Japan is an island country in northeastern Asia between the North Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan. The country consists of 6,852 islands, including four large main islands. The area of Japan is 377,944 square kilometers, approximately the size of Germany and Switzerland combined. Japan’s population is more than 126 million (2015 estimate), and its capital is Tokyo, the center of Japanese politics and culture.

War and preparations for war have played major roles in Japanese history, shaping Japanese society and its state, and defining relations with other nations. Japan’s early feudal system created a warrior class that battled to expand the power and influence of clans, to protect the autonomy of their estates, and ultimately to create a unified state system. Japan successfully ...

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