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

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

Population: 126,641,000 (2018E—World Bank); 126,800,000 (2018E—U.S. Census).

Major Urban Centers (metropolitan area, 2018E—UN): TOKYO (38,000,000), Osaka (20,000,000), Nagoya (10,000,000), Kitakyushu-Fukuoka (5,500,000), Sapporo (1,952,000), Hiroshima (1,196,000), Sendai (1,086,000).

Official Language: Japanese.

Monetary Unit: Yen (market rate October 19, 2018: 112.39 yen = $1US).

Sovereign: Emperor TSUGUNOMIYA AKIHITO; ascended the throne on January 7, 1989, on the death of his father, Showa Emperor MICHINOMIYA HIROHITO.

Heir Apparent: Crown Prince NARUHITO.

Prime Minister: Shinzo ABE (Liberal Democratic Party); elected by the Diet on December 26, 2012, and formally appointed by the emperor on the same day to succeed Yoshihiko NODA (Democratic Party of Japan); reelected on December 14, 2014, and October 22, 2017.

The Country

Situated off the coast ...

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