, therefore, this country is known as "Land of the Rising Sun". Japan held onto the title of the world’s second largest economy for more than 40 years from 1968 to 2010.
Geography of the country: There are 6,852 islands in total, including the Nansei Islands, the Nanpo Islands and islets, with 430 islands being inhabited and others uninhabited. About 73% of Japan is mountainous, with a mountain range running through each of the main islands. Japan's highest mountain is Mount Fuji, with an elevation of 3,776 m (12,388 ft). Japan's forest cover rate is 68.55% since the mountains are heavily forested. The main islands, from north to south, are Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu. The country is having a chain of islands (archipelago) with numerous composite volcanos. A nearly continuous series of ocean trenches, volcanic arcs and shifting tectonic plates, the Pacific Ring of Fire accounts for more than 75 percent of the world’s active volcanoes and 90 percent of the world’s earthquakes.
Status of economy, research and development: Japan is a member of the UN, the G7, the G8, and the G20 and is considered a great power. The Japanese economy is forecasted by the Quarterly Tankan survey of business sentiment conducted by the Bank of Japan. Japan is estimated to have a GDP per capita of around $38,490, the 28th highest in 2014. Japan has inadequate natural resources to support its growing economy and large population, and therefore exports goods in which it has a comparative advantage such as engineering-oriented, Research and Development-led industrial products in exchange for the import of raw materials and petroleum. Japan is among the top-three importers for agricultural products in the world next to the European Union and United States in total volume for covering of its own domestic agricultural consumption. Japan today now focuses primarily on high-tech and precision goods, such as optical instruments, hybrid vehicles, and robotics.
Status about the different subjects in which extensive research is going on: Japan is a world leader in fundamental scientific research, having produced twenty-one Nobel laureates in physics, chemistry or medicine and three Fields medalists. Among the 21 Nobel laureates Shinya Yamanaka (Japanese Nobel Prize-winningstem cell researcher), Satoshi Omura (Japanese biochemist) received Nobel prizes in Physiology/medicine. Some of Japan's more prominent technological contributions are in the fields of electronics, automobiles, machinery, earthquake engineering, industrial robotics, optics, chemicals, semiconductors and metals. Japan has emerged at the forefront of research in several fields and has made path-breaking contributions in the global arena. This is the outcome of significant investment in R&D activities and the centers of excellence in the form of more than 30 leading universities, among which University of Tokyo and Kyoto University are top two universities. According to the report by Rehman et al., 2002, Japan is ranked number 2 preceded by U.S.A in publishing highest number of articles in nuclear medicine. Of the total number of articles (7,788), Japan's share of articles in selected nuclear medical journals was 11.4% (889 articles) and ranked 2nd in the world after the USA (2,645 articles). A list of Infectious disease Journals Japan has high impact factor.