Japan, Ancient and Modern
Japan is an island nation consisting of 4 major island and many smaller ones, an archipelago that has sustained one of the world's most innovative and productive peoples for thousands of years. It is a land of geological wonders and a population that is the longest lived on Earth. Militaristic and an adversary of the United States during World War II, today Japan is a pacifist nation, a strong ally of the US and a major economic force in the global economy. The history of Japan is one of unique challenge and innovation coupled with an opening to the west, modernization and the creation of a huge national economy that today ranks #3 in the world after the US and China. Japan, although a small island nation, is among the leading nations on Earth and is a party to all major negotiations and summit meetings of world leaders.