Note: In parliamentary elections on December 16, 2012, Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) won an overwhelming majority, returning the party to power after three years as the opposition. Former prime minister Shinzo Abe was returned to his old job on December 26 and named a new cabinet the same day.

Image 89

Political Status: Constitutional monarchy established May 3, 1947; under multiparty parliamentary system.

Area: 145,850 sq. mi. (377,750 sq. km).

Population: 135,210,095 (2012E—UN); 127,368,088 (2012E—U.S. Census).

Major Urban Centers (2005C): TOKYO (8,490,000), Yokohama (3,580,000), Osaka (2,629,000), Nagoya (2,215,000), Sapporo (1,881,000), Kobe (1,525,000), Kyoto (1,475,000), Fukuoka (1,401,000), Kawasaki (1,327,000), Saitama (1,176,000), Hiroshima (1,154,000), Sendai (1,025,000).

Official Language: Japanese.

Monetary Unit: Yen (market rate November 5, 2012: 80.30 yen = $1US).

Sovereign: Emperor TSUGUNOMIYA AKIHITO; ascended the throne on January 7, 1989, on the ...

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