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Japan

 It's capital city was in ancient times Edo, which is modern day Kyoto. It's current capital city is
Tokyo.
 Major cities in Japan include Nagasaki, Osaka, Nagoya, Hiroshima, and Fukuoka.
 To the west of Japan lay North and South Korea. Farther west is China. To the south, Taiwan
an the Philippines. To the north, Russia.
 The landscape in Japan is diverse. It is covered with many streams from it's mountain ranges. It
has no deserts, and is generally a very well hydrated land.

 Japan has approximately 127 million people (as of 2013)


 It's currency is the Japanese Yen.
 It's government is a constitutional monarchy, which the power of the Emperor is limited and
given primarily ceremonial duties. The Government is divided into three branches, just like
ours. The Executive, Legislative and Judicial.
 It's military force is called The Japan Self-Defense Forces, or JSDF. They are controlled by
their Ministry of Defense and have 247,000 active personnel with an additional 56,000 reserves
as of 2015.

 It's culture is diverse and extremely interesting. Particularly its religion.


 Religion in Japan is practiced mainly in the form of Shintoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism.
 The people of Japan mostly have a mix of these three religions. For example, more than %90 of
weddings are performed in Shinto ceremonies, while %91 percent of funerals are conducted as
Buddhist ceremonies.
 Their temples are beautiful, and I have always wanted to visit the city of Kyoto to visit them.
 They speak primarily Japanese.
 They have had many artists throughout the ages. Woodblock prints are especially common. Tea
ceremony has become an art there, as well as calligraphy.
 The Japanese enjoy baseball very much, and also martial arts. They play most other sports as
well, but baseball was introduced to them after the war and they have taken a fondness to it.
 Their food is diverse. Rice is a staple, and so is fish. Sushi was invented here.
 Most people go to school here. It is a highly educated country with a complicated educational
system, where students attend school for nearly one purpose - sole purpose of preparing
themselves for their college entry exam.

Current events in Japan have been hectic. The Fukushima reactor meltdown happened in 2011.
This is a huge, complex subject that I follow. Recently, many companies have been developing special
radiation resistant robots to investigate the radioactive meltdown and waste beneath the two reactors.
They have, as of March 3rd, discovered that the radiation in the reaction chamber is 570 seiverts. This
is equal to 57,000 RADs. To put this into perspective, a dosage of radiation between 100-300 RADs is
fatal.
The government and government contracted companies are trying very hard to create a robot
that can withstand the radiation in the chamber. So far, they have not been able to build a single robot
that can last more than 8 minutes within the chamber. Being that the current plan is to use robots to cut
the radioactive slag and material out from the concrete under the reactor and remove it before it seeps
into the groundwater, this is a huge problem. However, every cloud has a silver lining. The urgency
these robots are needed is causing advances in robotics across the board.

Sources:
Experts baffled as robots sent ot clean up Fukushima nuclear site keep dying. By Niamh McIntyre.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/robots-fukushima-nuclear-disaster-dying-probe-clean-up-
tepco-toshiba-reactor-nuclear-radiation-a7612396.html

Japan Self-Defense forces.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan_Self-Defense_Forces

Japanese funeral
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_funeral

My memory from studying Japan for 15 years, having always wanted to teach English as a second
language there.