With a population of approximately 127,417,000, Japan is one of the most remarkable success stories in the post–World War II era. Shifting the focus from war-making to economic progress allowed Japan to become the second major industrial power in the world, outranked only by the United States. Unfortunately, along with industrialization and economic growth, Japan has also become a major environmental polluter. To offset this, the country has also become a leader in antipollution technology. In a 2006 study conducted by Yale University, Japan ranked 14th in environmental performance.

The quality of life in Japan is high, and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Human Development Reports ranks the country 11th in overall quality of life. All Japanese have access to clean water and proper sanitation, ...

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