Expats in Japan

Expats in JapanJapan: An Overview

Japan's name, Nippon or Nihon in Japanese, means ‘sun-origin’, hence the byname ‘Land of the Rising Sun.’ (The name in English is probably derived from Cantonese Yat-boon, via Italian.) Japan is situated in the north-west Pacific Ocean and is an archipelago of 6,852 islands, with the four largest being Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku. Japan has the world's 10th largest population but only the 62nd largest land area which, combined with having a particularly mountainous central region, leads to the country being very densely populated. The Greater Tokyo Area (including the cities of Yokohama, Kawasaki, Saitama, and Chiba) is the largest metropolitan area in the world, with more than 30 million people.

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The earliest known habitation of the Japanese archipelago dates back to 30,000 BC, with the first written mention of the country being found in the Chinese 'Book of Han' (a historical text finished in AD 111). Japan has been ruled by an Emperor since 660 BC, though this role has varied between that of a fully empower emperor and a symbolic one. Between 1192 and 1867, during the country's feudal period, the de facto rulers of Japan were the Shoguns. This was followed by a period, from 1889 to 1947, when the Emperor held all sovereign power, and then the modern period, following the dissolution of the Empire of Japan, where the Emperor's power has been purely ceremonial.


Country Name: Japan
Coordinates: 35°83'N 137°95'E
Capital: Tokyo
Capital Coordinates: 35°41'N 139°46'E
Other Main Cities: Yokohama, Osaka, Nagoya
Population: 126659683
Area: 377944
Official Language(s): Japanese
Ethnic Group(s): 98.5% Japanese, 0.5% Korean, 0.4% Chinese, 0.6% other
Demonym: Japanese
Currency: Yen, ¥, JPY
GDP: $4.866 trillion
Time Zone: JST (UTC+9)
International Dialling Code: 81
Internet TLD: .jp
Electricity Voltage: 100 Volts AC (50Hz)





Moving to Japan

If you are considering moving to Japan or are soon to depart, you can find helpful information and advice in the Expat Briefing dedicated Japanese section including; details of immigration and visas, Japanese forums, Japanese event listings and service providers in Japan.


Living in Japan

From your safety to shoppingliving in Japan can yield great benefits as well as occasional drawbacks.  Find your feet and stay abreast of the latest developments affecting expats in Japan with relevant news and up-to-date information.


Working in Japan

Working in Japan can be rewarding as well as stressful, if you don't plan ahead and fulfill any legal requirements. Find out about visas and passports, owning and operating a company in Japan, and general Japanese culture of the labour market.