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 Japan is located in Asia in the North Pacific Ocean. 127,338,621 people live on a group of islands covering 377,930 km2. There are 6352 islands, and 70% of Japan's territory is covered by mountains.
Japan was inhabited as early as the 14,000–18,000 years ago which is the beginning of the Jomon (cord marked pottery) period that lasted until 300 BCE . During the subsequent Yayoi period (300 BCE - 250 ad), the agriculture of rice developed, Yayoi craft specialists made bronze ceremonial bells  (dotaku) , mirrors, and weapons . Japan is first mentioned in a Chinese script 'Book of Han'  from the 1st Century.  From the 12th century until 1868 , Japan was a closed country ruled by successive feudal military shoguns who ruled in the name of the Emperor.  The last Shogunate period was Edo period established by Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1603, and it was characterized by economic growth, strict social order, isolationist foreign policies, a stable population, popular enjoyment of arts and culture, recycling of materials, and sustainable forest management. It was a sustainable and self-sufficient society which was based on the principles of complete utilization of finite resources. In 1853,  US naval fleet pressurized Japan to open its borders for trade. The Meiji period after 1868 saw the creation of Primary schools, secondary schools and universities in 1872 . In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, victories in the First Sino-Japanese war, the Russo-Japanese war and the First World war allowed Japan to expand its empire during a period of increasing militarism. The Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937 expanded into World War II when  Japan attacked the American Army Base  on the island of Pearl Harbor.Japan surrendered in August 1945 after the US airforce dropped two atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In 1947, it adopted a democratic constitution. The Allied Occupation ended with the Treaty of San Francisco  in 1952 and Japan was granted membership in the United Nations in 1956. Japan later achieved rapid growth in modern technologies to become one of the leading world economies.
The Japanese script is known as Kangi, The Kangi /nippon/ that make up Japan's name mean "sun origin", and it is often called the "Land of the Rising Sun" - you can see it at the top of the stamp. 9.1 million people live in Tokyo the capital city, the greater Tokyo area has 35 million inhabitants. More than 99 percent of the population speaks Japanese as their first language.


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