Japan Facts, Statistics and Information
Population: 127 million people (2010, 10th largest country in the world by population)
Total area: 145,920 sq. miles (377,930 sq. km, 61st largest country by total land area, one ahead of Germany (137,882 sq. miles) and slightly smaller than California (163,696 sq. miles))
Capital city: Tokyo (population: 13 million (city), 32.5 million people (metro area); The Tokyo metropolitan area is roughly 50 percent larger than Seoul, South Korea, the world’s second largest metropolitan area with a population of 20.5 million people.)
Largest Japanese cities (by population, from most to fewest people): Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo, Kobe, Kyoto, Fukuoka, Kawasaki, Saitama, Hiroshima, Sendai, Kitakyushu, Chiba
Ethnic groups: Japanese (approx. 98.5% of population), Koreans (0.5%), Chinese (0.4%), Other (0.6%)
Language: Japanese (prominent dialects include Kansai, Osaka, Kyoto, Tohoku, other)
Climate and weather: Japan’s climate ranges from humid continental on the northern island of Hokkaido to humid subtropical on parts of Honshu south to Okinawa Prefecture on the Ryukyu islands.
UNDP Human Development Index (HDI): 0.884 (2010, 11th in the world)
GDP per capita (International $, PPP): $32,554 (2009)
Life expectancy at birth: 83.2 years (world’s longest life expectancy)
Geography of Japan
Japan is an archipelago of some 6,852 islands located in a volcanic zone on the Pacific Ring of Fire. A nearly continuous series of ocean trenches, volcanic arcs and shifting tectonic plates, the Pacific Ring of Fire accounts for more than 75 percent of the world’s active volcanoes and 90 percent of the world’s earthquakes.Japan’s four main islands, Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku, make up 97 percent of the country’s total land area. Honshu is home to Tokyo and many of Japan’s other largest cities, including Yokahama, Osaka, Nagoya, Kobe, Kyoto, Kawasaki, Saitama, Hiroshima and Sendai.Hokkaido, the second largest Japanese island and northernmost prefecture, accounts for nearly a quarter of Japan’s arable land. Hokkaido leads Japan’s other 46 prefectures in the production of seafood and a host of agricultural products, including soybeans (the key ingredient for tofu and all things miso), wheat, corn, beef and raw milk. Sapporo, Hokkaido’s capital and largest city, hosts the annual Sapporo Snow Festival, which regularly draws more than 2 million visitors to the spectacular exhibition of some 400 snow and ice sculptures.Kyushu, the third largest and most southern of Japan’s four main islands, is the site of Japan’s most active volcano, Mt. Aso, and several cities with important historical, political and commercial significance, including Nagasaki, Kagoshima and Fukuoka.
Japan’s Economy, Business and Development
Japan is the world’s third largest economy, having ceded the second spot to China in 2010. Since the collapse of the property bubble in 1989, Japan has faced extended periods of economic stagnation, deflation and relatively high unemployment, at least compared to the nearly full employment Japanese companies managed to sustain for much of the post-WWII era. Among other issues, Japan’s economic performance has been constrained by weak domestic demand and a rigid labor market that has limited risk taking and entrepreneurial activity.Despite Japan’s challenging domestic economic environment, many Japanese companies have continued to perform well on the world stage. As of 2011, Japan counted 68 companies in the Fortune/CNN Money Global 500 ranking of the world’s largest corporations. Japanese companies in the top 100 of the Fortune ranking include: Toyota Motor, Hitachi, Honda Motor, Nissan Motor, Panasonic, Sony and Toshiba. Japan’s corporate sector has continued to push the technology envelope in fields such as robotics, medical devices, clean energy, satellite communications and spacecraft, water processing and other high tech industries.
Toyota became the world’s largest car company in 2009, before losing a bit of ground to unprecedented product recalls. Nintendo’s innovative Wii marked a virtual revolution in the large, global market for gaming and family entertainment products.
Japanese Society, Language and Culture
Japanese society is strikingly homogenous. Ethnic Japanese account for 98.5 percent of the country’s sizeable population. While different areas of Japan, particularly the central Kansai region encompassing Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe, are known for having distinctive, colorful local dialects, the whole country essentially speaks the same language.Traditional Japanese society and culture stress the values of harmony, consensus decision-making and social conformity. “The nail that sticks out gets hammered down” is a common Japanese saying and guideline of social behavior.
Japan’s Aging, Shrinking Population:
Japan’s population has been aging and shrinking at an alarming rate due to the combination of a disproportionately large elderly population, one of the lowest fertility rates of any developed, OECD country and minimal net immigration. Japan’s fertility rate of roughly 1.2 children born for every Japanese woman is well below the replacement level of 2.1 children per woman that is needed to maintain the existing population level. By 2050, the population of Japan has been forecasted to contract by more than 25 percent to about 95 million people.
Natural Resources, Energy and Nuclear Power
Japan relies on imports and nuclear power to meet a large majority of its energy needs due to the lack of a domestic supply of many critical natural resources. As a result of these resource constraints and the country’s aggressive environmental goals for reducing climate change-enducing CO2 emissions, Japan has invested heavily in nuclear power. As of March 2011, Japan obtained 30 percent of its electricity from the country’s 54 nuclear reactors. The map below shows the locations of Japan’s nuclear reactors and power facilities. (Click on the image to see a full-size map.)
Study Abroad in Japan
Opportunities abound in the Land of the Rising Sun. Whether you are studying on one of Japan's four major islands (Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, or Shikoku), or exploring one of the other 4,000 islands comprising the archipelago, you will find a study abroad experience as unique as Japan's aggregation of traditional and modern (falling somewhere between the busy Tokyo streets and the nearby zen gardens).
Japan is a prosperous nation - the second largest economy in the world - but is much more than advanced technology or fancy electronics. From the postcard-perfect sights of Mt. Fuji to your first cup of sake to the dizzying speeds of the bullet train, Japan is a student's dream destination!
View of Kyoto at sunrise
One can apply to language school, college and university even only to study Japanese language in Japan. All of them will have their own set of rules and regulations as well as they differ in fees and the level of study one can go for. A Nepalese student can choose any of the institutions that fit to them.
A Nepalese student who has completed his/her 12 years of total formal education can apply for four sessions in a year (January/ April/ July/ October).
A Nepalese student who has completed SLC or his/her 10 years of total formal education can apply for only two academic sessions (April/October).
A Nepalese student who has completed his/ her graduation/ post graduation can apply to university (research /special study of Japanese language for two academic sessions (April/ October).
One can apply for short term Japanese language course (3 months to maximum 6 months).
For studying in Japan Nepalese students can apply for two kinds of visas:
a) Pre- college visa
b) College student visa
Both of these visas have their own characteristics. For example: Pre-college visa is issued for at least 6 months and for the maximum period of 1 year whereas college visa is issued for at least 1 year and for the maximum period of 2 years. However, there is no problem in extending visa throughout the time one is studying in Japan. One has to pay only 4 thousand Yen for 1 renewal.
For students who have only completed SLC or his/her 10 years of formal education can apply for Pre-college visa only. Other students can apply for both pre-college visa and student visa. International Students only studying Japanese language can study for maximum of 2 years whatever the visa he/she has applied for. Then after, the students have to transfer either to professional college or university.
There are two types of Visa; i. College Visa and ii. Pre-College Visa
1. College Visa
2. Pre-College Visa
Important Things for Nepalese students:
Japan is a very different experience especially for Nepalese students. Japanese, despite being at the pinnacle of physical comfort, follow their culture and tradition with equal enthusiasm and importance.
In fact, for the initial 1-2 year Nepalese students go to Japan for Japanese language study. They can only enter to Bachelor's Master's or to any other professional studies after that. Therefore, students from non Khanji nations (Khanji means the written language of Japan, China and Korea) should put their special efforts in studying Japanese Language during the language training. Generally, Nepalese students looking for employment opportunities in Japan after studies should better go for technical or engineering studies. Students wanting to either stay in Japan or return back to Nepal for business should better study management or economics.
Besides, there are many other subjects available in Japan which is relevant to Nepal. One has to choose any subject to study based on his/her institution and capability. Generally, it's not mandatory that you pursue the same study you were doing.
Visa Application Days & Hours
Days: Monday to Friday
Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Visa application an dcollection time:
Days: Monday to Friday
Hours: 2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Citizens of other countries
Foreign nationals who are traveling to Nepal as a tourist are requested to apply for their visas in their respective countries’ diplomatic mission/consular office of Japan.
Indian nationals are requested to submit “Certificate of Registration as Indian National” issued by the Indian Embassy in Nepal at the time of application along with other required documents.
NOTE: OTHER SPECIFIC VISA INQUIRIES SHOULD BE MADE DIRECTLY TO THE CONSULAR DIVISION OF THE EMBASSY OF JAPAN.
Number of days required for acquiring VISA
The number of days for the issuance of visa varies depending on the nature of application. The visa process usually takes about one week.In the case of applications that require additional inquiries, it could take two to three months or even longer, so please allow plenty of leeway.
(Note: Applicants are requested to apply for visa at least two weeks prior to the date of departure.)