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Japan, officially the State of Japan (Japanese: 日本国/Nippon-koku) is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the western Pacific, Japan shares no land borders with any nation, but it does share maritime borders with China, Korea, and the Soviet Union to the west.
With a history spanning over two millennia, Japan is among the oldest nations on Earth. It is perhaps all too-well known for its role in WWII, in which it (as the Empire of Japan) conquered vast swaths of East Asia and the South Pacific, with perhaps its most notorious act being the attack on the United States' Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. Following the bombings of Hiroshima & Nagasaki in August 1945 by the United States, Japan surrendered on September 2 and thus ended the war. Its current constitution was adopted in May 1949, which essentially renounced the nation's ability to wage war, but allowed the maintenance of a self-defense force (the JSDF) in place of a standing army.
The national economy has skyrocketed in recent decades, allowing Japan to become one of the most prosperous nations in the world, one of its major exports becoming large amounts of technology and quality vehicles for the outside world, both of which the nation has become a leader in, through corporations such as Sony Electronics and the Honda, Toyota, Nissan, and Mitsubishi automotive-makers. Located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, Japan is prone to major earthquakes (most recently the 1995 Kobe earthquake) and is dotted with over a hundred active and dormant volcanoes, the most famous of which is the distinctive Mt. Fuji.
Meiji Restoration and Imperial Period (1868-1949)
Greater Desires and Prelude to War (1931-1938)
World War II (1938-1945)
Main Article: World War II (1938-1945)
Allied Occupation and Postwar Era (1946-1954)
Cold War Era (1954-1993)
"Super-Tech" Boom (1959-1996)
Modern Times (1991-Present)
Main Article: Prefectures of Japan