377,864 sq. km. (145,902 sq. mi.); slightly smaller than California.
Capital--Tokyo. Other cities--Yokohama, Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo,
Kobe, Kyoto, Fukuoka.
Terrain: Rugged, mountainous islands.
from subtropical to temperate.
Noun and adjective--Japanese.
Population (2006 est.): 127.5 million.
growth rate (2006 est.): -0.02%.
Ethnic groups: Japanese; Korean (0.6%).
Shinto and Buddhist; Christian (about 0.7%).
Health (2003): Infant mortality rate--3.3/1,000.
Life expectancy--males 77 yrs., females 84 yrs.
Work force (67 million,
2003): services--42%; trade, manufacturing, mining, and construction--46%;
agriculture, forestry, fisheries--5%; government--3%.
Type: Constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary government.
May 3, 1947.
Branches: Executive--prime minister (head of government).
Legislative--bicameral Diet (House of Representatives and House of Councillors).
Judicial--civil law system based on the model of Roman law.
subdivisions: 47 prefectures.
Political parties: Liberal Democratic Party (LDP),
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), New Clean Government Party (Komeito), Japan Communist
Party (JCP), Social Democratic Party (SDP).
Suffrage: Universal at 20.
(2005 est.): $4.559 trillion (official exchange rate); $3.902 trillion (PPP).
growth rate (2006 est.): 2.8%.
Per capita GDP (2005 est. PPP): $30,541.
resources: Negligible mineral resources, fish.
vegetables, fruit, milk, meat, silk.
Industry: Types--machinery and
equipment, metals and metal products, textiles, autos, chemicals, electrical and
a country of islands, extends along the eastern or Pacific coast of Asia. The
four main islands, running from north to south, are Hokkaido, Honshu (or the mainland),
Shikoku, and Kyushu. Okinawa Island is about 380 miles southwest of Kyushu. About
3,000 smaller islands are included in the archipelago. In total land area, Japan
is slightly smaller than California. About 73% of the country is mountainous,
with a chain running through each of the main islands. Japan's highest mountain
is the world famous Mt. Fuji (12,385 feet). Since so little flat area exists,
many hills and mountainsides are cultivated all the way to the summits. As Japan
is situated in a volcanic zone along the Pacific depth, frequent low intensity
earth tremors and occasional volcanic activity are felt throughout the islands.
Destructive earthquakes occur several times a century. Hot springs are numerous
and have been developed as resorts.
extremes are less pronounced than in the United States, but the climate varies
considerably. Sapporo, on the northernmost main island, has warm summers and long,
cold winters with heavy snowfall. Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, and Kobe, in central
and western parts of the largest island of Honshu, experience relatively mild
winters with little or no snowfall and hot, humid summers. Fukuoka, on the island
of Kyushu, has a climate similar to that of Washington, DC, with mild winters
and short summers. Okinawa is subtropical.
Japan's population, currently some 128 million, has experienced a phenomenal
growth rate during the past 100 years as a result of scientific, industrial, and
sociological changes, but this has recently slowed because of falling birth rates.
In 2005, Japan's population declined for the first time, two years earlier than
predicted. High sanitary and health standards produce a life expectancy exceeding
that of the United States.
Japan is an urban
society with only about 4% of the labor force engaged in agriculture. Many farmers
supplement their income with part-time jobs in nearby towns and cities. About
80 million of the urban population is heavily concentrated on the Pacific shore
of Honshu and in northern Kyushu. Major population centers include: Metropolitan
Tokyo with approximately 14 million; Yokohama with 3.3 million; Osaka with 2.6
million; Nagoya with 2.1 million; Sapporo with 1.6 million; Kyoto with 1.5 million;
Kobe with 1.4 million; and Kitakyushu, Kawasaki, and Fukuoka with 1.2 million
each. Japan faces the same problems that confront urban industrialized societies
throughout the world: overcrowded cities, congested roads, air pollution, and
rising juvenile delinquency.
Buddhism are Japan's two principal religions. Shintoism is founded on myths and
legends emanating from the early animistic worship of natural phenomena. Since
it was unconcerned with problems of afterlife which dominate Buddhist thought,
and since Buddhism easily accommodated itself to local faiths, the two religions
comfortably coexisted, and Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples often became administratively
linked. Today many Japanese are adherents of both faiths. From the 16th to the
19th century Shintoism flourished.
by the leaders of the Meiji restoration, Shintoism received state support and
was cultivated as a spur to patriotic and nationalistic feelings. Following World
War II, state support was discontinued, and the emperor disavowed divinity. Today
Shintoism plays a more peripheral role in the life of the Japanese people. The
numerous shrines are visited regularly by a few believers and, if they are historically
famous or known for natural beauty, by many sightseers. Many marriages are held
in the shrines, and children are brought there after birth and on certain anniversary
dates; special shrine days are celebrated for certain occasions, and numerous
festivals are held throughout the year. Many homes have "god shelves" where offerings
can be made to Shinto deities.
first came to Japan in the 6th century and for the next 10 centuries exerted profound
influence on its intellectual, artistic, social, and political life. Most funerals
are conducted by Buddhist priests, and many Japanese visit family graves and Buddhist
temples to pay respects to ancestors.
arrived with the first great wave of Chinese influence into Japan between the
6th and 9th centuries. Overshadowed by Buddhism, it survived as an organized philosophy
into the late 19th century and remains today as an important influence on Japanese
thought and values.
introduced into Japan in 1549, was virtually stamped out by the government a century
later; it was reintroduced in the late 1800s and has spread slowly. Today it has
1.4 million adherents, including a relatively high percentage of important figures
in education and public affairs.
the three traditional religions, many Japanese today are turning to a great variety
of popular religious movements normally lumped together under the name "new religions."
These religions draw on the concept of Shinto, Buddhism, and folk superstition
and have developed in part to meet the social needs of elements of the population.
The officially recognized new religions number in the hundreds, and total membership
is reportedly in the tens of millions.
legend maintains that Japan was founded in 600 BC by the Emperor Jimmu, a direct
descendant of the sun goddess and ancestor of the present ruling imperial family.
About AD 405, the Japanese court officially adopted the Chinese writing system.
Together with the introduction of Buddhism in the sixth century, these two events
revolutionized Japanese culture and marked the beginning of a long period of Chinese
cultural influence. From the establishment of the first fixed capital at Nara
in 710 until 1867, the emperors of the Yamato dynasty were the nominal rulers,
but actual power was usually held by powerful court nobles, regents, or "shoguns"
Contact With the
The first recorded contact with the West occurred about 1542, when
a Portuguese ship, blown off its course to China, landed in Japan. During the
next century, traders from Portugal, the Netherlands, England, and Spain arrived,
as did Jesuit, Dominican, and Franciscan missionaries. During the early part of
the 17th century, Japan's shogunate suspected that the traders and missionaries
were actually forerunners of a military conquest by European powers. This caused
the shogunate to place foreigners under progressively tighter restrictions. Ultimately,
Japan forced all foreigners to leave and barred all relations with the outside
world except for severely restricted commercial contacts with Dutch and Chinese
merchants at Nagasaki. This isolation lasted for 200 years, until Commodore Matthew
Perry of the U.S. Navy negotiated the opening of Japan to the West with the Convention
of Kanagawa in 1854.
Within several years,
renewed contact with the West profoundly altered Japanese society. The shogunate
resigned, and the emperor was restored to power. The "Meiji restoration" of 1868
initiated many reforms. The feudal system was abolished, and numerous Western
institutions were adopted, including a Western legal and educational system and
constitutional government along parliamentary lines.
1898, the last of the "unequal treaties" with Western powers was removed, signaling
Japan's new status among the nations of the world. In a few decades, by creating
modern social, educational, economic, military, and industrial systems, the Emperor
Meiji's "controlled revolution" had transformed a feudal and isolated state into
a world power.
Wars With China and Russia
leaders of the late 19th century regarded the Korean Peninsula as a potential
threat to Japan. It was over Korea that Japan became involved in war with the
Chinese Empire in 1894-95 and with Russia in 1904-05. The war with China established
Japan's domination of Korea, while also giving it the Pescadores Islands and Formosa
(now Taiwan). After Japan defeated Russia in 1905, the resulting Treaty of Portsmouth
awarded Japan certain rights in Manchuria and in southern Sakhalin, which Russia
had received in 1875 in exchange for the Kurile Islands. Both wars gave Japan
a free hand in Korea, which it formally annexed in 1910.
War I to 1952
World War I permitted Japan, which fought on the side of
the victorious Allies, to expand its influence in Asia and its territorial holdings
in the Pacific. The postwar era brought Japan unprecedented prosperity. Japan
went to the peace conference at Versailles in 1919 as one of the great military
and industrial powers of the world and received official recognition as one of
the "Big Five" of the new international order. It joined the League of Nations
and received a mandate over Pacific islands north of the Equator formerly held
During the 1920s, Japan progressed
toward a democratic system of government. However, parliamentary government was
not rooted deeply enough to withstand the economic and political pressures of
the 1930s, during which military leaders became increasingly influential.
invaded Manchuria in 1931 and set up the puppet state of Manchukuo. In 1933, Japan
resigned from the League of Nations. The Japanese invasion of China in 1937 followed
Japan's signing of the "anti-Comintern pact" with Nazi Germany the previous year
and was part of a chain of developments culminating in the Japanese attack on
the United States at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941.
years of war, resulting in the loss of 3 million Japanese lives and the atomic
bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan signed an instrument of surrender on
the U.S.S. Missouri in Tokyo Harbor on September 2, 1945. As a result of
World War II, Japan lost all of its overseas possessions and retained only the
home islands. Manchukuo was dissolved, and Manchuria was returned to China; Japan
renounced all claims to Formosa; Korea was occupied and divided by the U.S. and
the U.S.S.R.; southern Sakhalin and the Kuriles were occupied by the U.S.S.R.;
and the U.S. became the sole administering authority of the Ryukyu, Bonin, and
Volcano Islands. The 1972 reversion of Okinawa completed the U.S. return of control
of these islands to Japan.
After the war,
Japan was placed under international control of the Allies through the Supreme
Commander, Gen. Douglas MacArthur. U.S. objectives were to ensure that Japan would
become a peaceful nation and to establish democratic self-government supported
by the freely expressed will of the people. Political, economic, and social reforms
were introduced, such as a freely elected Japanese Diet (legislature) and universal
adult suffrage. The country's constitution took effect on May 3, 1947. The United
States and 45 other Allied nations signed the Treaty of Peace with Japan in September
1951. The U.S. Senate ratified the treaty in March 1952, and under the terms of
the treaty, Japan regained full sovereignty on April 28, 1952.
AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS
Japan is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary
government. There is universal adult suffrage with a secret ballot for all elective
offices. Sovereignty, previously embodied in the emperor, is vested in the Japanese
people, and the Emperor is defined as the symbol of the state.
Government is a parliamentary democracy, with a House of Representatives and a
House of Councillors. Executive power is vested in a cabinet composed of a prime
minister and ministers of state, all of whom must be civilians. The prime minister
must be a member of the Diet and is designated by his colleagues. The prime minister
has the power to appoint and remove ministers, a majority of whom must be Diet
members. The judiciary is independent.
five major political parties represented in the National Diet are the Liberal
Democratic Party (LDP), the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), the New Clean Government
Party (Komeito), the Japan Communist Party (JCP), and the Social Democratic Party
Japan's judicial system, drawn from
customary law, civil law, and Anglo-American common law, consists of several levels
of courts, with the Supreme Court as the final judicial authority. The Japanese
constitution includes a bill of rights similar to the U.S. Bill of Rights, and
the Supreme Court has the right of judicial review. Japanese courts do not use
a jury system, and there are no administrative courts or claims courts. Because
of the judicial system's basis, court decisions are made in accordance with legal
statutes. Only Supreme Court decisions have any direct effect on later interpretation
of the law.
Japan does not have a federal
system, and its 47 prefectures are not sovereign entities in the sense that U.S.
states are. Most depend on the central government for subsidies. Governors of
prefectures, mayors of municipalities, and prefectural and municipal assembly
members are popularly elected to 4-year terms.
The post-World War II years saw tremendous economic
growth in Japan, with the political system dominated by the Liberal Democratic
Party (LDP). That total domination lasted until the Diet Lower House elections
on July 18, 1993, in which the LDP failed for the first time to win a majority.
The LDP returned to power in 1994.
Abe was elected Prime Minister in a Diet vote in September 2006. Abe is the first
Prime Minister to be born after World War II and the youngest Prime Minister since
the war. Abe comes from one of Japan's political families. His grandfather, Nobusuke
Kishi, was elected Prime Minister in 1957 and his father, Shintaro Abe, was a
former foreign minister. Abe took over his father's parliamentary seat after his
death in 1993 and gained national popularity for his firm stance against North
Korea for its abductions of Japanese citizens. Despite a reputation as a conservative
nationalist, Shinzo Abe has taken positive steps to improve relations with South
Korea and China. He visited Beijing and Seoul during his first trip overseas as
Head of State--Emperor Akihito
Prime Minister (Head of
Minister of Foreign Affairs--Taro Aso
to the U.S.--Ryozo Kato
Permanent Representative to the UN--Kenzo Oshima
maintains an embassy
in the United States at 2520 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel:
202-238-6700; fax: 202-328-2187).
industrialized, free market economy is the second-largest in the world. Its economy
is highly efficient and competitive in areas linked to international trade, but
productivity is far lower in protected areas such as agriculture, distribution,
and services. After achieving one of the highest economic growth rates in the
world from the 1960s through the 1980s, the Japanese economy slowed dramatically
in the early 1990s, when the "bubble economy" collapsed, marked by plummeting
stock and real estate prices.
of industrial leadership and technicians, well-educated and industrious work force,
high savings and investment rates, and intensive promotion of industrial development
and foreign trade have produced a mature industrial economy. Japan has few natural
resources, and trade helps it earn the foreign exchange needed to purchase raw
materials for its economy.
economic prospects are considered good, and it has largely recovered from its
worst period of economic stagnation since World War II. Real GDP in Japan grew
at an average of roughly 1% yearly in the 1990s, compared to growth in the 1980s
of about 4% per year. The Japanese economy is now in its longest postwar expansion
after more than a decade of stagnation. Real growth in 2005 was 2.7% and is expected
to reach 2.8% in 2006.
Only 15% of Japan's land is arable. The agricultural economy
is highly subsidized and protected. With per hectare crop yields among the highest
in the world, Japan maintains an overall agricultural self-sufficiency rate of
about 40% on fewer than 5.6 million cultivated hectares (14 million acres). Japan
normally produces a slight surplus of rice but imports large quantities of wheat,
corn, sorghum, and soybeans, primarily from the United States. Japan is the largest
market for U.S. agricultural exports.
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 more than 75% in 1973 to about 57% at present. Other important
energy sources are coal, liquefied natural gas, nuclear power, and hydropower.
Deposits of gold, magnesium, and silver
meet current industrial demands, but Japan is dependent on foreign sources for
many of the minerals essential to modern industry. Iron ore, coke, copper, and
bauxite must be imported, as must many forest products.
labor force consists of some 67 million workers, 40% of whom are women. Labor
union membership is about 12 million.
Japan is the world's second-largest economy and a major economic
power both in Asia and globally. Japan has diplomatic relations with nearly all
independent nations and has been an active member of the United Nations since
1956. Japanese foreign policy has aimed to promote peace and prosperity for the
Japanese people by working closely with the West and supporting the United Nations.
In recent years, the Japanese public has
shown a substantially greater awareness of security issues and increasing support
for the Self Defense Forces. This is in part due to the Self Defense Forces' success
in disaster relief efforts at home, and its participation in peacekeeping operations
such as in Cambodia in the early 1990s and Iraq in 2005-2006. However, there are
still significant political and psychological constraints on strengthening Japan's
security profile. Although a military role for Japan in international affairs
is highly constrained by its constitution and government policy, Japanese cooperation
with the United States through the 1960 U.S.-Japan Security Treaty has been important
to the peace and stability of East Asia. Currently, there are domestic discussions
about possible reinterpretation or revision of Article 9 of the Japanese constitution.
Prime Minister Abe has made revising or reinterpreting the Japanese constitution
a priority of his administration. All postwar Japanese governments have relied
on a close relationship with the United States as the foundation of their foreign
policy and have depended on the Mutual Security Treaty for strategic protection.
While maintaining its relationship with
the United States, Japan has diversified and expanded its ties with other nations.
Good relations with its neighbors continue to be of vital interest. After the
signing of a peace and friendship treaty with China in 1978, ties between the
two countries developed rapidly. Japan extended significant economic assistance
to the Chinese in various modernization projects and supported Chinese membership
in the World Trade Organization (WTO). Japan's economic assistance to China is
now declining. In recent years, however, Chinese exploitation of gas fields in
the East China sea has raised Japanese concerns given disagreement over the demarcation
of their maritime boundary. Prime Minister Abe's October 2006 visits to Beijing
and Seoul helped improve relations with China and South Korea that had been strained
following Prime Minister Koizumi's visits to Yasukuni Shrine. At the same time,
Japan maintains economic and cultural but not diplomatic relations with Taiwan,
with which a strong bilateral trade relationship thrives.
disputes and historical animosities continue to strain Japan's political relations
with South Korea despite growing economic and cultural ties. Japan has limited
economic and commercial ties with North Korea. A surprise visit by Prime Minister
Koizumi to Pyongyang on September 17, 2002, resulted in renewed discussions on
contentious bilateral issues--especially that of abductions to North Korea of
Japanese citizens--and Japan's agreement to resume normalization talks in the
near future. In October 2002, five abductees returned to Japan, but soon after
negotiations reached a stalemate over the fate of abductees' families in North
Korea. Japan strongly supported the United States in its efforts to encourage
Pyongyang to abide by the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and its agreements
with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Japan responded to North Korea's missile
launches and nuclear tests by imposing sanctions and working with the United Nations
Security Council. The U.S., Japan, and South Korea closely coordinate and consult
trilaterally on policy toward North Korea, and Japan participates in the Six-Party
Talks to end North Korea's nuclear arms ambitions.
relations with Russia are hampered by the two sides' inability to resolve their
territorial dispute over the islands that make up the Northern Territories (Southern
Kuriles) seized by the U.S.S.R. at the end of World War II. In August 2006, a
Russian patrol shot at a Japanese fishing vessel, claiming the vessel was in Russian
waters, killing one crewmember and taking three seamen into custody. The stalemate
over territorial issues has prevented conclusion of a peace treaty formally ending
the war between Japan and Russia. The United States supports Japan on the Northern
Territories issue and recognizes Japanese sovereignty over the islands. Despite
the lack of progress in resolving the Northern Territories dispute, however, Japan
and Russia have made progress in developing other aspects of the relationship.
Japan has pursued a more active foreign
policy in recent years, recognizing the responsibility that accompanies its economic
strength. It has expanded ties with the Middle East, which provides most of its
oil, and has been the second-largest assistance donor (behind the U.S.) to Iraq
and Afghanistan. Japan's Ground Self Defense Force completed a successful two-year
mission in Iraq in 2006 and the Diet in October extended the Anti-Terrorism Special
Measures Law which allowed for Japan's Maritime Self Defense Force refueling activities
in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in the Indian Ocean.
increasingly is active in Africa and Latin America--recently concluding negotiations
with Mexico and Chile on an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA)--and has extended
significant support to development projects in both regions. A Japanese-conceived
peace plan became the foundation for nationwide elections in Cambodia in 1998.
Japan's economic engagement with its neighbors is increasing, as evidenced by
the conclusion of an EPA with Singapore and the Philippines, and its ongoing negotiations
for EPAs with Thailand and Malaysia.
The U.S.-Japan alliance is the cornerstone of U.S. security interests
in Asia and is fundamental to regional stability and prosperity. Despite the changes
in the post-Cold War strategic landscape, the U.S.-Japan alliance continues to
be based on shared vital interests and values. These include stability in the
Asia-Pacific region, the preservation and promotion of political and economic
freedoms, support for human rights and democratic institutions, and securing of
prosperity for the people of both countries and the international community as
Japan provides bases and financial
and material support to U.S. forward-deployed forces, which are essential for
maintaining stability in the region. Under the U.S.-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation
and Security, Japan hosts a carrier battle group, the III Marine Expeditionary
Force, the 5th Air Force, and elements of the Army's I Corps. The United States
currently maintains approximately 50,000 troops in Japan, about half of whom are
stationed in Okinawa.
Over the past
decade the alliance has been strengthened through revised Defense Guidelines,
which expand Japan's noncombat role in a regional contingency, the renewal of
our agreement on Host Nation Support of U.S. forces stationed in Japan, and an
ongoing process called the Defense Policy Review Initiative (DPRI). The DPRI redefines
roles, missions, and capabilities of alliance forces and outlines key realignment
and transformation initiatives, including reducing the number of troops stationed
in Okinawa, enhancing interoperability and communication between our respective
commands, and broadening our cooperation in the area of ballistic missile defense.
of these agreements will strengthen our capabilities and make our alliance more
sustainable. After the tragic events of September 11, 2001, Japan has participated
significantly with the global war on terrorism by providing major logistical support
for U.S. and coalition forces in the Indian Ocean.
of the two countries' combined economic and technological impact on the world,
the U.S.-Japan relationship has become global in scope. The United States and
Japan cooperate on a broad range of global issues, including development assistance,
combating communicable disease such as the spread of HIV/AIDS and avian influenza,
and protecting the environment and natural resources. Both countries also collaborate
in science and technology in such areas as mapping the human genome, research
on aging, and international space exploration. As one of Asia's most successful
democracies and its largest economy, Japan contributes irreplaceable political,
financial, and moral support to U.S.-Japan diplomatic efforts. The United States
consults closely with Japan and the Republic of Korea on policy regarding North
Korea. In Southeast Asia, U.S.-Japan cooperation is vital for stability and for
political and economic reform. Outside Asia, Japanese political and financial
support has substantially strengthened the U.S. position on a variety of global
geopolitical problems, including the Gulf, Middle East peace efforts, and the
Balkans. Japan is an indispensable partner on UN reform and the second largest
contributor to the UN budget. Japan broadly supports the United States on nonproliferation
and nuclear issues. The U.S. supports Japan's aspiration to become a permanent
member of the United Nations Security Council.
U.S. economic policy toward Japan is aimed at increasing
access to Japan's markets and two-way investment, stimulating domestic demand-led
economic growth, promoting economic restructuring, improving the climate for U.S.
investors, and raising the standard of living in both the United States and Japan.
The U.S.-Japan bilateral economic relationship--based on enormous flows of trade,
investment, and finance--is strong, mature, and increasingly interdependent. Further,
it is firmly rooted in the shared interest and responsibility of the United States
and Japan to promote global growth, open markets, and a vital world trading system.
In addition to bilateral economic ties, the U.S. and Japan cooperate closely in
multilateral fora such as the WTO, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development,
the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund, and regionally in the Asia-Pacific
Economic Cooperation forum (APEC).
is a major market for many U.S. products, including chemicals, pharmaceuticals,
films and music, commercial aircraft, nonferrous metals, plastics, and medical
and scientific supplies. Japan also is the largest foreign market for U.S. agricultural
products, with total agricultural exports valued at $9.7 billion, excluding forestry
products. Revenues from Japanese tourism to the United States reached nearly $13
billion in 2005.
Though bilateral trade
increased dramatically over the decade, the past year brought sluggish growth
in exports to Japan while imports from Japan decreased slightly. U.S. exports
to Japan reached just over $55.4 billion in 2005, up slightly from 2004 ($54 billion).
U.S. imports from Japan were about $138.1 billion in 2005 ($130 billion in 2004),
up from $118 billion in 2003.
direct investment in Japan reached $78 billion in 2004, up from $73 billion in
2003. New U.S. investment was especially significant in financial services, Internet
services, and software, generating new export opportunities for U.S. firms and
employment for U.S. workers.
U.S. Embassy Officials
Ambassador--J. Thomas Schieffer
Chief of Mission--Joe Donovan
Political Minister-Counselor--Michael Meserve
Consul General--Edward McKeon
Commercial Minister--John Peters
Defense Attache--Capt. Mark Welch, USN
street address and the international mailing address of the U.S.
Embassy in Japan is 10-5 Akasaka 1-chome, Minato-ku, Tokyo (107); tel. 81-3-3224-5000;
fax 81-3-3505-1862. The APO mailing address is American Embassy Tokyo, Unit 45004,
Box 258, APO AP 96337-5004. U.S. Consulates General are in Osaka,
Sapporo, and Naha, and Consulates are in
Fukuoka and Nagoya. The American Chamber
of Commerce in Japan is at 7th floor, Fukide No. 2 Bldg., 1-21 Toranomon 4-chome,
Minato-ku, Tokyo (105). Additional information is available on the U.S. Embassy's
Internet home page: http://tokyo.usembassy.gov/.
AND BUSINESS INFORMATION
The U.S. Department of State's Consular Information
Program provides Consular Information Sheets, Travel Warnings, and Public Announcements.
Consular Information Sheets exist for all countries and include information
on entry requirements, currency regulations, health conditions, areas of instability,
crime and security, political disturbances, and the addresses of the U.S. posts
in the country. Travel Warnings are issued when the State Department recommends
that Americans avoid travel to a certain country. Public Announcements
are issued as a means to disseminate information quickly about terrorist threats
and other relatively short-term conditions overseas that pose significant risks
to the security of American travelers. Free copies of this information are available
by calling the Bureau of Consular Affairs at 202-647-5225 or via the fax-on-demand
system: 202-647-3000. Consular Information Sheets and Travel Warnings also are
available on the Consular Affairs Internet home page: http://travel.state.gov/. Consular
Affairs Tips for Travelers publication series, which contain information on obtaining
passports and planning a safe trip abroad, are available on the Internet and hard
copies can be purchased from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government
Printing Office, telephone: 202-512-1800; fax 202-512-2250.
information concerning Americans traveling abroad may be obtained from the Office
of Overseas Citizens Services at (202) 647-5225. For after-hours emergencies,
Sundays and holidays, call 202-647-4000.
National Passport Information Center (NPIC) is the U.S. Department of State's
single, centralized public contact center for U.S. passport information. Telephone:
1-877-4USA-PPT (1-877-487-2778). Customer service representatives and operators
for TDD/TTY are available Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Time,
excluding federal holidays.
can check the latest health information with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia. A hotline at 877-FYI-TRIP (877-394-8747) and
a web site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel/index.htm
give the most recent health advisories, immunization recommendations or requirements,
and advice on food and drinking water safety for regions and countries. A booklet
entitled Health Information for International Travel (HHS publication number CDC-95-8280)
is available from the U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402, tel.
Information on travel
conditions, visa requirements, currency and customs regulations, legal holidays,
and other items of interest to travelers also may be obtained before your departure
from a country's embassy and/or consulates in the U.S. (for this country, see
"Principal Government Officials" listing in this publication).
citizens who are long-term visitors or traveling in dangerous areas are encouraged
their travel via the State Department's travel registration web site at https://travelregistration.state.gov/
or at the Consular section of the U.S. embassy upon arrival in a country by filling
out a short form and sending in a copy of their passports. This may help family
members contact you in case of an emergency.
Department of State Web Site. Available on
the Internet at http://www.state.gov/, the Department
of State web site provides timely, global access to official U.S. foreign policy
information, including Background Notes and
daily press briefings
along with the directory of key officers
of Foreign Service posts and more.
provides a portal to all export-related assistance and market information offered
by the federal government and provides trade leads, free export counseling, help
with the export process, and more.
a service of the U.S. Department of Commerce, provides authoritative economic,
business, and international trade information from the Federal government. The
site includes current and historical trade-related releases, international market
research, trade opportunities, and country analysis and provides access to the
National Trade Data Bank.