While retaining its time-honored culture, Japan rapidly absorbed Western technology during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. After its defeat in World War II, Japan recovered to become an economic power and a staunch ally of the US.
While the emperor retains his throne as a symbol of national unity, actual power rests in networks of powerful politicians, bureaucrats, and business executives. The economy experienced a major slowdown starting in the 1990s following three decades of unprecedented growth.
Varies from tropical in south to cool temperate in north.
Eastern Asia, island chain between the North Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan, east of the Korean Peninsula.