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China vs. Japan

Introduction

ChinaJapan
Background

China's historical civilization dates from at least 1200 B.C.; from the 3rd century B.C. and for the next two millennia, China alternated between periods of unity and disunity under a succession of imperial dynasties. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the country was beset by civil unrest, major famines, military defeats, and foreign occupation. After World War II, the Chinese Communist Party under MAO Zedong established an autocratic socialist system that, while ensuring China's sovereignty, imposed strict controls over everyday life and cost the lives of tens of millions of people. After 1978, MAO's successor DENG Xiaoping and other leaders focused on market-oriented economic development and by 2000 output had quadrupled. For much of the population, living standards have improved dramatically but political controls remain tight. Since the early 1990s, China has increased its global outreach and participation in international organizations.

In 1603, after decades of civil warfare, the Tokugawa shogunate (a military-led, dynastic government) ushered in a long period of relative political stability and isolation from foreign influence. For more than two centuries this policy enabled Japan to enjoy a flowering of its indigenous culture. Japan opened its ports after signing the Treaty of Kanagawa with the US in 1854 and began to intensively modernize and industrialize. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Japan became a regional power that was able to defeat the forces of both China and Russia. It occupied Korea, Formosa (Taiwan), and southern Sakhalin Island. In 1931-32 Japan occupied Manchuria, and in 1937 it launched a full-scale invasion of China. Japan attacked US forces in 1941 - triggering America's entry into World War II - and soon occupied much of East and Southeast Asia. After its defeat in World War II, Japan recovered to become an economic power and an ally of the US. While the emperor retains his throne as a symbol of national unity, elected politicians hold actual decision-making power. Following three decades of unprecedented growth, Japan's economy experienced a major slowdown starting in the 1990s, but the country remains an economic power. In March 2011, Japan's strongest-ever earthquake, and an accompanying tsunami, devastated the northeast part of Honshu island, killed thousands, and damaged several nuclear power plants. The catastrophe hobbled the country's economy and its energy infrastructure, and tested its ability to deal with humanitarian disasters. Prime Minister Shinzo ABE was reelected to office in December 2012, and has since embarked on ambitious economic and security reforms to improve Japan's economy and bolster the country's international standing.

Geography

ChinaJapan
Location
Eastern Asia, bordering the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea, and South China Sea, between North Korea and Vietnam
Eastern Asia, island chain between the North Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan, east of the Korean Peninsula
Geographic coordinates
35 00 N, 105 00 E
36 00 N, 138 00 E
Map references
Asia
Asia
Area
total: 9,596,960 sq km
land: 9,326,410 sq km
water: 270,550 sq km
total: 377,915 sq km
land: 364,485 sq km
water: 13,430 sq km

note: includes Bonin Islands (Ogasawara-gunto), Daito-shoto, Minami-jima, Okino-tori-shima, Ryukyu Islands (Nansei-shoto), and Volcano Islands (Kazan-retto)

Area - comparative
slightly smaller than the US
slightly smaller than California
Land boundaries
total: 22,457 km
border countries (15): Afghanistan 91 km, Bhutan 477 km, Burma 2129 km, India 2659 km, Kazakhstan 1765 km, North Korea 1352 km, Kyrgyzstan 1063 km, Laos 475 km, Mongolia 4630 km, Nepal 1389 km, Pakistan 438 km, Russia (northeast) 4133 km, Russia (northwest) 46 km, Tajikistan 477 km, Vietnam 1297 km
total: 0 km
Coastline
14,500 km
29,751 km
Maritime claims
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
territorial sea: 12 nm; between 3 nm and 12 nm in the international straits - La Perouse or Soya, Tsugaru, Osumi, and Eastern and Western Channels of the Korea or Tsushima Strait
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
Climate
extremely diverse; tropical in south to subarctic in north
varies from tropical in south to cool temperate in north
Terrain
mostly mountains, high plateaus, deserts in west; plains, deltas, and hills in east
mostly rugged and mountainous
Elevation extremes
mean elevation: 1,840 m
lowest point: Turpan Pendi -154 m
highest point: Mount Everest (highest peak in Asia and highest point on earth above sea level) 8,848 m
mean elevation: 438 m
lowest point: Hachiro-gata -4 m
highest point: Mount Fuji 3,776 m
Natural resources
coal, iron ore, helium, petroleum, natural gas, arsenic, bismuth, cobalt, cadmium, ferrosilicon, gallium, germanium, hafnium, indium, lithium, mercury, tantalum, tellurium, tin, titanium, tungsten, antimony, manganese, magnesium, molybdenum, selenium, strontium, vanadium, magnetite, aluminum, lead, zinc, rare earth elements, uranium, hydropower potential (world's largest), arable land
negligible mineral resources, fish, note, with virtually no natural energy resources, Japan is the world's largest importer of coal and liquefied natural gas, as well as the second largest importer of oil
Land use
agricultural land: 54.7% (2011 est.)
arable land: 11.3% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 1.6% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 41.8% (2011 est.)
forest: 22.3% (2011 est.)
other: 23% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 12.5% (2011 est.)
arable land: 11.7% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 0.8% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 0% (2011 est.)
forest: 68.5% (2011 est.)
other: 19% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land
690,070 sq km (2012)
24,690 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards

frequent typhoons (about five per year along southern and eastern coasts); damaging floods; tsunamis; earthquakes; droughts; land subsidence

volcanism: China contains some historically active volcanoes including Changbaishan (also known as Baitoushan, Baegdu, or P'aektu-san), Hainan Dao, and Kunlun although most have been relatively inactive in recent centuries

many dormant and some active volcanoes; about 1,500 seismic occurrences (mostly tremors but occasional severe earthquakes) every year; tsunamis; typhoons

volcanism: both Unzen (1,500 m) and Sakura-jima (1,117 m), which lies near the densely populated city of Kagoshima, have been deemed Decade Volcanoes by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to their explosive history and close proximity to human populations; other notable historically active volcanoes include Asama, Honshu Island's most active volcano, Aso, Bandai, Fuji, Iwo-Jima, Kikai, Kirishima, Komaga-take, Oshima, Suwanosejima, Tokachi, Yake-dake, and Usu; see note 2 under "Geography - note"

Environment - current issues
air pollution (greenhouse gases, sulfur dioxide particulates) from reliance on coal produces acid rain; China is the world's largest single emitter of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels; water shortages, particularly in the north; water pollution from untreated wastes; coastal destruction due to land reclamation, industrial development, and aquaculture; deforestation and habitat destruction; poor land management leads to soil erosion, landslides, floods, droughts, dust storms, and desertification; trade in endangered species
air pollution from power plant emissions results in acid rain; acidification of lakes and reservoirs degrading water quality and threatening aquatic life; Japan is one of the largest consumers of fish and tropical timber, contributing to the depletion of these resources in Asia and elsewhere; following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, Japan originally planned to phase out nuclear power, but it has now implemented a new policy of seeking to restart nuclear power plants that meet strict new safety standards; waste management is an ongoing issue; Japanese municipal facilities used to burn high volumes of trash, but air pollution issues forced the government to adopt an aggressive recycling policy
Environment - international agreements
party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
note 1: world's fourth largest country (after Russia, Canada, and US) and largest country situated entirely in Asia; Mount Everest on the border with Nepal is the world's tallest peak above sea level

note 2: the largest cave chamber in the world is the Miao Room, in the Gebihe cave system at China's Ziyun Getu He Chuandong National Park, which encloses some 10.78 million cu m (380.7 million cu ft) of volume

note 3: China appears to have been the center of domestication for two of the world's leading cereal crops: millet in the north along the Yellow River and rice in the south along the lower or middle Yangtze River

note 1: strategic location in northeast Asia; composed of four main islands - from north: Hokkaido, Honshu (the largest and most populous), Shikoku, and Kyushu (the "Home Islands") - and 6,848 smaller islands and islets

note 2: Japan annually records the most earthquakes in the world; it is one of the countries along the Ring of Fire, a belt of active volcanoes and earthquake epicenters bordering the Pacific Ocean; up to 90% of the world's earthquakes and some 75% of the world's volcanoes occur within the Ring of Fire

Population distribution
overwhelming majority of the population is found in the eastern half of the country; the west, with its vast mountainous and desert areas, remains sparsely populated; though ranked first in the world in total population, overall density is less than that of many other countries in Asia and Europe; high population density is found along the Yangtze and Yellow River valleys, the Xi Jiang River delta, the Sichuan Basin (around Chengdu), in and around Beijing, and the industrial area around Shenyang
all primary and secondary regions of high population density lie on the coast; one-third of the population resides in and around Tokyo on the central plain (Kanto Plain)

Demographics

ChinaJapan
Population
1,384,688,986 (July 2018 est.)
126,168,156 (July 2018 est.)
Age structure
0-14 years: 17.22% (male 128,270,371 /female 110,120,535)
15-24 years: 12.32% (male 91,443,139 /female 79,181,726)
25-54 years: 47.84% (male 338,189,015 /female 324,180,103)
55-64 years: 11.35% (male 79,340,391 /female 77,857,806)
65 years and over: 11.27% (male 74,277,631 /female 81,828,269) (2018 est.)
0-14 years: 12.71% (male 8,251,336 /female 7,787,234)
15-24 years: 9.63% (male 6,397,995 /female 5,746,140)
25-54 years: 37.28% (male 23,246,562 /female 23,784,273)
55-64 years: 12.01% (male 7,588,597 /female 7,563,245)
65 years and over: 28.38% (male 15,655,860 /female 20,146,914) (2018 est.)
Median age
total: 37.7 years (2018 est.)
male: 36.8 years
female: 38.8 years
total: 47.7 years (2018 est.)
male: 46.4 years
female: 49.2 years
Population growth rate
0.37% (2018 est.)
-0.24% (2018 est.)
Birth rate
12.1 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
7.5 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Death rate
8 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
9.9 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Net migration rate
-0.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Sex ratio
at birth: 1.13 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.16 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.15 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.91 male(s)/female
total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2018 est.)
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.11 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female
total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2018 est.)
Infant mortality rate
total: 11.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
male: 12.2 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 11.4 deaths/1,000 live births
total: 2 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
male: 2.2 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 1.7 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth
total population: 75.8 years (2018 est.)
male: 73.7 years
female: 78.1 years
total population: 85.5 years (2018 est.)
male: 82.2 years
female: 89 years
Total fertility rate
1.6 children born/woman (2018 est.)
1.42 children born/woman (2018 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate
NA
<.1% (2018 est.)
Nationality
noun: Chinese (singular and plural)
adjective: Chinese
noun: Japanese (singular and plural)
adjective: Japanese
Ethnic groups
Han Chinese 91.6%, Zhuang 1.3%, other (includes Hui, Manchu, Uighur, Miao, Yi, Tujia, Tibetan, Mongol, Dong, Buyei, Yao, Bai, Korean, Hani, Li, Kazakh, Dai, and other nationalities) 7.1% (2010 est.)

note: the Chinese Government officially recognizes 56 ethnic groups

Japanese 98.1%, Chinese 0.5%, Korean 0.4%, other 1% (includes Filipino, Vietnamese, and Brazilian) (2016 est.)

note: data represent population by nationality; up to 230,000 Brazilians of Japanese origin migrated to Japan in the 1990s to work in industries; some have returned to Brazil

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS
NA
30,000 (2018 est.)
Religions
Buddhist 18.2%, Christian 5.1%, Muslim 1.8%, folk religion 21.9%, Hindu < 0.1%, Jewish < 0.1%, other 0.7% (includes Daoist (Taoist)), unaffiliated 52.2% (2010 est.)

note: officially atheist

Shintoism 70.4%, Buddhism 69.8%, Christianity 1.5%, other 6.9% (2015 est.)

note: total adherents exceeds 100% because many people practice both Shintoism and Buddhism

HIV/AIDS - deaths
NA
<200 (2017 est.)
Languages
Standard Chinese or Mandarin (official; Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghainese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages (see Ethnic groups entry)

note: Zhuang is official in Guangxi Zhuang, Yue is official in Guangdong, Mongolian is official in Nei Mongol, Uighur is official in Xinjiang Uygur, Kyrgyz is official in Xinjiang Uygur, and Tibetan is official in Xizang (Tibet)

Japanese
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
total: 14 years
male: 14 years
female: 14 years (2015)
total: 15 years
male: 15 years
female: 15 years (2016)
Education expenditures
NA
3.5% of GDP (2016)
Urbanization
urban population: 60.3% of total population (2019)
rate of urbanization: 2.42% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

note: data do not include Hong Kong and Macau

urban population: 91.7% of total population (2019)
rate of urbanization: -0.14% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Drinking water source
improved: urban: 97.5% of population
rural: 93% of population
total: 95.5% of population
unimproved: urban: 2.5% of population
rural: 7% of population
total: 4.5% of population (2015 est.)
improved: urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
unimproved: urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access
improved: urban: 86.6% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 63.7% of population (2015 est.)
total: 76.5% of population (2015 est.)
unimproved: urban: 13.4% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 36.3% of population (2015 est.)
total: 23.5% of population (2015 est.)
improved: urban: 100% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 100% of population (2015 est.)
total: 100% of population (2015 est.)
unimproved: urban: 0% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 0% of population (2015 est.)
total: 0% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - population
26.317 million Shanghai, 20.035 million BEIJING (capital), 15.354 million Chongqing, 12.968 million Guangzhou, 13.396 million Tianjin, 12.129 million Shenzhen (2019)
37.435 million TOKYO (capital), 19.223 million Osaka, 9.532 million Nagoya, 5.54 million Kitakyushu-Fukuoka, 2.912 million Shizuoka-Hamamatsu, 2.668 million Sapporo (2019)
Maternal mortality rate
29 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
5 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight
2.4% (2013)
3.4% (2010)
Health expenditures
5% (2016)
10.9% (2015)
Physicians density
1.79 physicians/1,000 population (2015)
2.41 physicians/1,000 population (2016)
Hospital bed density
4.2 beds/1,000 population (2012)
13.4 beds/1,000 population (2012)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate
6.2% (2016)
4.3% (2016)
Contraceptive prevalence rate
84.5% (2017)
39.8% (2015)

note: percent of women aged 20-49

Dependency ratios
total dependency ratio: 37.7 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 24.3 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 13.3 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 7.5 (2015 est.)
data do not include Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan
total dependency ratio: 64 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 21.3 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 42.7 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 2.3 (2015 est.)

Government

ChinaJapan
Country name
conventional long form: People's Republic of China
conventional short form: China
local long form: Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo
local short form: Zhongguo
abbreviation: PRC
etymology: English name derives from the Qin (Chin) rulers of the 3rd century B.C., who comprised the first imperial dynasty of ancient China; the Chinese name Zhongguo translates as "Central Nation" or "Middle Kingdom"
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Japan
local long form: Nihon-koku/Nippon-koku
local short form: Nihon/Nippon
etymology: the English word for Japan comes via the Chinese name for the country "Cipangu"; both Nihon and Nippon mean "where the sun originates" and are frequently translated as "Land of the Rising Sun"
Government type
communist party-led state
parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Capital
name: Beijing
geographic coordinates: 39 55 N, 116 23 E
time difference: UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

note: China is the largest country (in terms of area) with just one time zone; before 1949 it was divided into five

etymology: the Chinese meaning is "Northern Capital"

name: Tokyo
geographic coordinates: 35 41 N, 139 45 E
time difference: UTC+9 (14 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
etymology: originally known as Edo, meaning "estuary" in Japanese, the name was changed to Tokyo, meaning "eastern capital," in 1868
Administrative divisions

23 provinces (sheng, singular and plural), 5 autonomous regions (zizhiqu, singular and plural), and 4 municipalities (shi, singular and plural)

provinces: Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan, Zhejiang; (see note on Taiwan);

autonomous regions: Guangxi, Nei Mongol (Inner Mongolia), Ningxia, Xinjiang Uygur, Xizang (Tibet);

municipalities: Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai, Tianjin

note: China considers Taiwan its 23rd province; see separate entries for the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau

47 prefectures; Aichi, Akita, Aomori, Chiba, Ehime, Fukui, Fukuoka, Fukushima, Gifu, Gunma, Hiroshima, Hokkaido, Hyogo, Ibaraki, Ishikawa, Iwate, Kagawa, Kagoshima, Kanagawa, Kochi, Kumamoto, Kyoto, Mie, Miyagi, Miyazaki, Nagano, Nagasaki, Nara, Niigata, Oita, Okayama, Okinawa, Osaka, Saga, Saitama, Shiga, Shimane, Shizuoka, Tochigi, Tokushima, Tokyo, Tottori, Toyama, Wakayama, Yamagata, Yamaguchi, Yamanashi
Independence
1 October 1949 (People's Republic of China established); notable earlier dates: 221 B.C. (unification under the Qin Dynasty); 1 January 1912 (Qing Dynasty replaced by the Republic of China)
3 May 1947 (current constitution adopted as amendment to Meiji Constitution); notable earlier dates: 11 February 660 B.C. (mythological date of the founding of the nation by Emperor JIMMU); 29 November 1890 (Meiji Constitution provides for constitutional monarchy)
National holiday
National Day (anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China), 1 October (1949)
Birthday of Emperor NARUHITO, 23 February (1960); note - celebrates the birthday of the current emperor
Constitution
history: several previous; latest promulgated 4 December 1982
amendments: proposed by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress or supported by more than one fifth of the National People’s Congress membership; passage requires more than two-thirds majority vote of the Congress membership; amended several times, last in 2018 (2018)
history: previous 1890; latest approved 6 October 1946, adopted 3 November 1946, effective 3 May 1947
amendments: proposed by the Diet; passage requires approval by at least two-thirds majority of both houses of the Diet and approval by majority in a referendum; note - the constitution has not been amended since its enactment in 1947 (2017)
Legal system
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
chief of state: President XI Jinping (since 14 March 2013); Vice President WANG Qishan (since 17 March 2018)
head of government: Premier LI Keqiang (since 16 March 2013); Executive Vice Premiers HAN Zheng (since 19 March 2018), SUN Chunlan (since 19 March 2018), LIU He (since 19 March 2018), HU Chunhua (since 19 March 2018)
cabinet: State Council appointed by National People's Congress
elections/appointments: president and vice president indirectly elected by National People's Congress for a 5-year term (unlimited terms); election last held on 17 March 2018 (next to be held in March 2023); premier nominated by president, confirmed by National People's Congress
election results: XI Jinping reelected president; National People's Congress vote - 2,970 (unanimously); WANG Qishan elected vice president with 2,969 votes
chief of state: Emperor NARUHITO (since 1 May 2019); note - succeeds his father who abdicated on 30 April 2019
head of government: Prime Minister Shinzo ABE (since 26 December 2012); Deputy Prime Minister Taro ASO (since 26 December 2012)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister
elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; the leader of the majority party or majority coalition in the House of Representatives usually becomes prime minister
Legislative branch
description: unicameral National People's Congress or Quanguo Renmin Daibiao Dahui (maximum of 3,000 seats; members indirectly elected by municipal, regional, and provincial people's congresses, and the People's Liberation Army; members serve 5-year terms); note - in practice, only members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), its 8 allied independent parties, and CCP-approved independent candidates are elected
elections: last held in December 2017-February 2018 (next to be held in late 2022 to early 2023)
election results: percent of vote - NA; seats by party - NA; composition - men 2,238, women 742, percent of women 24.9%
description: bicameral Diet or Kokkai consists of:
House of Councillors or Sangi-in (242 seats; 146 members directly elected in multi-seat districts by simple majority vote and 96 directly elected in a single national constituency by proportional representation vote; members serve 6-year terms with half the membership renewed every 3 years)
House of Representatives or Shugi-in (465 seats; 289 members directly elected in single-seat districts by simple majority vote and 176 directly elected in multi-seat districts by party-list proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms)
elections:
House of Councillors - last held on 10 July 2016 (next to be held in July 2019)
House of Representatives - last held on 22 October 2017 (next to be held by 21 October 2021)
election results:
House of Councillors - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - LDP 55, DP 32, Komeito 14, JCP 6, Osaka Ishin no Kai (Initiatives from Osaka) 7, PLPTYF 1, SDP 1, independent 5
House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - LDP 284, CDP 55, Party of Hope 50, Komeito 29, JCP 12, JIP 11, SDP 2, independent 22
note: the Diet in June 2017 redrew Japan's electoral district boundaries and reduced from 475 to 465 seats in the House of Representatives; the amended electoral law, which cuts 6 seats in single-seat districts and 4 in multi-seat districts, was reportedly intended to reduce voting disparities between densely and sparsely populated voting districts
Judicial branch
highest courts: Supreme People's Court (consists of over 340 judges, including the chief justice and 13 grand justices organized into a civil committee and tribunals for civil, economic, administrative, complaint and appeal, and communication and transportation cases)
judge selection and term of office: chief justice appointed by the People's National Congress (NPC); limited to 2 consecutive 5-year-terms; other justices and judges nominated by the chief justice and appointed by the Standing Committee of the NPC; term of other justices and judges determined by the NPC
subordinate courts: Higher People's Courts; Intermediate People's Courts; District and County People's Courts; Autonomous Region People's Courts; International Commercial Courts; Special People's Courts for military, maritime, transportation, and forestry issues
note: in late 2014, China unveiled a multi-year judicial reform program; progress continued in 2018
highest courts: Supreme Court or Saiko saibansho (consists of the chief justice and 14 associate justices); note - the Supreme Court has jurisdiction in constitutional issues
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court chief justice designated by the Cabinet and appointed by the monarch; associate justices appointed by the Cabinet and confirmed by the monarch; all justices are reviewed in a popular referendum at the first general election of the House of Representatives following each judge's appointment and every 10 years afterward
subordinate courts: 8 High Courts (Koto-saiban-sho), each with a Family Court (Katei-saiban-sho); 50 District Courts (Chiho saibansho), with 203 additional branches; 438 Summary Courts (Kani saibansho)
Political parties and leaders
Chinese Communist Party or CCP [XI Jinping]

note: China has 8 nominally independent small parties controlled by the CCP

Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan or CDP [Yukio EDANO]
Democratic Party of Japan or DPJ [Kohei OTSUKA]
Group of Reformists [Sakihito OZAWA]
Initiatives from Osaka (Osaka Ishin no kai) [Ichiro MATSUI]
Japan Communist Party or JCP [Kazuo SHII]
Japan Innovation Party or JIP [Ichiro MATSUI]
Party of Hope or Kibo no To [Yuichiro TAMAKI]
Komeito [Natsuo YAMAGUCHI]
Liberal Democratic Party or LDP [Shinzo ABE]
Liberal Party [Ichiro OZAWA] (formerly People's Life Party & Taro Yamamoto and Friends or PLPTYF)New Renaissance Party [Hiroyuki ARAI]
Party for Japanese Kokoro or PJK [Masashi NAKANO]Social Democratic Party or SDP [Tadatomo YOSHIDA]The Assembly to Energize Japan and the Independents [Kota MATSUDA]
International organization participation
ADB, AfDB (nonregional member), APEC, Arctic Council (observer), ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), BIS, BRICS, CDB, CICA, EAS, FAO, FATF, G-20, G-24 (observer), G-5, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSMA, MONUSCO, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS (observer), OPCW, Pacific Alliance (observer), PCA, PIF (partner), SAARC (observer), SCO, SICA (observer), UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UN Security Council (permanent), UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
ADB, AfDB (nonregional member), APEC, Arctic Council (observer), ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, CD, CE (observer), CERN (observer), CICA (observer), CP, CPLP (associate), EAS, EBRD, EITI (implementing country), FAO, FATF, G-5, G-7, G-8, G-10, G-20, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAIA (observer), MIGA, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE (partner), Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, PIF (partner), SAARC (observer), SELEC (observer), SICA (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMISS, UNRWA, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US
Ambassador CUI Tiankai (since 3 April 2013)
chancery: 3505 International Place NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 495-2266
FAX: [1] (202) 495-2138
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco
Ambassador Shinsuke SUGIYAMA (since 28 March 2018) (2018)
chancery: 2520 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 238-6700
FAX: [1] (202) 328-2187
consulate(s) general: Anchorage (AK), Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver (CO), Detroit (MI), Honolulu, Houston, Las Vegas (NV), Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville (TN), New Orleans, New York, Oklahoma City (OK), Orlando (FL), Philadelphia, Phoenix (AZ), Portland (OR), San Francisco, Seattle, Saipan (Northern Mariana Islands), Tamuning (Guam)
Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission: Ambassador Terry BRANSTAD (since 12 July 2017)
telephone: [86] (10) 8531-3000
embassy: 55 An Jia Lou Lu, 100600 Beijing
mailing address: PO AP 96521
FAX: [86] (10) 8531-3300
consulate(s) general: Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenyang, Wuhan
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Joseph M. YOUNG (since 20 July 2019)
telephone: [81] (03) 3224-5000
embassy: 1-10-5 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-8420
mailing address: Unit 9800, Box 300, APO AP 96303-0300
FAX: [81] (03) 3505-1862
consulate(s) general: Naha (Okinawa), Osaka-Kobe, Sapporo
consulate(s): Fukuoka, Nagoya
Flag description
red with a large yellow five-pointed star and four smaller yellow five-pointed stars (arranged in a vertical arc toward the middle of the flag) in the upper hoist-side corner; the color red represents revolution, while the stars symbolize the four social classes - the working class, the peasantry, the urban petty bourgeoisie, and the national bourgeoisie (capitalists) - united under the Communist Party of China
white with a large red disk (representing the sun without rays) in the center
National anthem
name: "Yiyongjun Jinxingqu" (The March of the Volunteers)
lyrics/music: TIAN Han/NIE Er

note: adopted 1949; the anthem, though banned during the Cultural Revolution, is more commonly known as "Zhongguo Guoge" (Chinese National Song); it was originally the theme song to the 1935 Chinese movie, "Sons and Daughters in a Time of Storm"

name: "Kimigayo" (The Emperor"s Reign)
lyrics/music: unknown/Hiromori HAYASHI

note: adopted 1999; unofficial national anthem since 1883; oldest anthem lyrics in the world, dating to the 10th century or earlier; there is some opposition to the anthem because of its association with militarism and worship of the emperor

International law organization participation
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)
dragon, giant panda; national colors: red, yellow
red sun disc, chrysanthemum; national colors: red, white
Citizenship
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: least one parent must be a citizen of China
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: while naturalization is theoretically possible, in practical terms it is extremely difficult; residency is required but not specified
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Japan
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Economy

ChinaJapan
Economy - overview

Since the late 1970s, China has moved from a closed, centrally planned system to a more market-oriented one that plays a major global role. China has implemented reforms in a gradualist fashion, resulting in efficiency gains that have contributed to a more than tenfold increase in GDP since 1978. Reforms began with the phaseout of collectivized agriculture, and expanded to include the gradual liberalization of prices, fiscal decentralization, increased autonomy for state enterprises, growth of the private sector, development of stock markets and a modern banking system, and opening to foreign trade and investment. China continues to pursue an industrial policy, state support of key sectors, and a restrictive investment regime. From 2013 to 2017, China had one of the fastest growing economies in the world, averaging slightly more than 7% real growth per year. Measured on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis that adjusts for price differences, China in 2017 stood as the largest economy in the world, surpassing the US in 2014 for the first time in modern history. China became the world's largest exporter in 2010, and the largest trading nation in 2013. Still, China's per capita income is below the world average.

In July 2005 moved to an exchange rate system that references a basket of currencies. From mid-2005 to late 2008, the renminbi (RMB) appreciated more than 20% against the US dollar, but the exchange rate remained virtually pegged to the dollar from the onset of the global financial crisis until June 2010, when Beijing announced it would resume a gradual appreciation. From 2013 until early 2015, the renminbi held steady against the dollar, but it depreciated 13% from mid-2015 until end-2016 amid strong capital outflows; in 2017 the RMB resumed appreciating against the dollar – roughly 7% from end-of-2016 to end-of-2017. In 2015, the People’s Bank of China announced it would continue to carefully push for full convertibility of the renminbi, after the currency was accepted as part of the IMF’s special drawing rights basket. However, since late 2015 the Chinese Government has strengthened capital controls and oversight of overseas investments to better manage the exchange rate and maintain financial stability.

The Chinese Government faces numerous economic challenges including: (a) reducing its high domestic savings rate and correspondingly low domestic household consumption; (b) managing its high corporate debt burden to maintain financial stability; (c) controlling off-balance sheet local government debt used to finance infrastructure stimulus; (d) facilitating higher-wage job opportunities for the aspiring middle class, including rural migrants and college graduates, while maintaining competitiveness; (e) dampening speculative investment in the real estate sector without sharply slowing the economy; (f) reducing industrial overcapacity; and (g) raising productivity growth rates through the more efficient allocation of capital and state-support for innovation. Economic development has progressed further in coastal provinces than in the interior, and by 2016 more than 169.3 million migrant workers and their dependents had relocated to urban areas to find work. One consequence of China’s population control policy known as the "one-child policy" - which was relaxed in 2016 to permit all families to have two children - is that China is now one of the most rapidly aging countries in the world. Deterioration in the environment - notably air pollution, soil erosion, and the steady fall of the water table, especially in the North - is another long-term problem. China continues to lose arable land because of erosion and urbanization. The Chinese Government is seeking to add energy production capacity from sources other than coal and oil, focusing on natural gas, nuclear, and clean energy development. In 2016, China ratified the Paris Agreement, a multilateral agreement to combat climate change, and committed to peak its carbon dioxide emissions between 2025 and 2030.

The government's 13th Five-Year Plan, unveiled in March 2016, emphasizes the need to increase innovation and boost domestic consumption to make the economy less dependent on government investment, exports, and heavy industry. However, China has made more progress on subsidizing innovation than rebalancing the economy. Beijing has committed to giving the market a more decisive role in allocating resources, but the Chinese Government’s policies continue to favor state-owned enterprises and emphasize stability. Chinese leaders in 2010 pledged to double China’s GDP by 2020, and the 13th Five Year Plan includes annual economic growth targets of at least 6.5% through 2020 to achieve that goal. In recent years, China has renewed its support for state-owned enterprises in sectors considered important to "economic security," explicitly looking to foster globally competitive industries. Chinese leaders also have undermined some market-oriented reforms by reaffirming the "dominant" role of the state in the economy, a stance that threatens to discourage private initiative and make the economy less efficient over time. The slight acceleration in economic growth in 2017—the first such uptick since 2010—gives Beijing more latitude to pursue its economic reforms, focusing on financial sector deleveraging and its Supply-Side Structural Reform agenda, first announced in late 2015.

Over the past 70 years, government-industry cooperation, a strong work ethic, mastery of high technology, and a comparatively small defense allocation (slightly less than 1% of GDP) have helped Japan develop an advanced economy. Two notable characteristics of the post-World War II economy were the close interlocking structures of manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors, known as keiretsu, and the guarantee of lifetime employment for a substantial portion of the urban labor force. Both features have significantly eroded under the dual pressures of global competition and domestic demographic change.

Measured on a purchasing power parity basis that adjusts for price differences, Japan in 2017 stood as the fourth-largest economy in the world after first-place China, which surpassed Japan in 2001, and third-place India, which edged out Japan in 2012. For three postwar decades, overall real economic growth was impressive - averaging 10% in the 1960s, 5% in the 1970s, and 4% in the 1980s. Growth slowed markedly in the 1990s, averaging just 1.7%, largely because of the aftereffects of inefficient investment and the collapse of an asset price bubble in the late 1980s, which resulted in several years of economic stagnation as firms sought to reduce excess debt, capital, and labor. Modest economic growth continued after 2000, but the economy has fallen into recession four times since 2008.

Japan enjoyed an uptick in growth since 2013, supported by Prime Minister Shinzo ABE’s "Three Arrows" economic revitalization agenda - dubbed "Abenomics" - of monetary easing, "flexible" fiscal policy, and structural reform. Led by the Bank of Japan’s aggressive monetary easing, Japan is making modest progress in ending deflation, but demographic decline – a low birthrate and an aging, shrinking population – poses a major long-term challenge for the economy. The government currently faces the quandary of balancing its efforts to stimulate growth and institute economic reforms with the need to address its sizable public debt, which stands at 235% of GDP. To help raise government revenue, Japan adopted legislation in 2012 to gradually raise the consumption tax rate. However, the first such increase, in April 2014, led to a sharp contraction, so Prime Minister ABE has twice postponed the next increase, which is now scheduled for October 2019. Structural reforms to unlock productivity are seen as central to strengthening the economy in the long-run.

Scarce in critical natural resources, Japan has long been dependent on imported energy and raw materials. After the complete shutdown of Japan’s nuclear reactors following the earthquake and tsunami disaster in 2011, Japan's industrial sector has become even more dependent than before on imported fossil fuels. However, ABE’s government is seeking to restart nuclear power plants that meet strict new safety standards and is emphasizing nuclear energy’s importance as a base-load electricity source. In August 2015, Japan successfully restarted one nuclear reactor at the Sendai Nuclear Power Plant in Kagoshima prefecture, and several other reactors around the country have since resumed operations; however, opposition from local governments has delayed several more restarts that remain pending. Reforms of the electricity and gas sectors, including full liberalization of Japan’s energy market in April 2016 and gas market in April 2017, constitute an important part of Prime Minister Abe’s economic program.

Under the Abe Administration, Japan’s government sought to open the country’s economy to greater foreign competition and create new export opportunities for Japanese businesses, including by joining 11 trading partners in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Japan became the first country to ratify the TPP in December 2016, but the United States signaled its withdrawal from the agreement in January 2017. In November 2017 the remaining 11 countries agreed on the core elements of a modified agreement, which they renamed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Japan also reached agreement with the European Union on an Economic Partnership Agreement in July 2017, and is likely seek to ratify both agreements in the Diet this year.

GDP (purchasing power parity)
$23.21 trillion (2017 est.)
$21.72 trillion (2016 est.)
$20.35 trillion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

$5.443 trillion (2017 est.)
$5.35 trillion (2016 est.)
$5.299 trillion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP - real growth rate
6.9% (2017 est.)
6.7% (2016 est.)
6.9% (2015 est.)
1.7% (2017 est.)
1% (2016 est.)
1.4% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)
$16,700 (2017 est.)
$15,700 (2016 est.)
$14,800 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

$42,900 (2017 est.)
$42,100 (2016 est.)
$41,700 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP - composition by sector
agriculture: 7.9% (2017 est.)
industry: 40.5% (2017 est.)
services: 51.6% (2017 est.)
agriculture: 1.1% (2017 est.)
industry: 30.1% (2017 est.)
services: 68.7% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line
3.3% (2016 est.)

note: in 2011, China set a new poverty line at RMB 2300 (approximately US $400)

16.1% (2013 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share
lowest 10%: 2.1%
highest 10%: 31.4% (2012)

note: data are for urban households only

lowest 10%: 2.7%
highest 10%: 24.8% (2008)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
1.6% (2017 est.)
2% (2016 est.)
0.5% (2017 est.)
-0.1% (2016 est.)
Labor force
806.7 million (2017 est.)

note: by the end of 2012, China's working age population (15-64 years) was 1.004 billion

65.01 million (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupation
agriculture: 27.7%
industry: 28.8%
services: 43.5% (2016 est.)
agriculture: 2.9%
industry: 26.2%
services: 70.9% (February 2015 est.)
Unemployment rate
3.9% (2017 est.)
4% (2016 est.)

note: data are for registered urban unemployment, which excludes private enterprises and migrants

2.9% (2017 est.)
3.1% (2016 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index
46.5 (2016 est.)
46.2 (2015 est.)
37.9 (2011)
24.9 (1993)
Budget
revenues: 2.553 trillion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 3.008 trillion (2017 est.)
revenues: 1.714 trillion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 1.885 trillion (2017 est.)
Industries
world leader in gross value of industrial output; mining and ore processing, iron, steel, aluminum, and other metals, coal; machine building; armaments; textiles and apparel; petroleum; cement; chemicals; fertilizer; consumer products (including footwear, toys, and electronics); food processing; transportation equipment, including automobiles, railcars and locomotives, ships, aircraft; telecommunications equipment, commercial space launch vehicles, satellites
among world's largest and most technologically advanced producers of motor vehicles, electronic equipment, machine tools, steel and nonferrous metals, ships, chemicals, textiles, processed foods
Industrial production growth rate
6.1% (2017 est.)
1.4% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - products
world leader in gross value of agricultural output; rice, wheat, potatoes, corn, tobacco, peanuts, tea, apples, cotton, pork, mutton, eggs; fish, shrimp
vegetables, rice, fish, poultry, fruit, dairy products, pork, beef, flowers, potatoes/taros/yams, sugarcane, tea, legumes, wheat and barley
Exports
$2.216 trillion (2017 est.)
$1.99 trillion (2016 est.)
$688.9 billion (2017 est.)
$634.9 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities
electrical and other machinery, including computers and telecommunications equipment, apparel, furniture, textiles
14.9 motor vehicles5.4 iron and steel products5 semiconductors4.8 auto parts3.5 power generating machinery3.3 plastic materials (2014 est.)
Exports - partners
US 19%, Hong Kong 12.4%, Japan 6%, South Korea 4.5% (2017)
US 19.4%, China 19%, South Korea 7.6%, Hong Kong 5.1%, Thailand 4.2% (2017)
Imports
$1.74 trillion (2017 est.)
$1.501 trillion (2016 est.)
$644.7 billion (2017 est.)
$584.7 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities
electrical and other machinery, including integrated circuits and other computer components, oil and mineral fuels; optical and medical equipment, metal ores, motor vehicles; soybeans
16.1 petroleum9.1 liquid natural gas3.8 clothing3.3 semiconductors2.4 coal1.4 audio and visual apparatus (2014 est.)
Imports - partners
South Korea 9.7%, Japan 9.1%, US 8.5%, Germany 5.3%, Australia 5.1% (2017)
China 24.5%, US 11%, Australia 5.8%, South Korea 4.2%, Saudi Arabia 4.1% (2017)
Debt - external
$1.598 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.429 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$3.24 trillion (31 March 2016 est.)
$2.83 trillion (31 March 2015 est.)
Exchange rates
Renminbi yuan (RMB) per US dollar -
7.76 (2017 est.)
6.6446 (2016 est.)
6.2275 (2015 est.)
6.1434 (2014 est.)
6.1958 (2013 est.)
yen (JPY) per US dollar -
111.1 (2017 est.)
108.76 (2016 est.)
108.76 (2015 est.)
121.02 (2014 est.)
97.44 (2013 est.)
Fiscal year
calendar year
1 April - 31 March
Public debt
47% of GDP (2017 est.)
44.2% of GDP (2016 est.)

note: official data; data cover both central and local government debt, including debt officially recognized by China's National Audit Office report in 2011; data exclude policy bank bonds, Ministry of Railway debt, and China Asset Management Company debt

237.6% of GDP (2017 est.)
235.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold
$3.236 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$3.098 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.264 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.233 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
Current Account Balance
$164.9 billion (2017 est.)
$202.2 billion (2016 est.)
$196.1 billion (2017 est.)
$194.9 billion (2016 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)
$12.01 trillion (2017 est.)

note: because China's exchange rate is determined by fiat rather than by market forces, the official exchange rate measure of GDP is not an accurate measure of China's output; GDP at the official exchange rate substantially understates the actual level of China's output vis-a-vis the rest of the world; in China's situation, GDP at purchasing power parity provides the best measure for comparing output across countries

$4.873 trillion (2017 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home
$1.523 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.391 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$252.9 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$238.4 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad
$1.383 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.227 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.547 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.363 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares
$7.335 trillion (December 2016 est.)
$8.234 trillion (December 2015 est.)
$8.518 trillion (31 est.)
$4.895 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
$4.378 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)
$4.543 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
Central bank discount rate
2.25% (5 December 2017 est.)
2.25% (31 December 2016 est.)
0.3% (31 December 2015)
0.3% (31 December 2014)
Commercial bank prime lending rate
4.35% (31 December 2017 est.)
4.35% (31 December 2016 est.)
1.48% (31 December 2017 est.)
1.48% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit
$27.34 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$23.02 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$13.07 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$12.18 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money
$8.351 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$7.001 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$6.317 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$5.65 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money
$8.351 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$7.001 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$6.317 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$5.65 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues
21.3% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
35.2% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)
-3.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
-3.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use
household consumption: 39.1% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 14.5% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 42.7% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: 1.7% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 20.4% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -18.4% (2017 est.)
household consumption: 55.5% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 19.6% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 24% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: 0% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 17.7% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -16.8% (2017 est.)
Gross national saving
45.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
45.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
47.5% of GDP (2015 est.)
28% of GDP (2017 est.)
27.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
27.1% of GDP (2015 est.)

Energy

ChinaJapan
Electricity - production
5.883 trillion kWh (2016 est.)
989.3 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption
5.564 trillion kWh (2016 est.)
943.7 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports
18.91 billion kWh (2016 est.)
0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports
6.185 billion kWh (2016 est.)
0 kWh (2016 est.)
Oil - production
3.773 million bbl/day (2018 est.)
3,200 bbl/day (2018 est.)
Oil - imports
6.71 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
3.208 million bbl/day (2017 est.)
Oil - exports
57,310 bbl/day (2015 est.)
0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Oil - proved reserves
25.63 billion bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
44.12 million bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves
5.44 trillion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
20.9 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
Natural gas - production
145.9 billion cu m (2017 est.)
3.058 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - consumption
238.6 billion cu m (2017 est.)
127.2 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - exports
3.37 billion cu m (2017 est.)
169.9 million cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - imports
97.63 billion cu m (2017 est.)
116.6 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity
1.653 billion kW (2016 est.)
295.9 million kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels
62% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
71% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants
18% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
8% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels
2% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
1% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources
18% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
20% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production
11.51 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
3.467 million bbl/day (2017 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption
12.47 million bbl/day (2016 est.)
3.894 million bbl/day (2017 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports
848,400 bbl/day (2015 est.)
370,900 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports
1.16 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
1.1 million bbl/day (2017 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy
11.67 billion Mt (2017 est.)
1.268 billion Mt (2017 est.)
Electricity access
electrification - total population: 100% (2016)
electrification - total population: 100% (2016)

Telecommunications

ChinaJapan
Telephones - main lines in use
total subscriptions: 193.762 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 14 (2017 est.)
total subscriptions: 63,941,094
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 51 (2017 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellular
total subscriptions: 1,474,097,000
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 107 (2017 est.)
total subscriptions: 170,128,499
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 135 (2017 est.)
Telephone system
general assessment: China has become the largest Internet market in the world, with the majority of users accessing the Internet through mobile devices; moderate growth is predicted over the next five years in the fixed broadband segment; one of the biggest drivers of commercial growth is its increasing urbanisation rate as rural residents move to cities; 98.6% of China's Internet users access the Internet through mobile devices; China will be the world's largest 5G market (2018)
domestic: 14 per 100 fixed line and 107 per 100 mobile-cellular; a domestic satellite system with several earth stations is in place in 2018 (2018)
international: country code - 86; RJCN, EAC-C2C, TPE, APCN-2, APG, NCP, TEA, SeaMeWe-3, SJC2, Taiwan Strait Express-1, AAE-1, APCN-2, AAG, FEA, FLAG and TSE submarine cables provide connectivity to Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the US; satellite earth stations - 7 (5 Intelsat - 4 Pacific Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean; 1 Intersputnik - Indian Ocean region; and 1 Inmarsat - Pacific and Indian Ocean regions) (2019)
general assessment: excellent domestic and international service; Japan has exceedingly high mobile, mobile broadband and fixed broadband penetration; one of Japan's largest e-commerce companies planning to build its own nationwide stand-alone 5G mobile network; in 2019, Japan govt released spectrum for 5G services to be commercially available in 2020 (2018)
domestic: high level of modern technology and excellent service of every kind; 51 per 100 for fixed-line and 135 per 100 for mobile-cellular subscriptions (2018)
international: country code - 81; numerous submarine cables with landing points for HSCS, JIH, RJCN, APCN-2, JUS, EAC-C2C, PC-1, Tata TGN-Pacific, FLAG North Asia Loop/REACH North Asia Loop, APCN-2, FASTER, SJC, SJC2, Unity/EAC-Pacific, JGA-N, APG, ASE, AJC, JUPITER, MOC, Okinawa Cellular Cable, KJCN, GOKI, KJCN, and SeaMeWE-3, submarine cables provide links throughout Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Europe, Southeast Asia, Africa and US; satellite earth stations - 7 Intelsat (Pacific and Indian Oceans), 1 Intersputnik (Indian Ocean region), 2 Inmarsat (Pacific and Indian Ocean regions), and 8 SkyPerfect JSAT (2019)
Internet country code
.cn
.jp
Internet users
total: 730,723,960
percent of population: 53.2% (July 2016 est.)
total: 116,565,962
percent of population: 92% (July 2016 est.)
Broadcast media
all broadcast media are owned by, or affiliated with, the Communist Party of China or a government agency; no privately owned TV or radio stations; state-run Chinese Central TV, provincial, and municipal stations offer more than 2,000 channels; the Central Propaganda Department sends directives to all domestic media outlets to guide its reporting with the government maintaining authority to approve all programming; foreign-made TV programs must be approved prior to broadcast; increasingly, Chinese turn to online and satellite television to access Chinese and international films and television shows (2019)
a mixture of public and commercial broadcast TV and radio stations; 6 national terrestrial TV networks including 1 public broadcaster; the large number of radio and TV stations available provide a wide range of choices; satellite and cable services provide access to international channels (2019)

Transportation

ChinaJapan
Railways
total: 131,000 km 1.435-m gauge (80,000 km electrified); 102,000 traditional, 29,000 high-speed (2018)
total: 27,311 km (2015)
standard gauge: 4,800 km 1.435-m gauge (4,800 km electrified) (2015)
narrow gauge: 124 km 1.372-m gauge (124 km electrified) (2015)
dual gauge: 132 km 1.435-1.067-m gauge (132 km electrified) (2015)
22,207 km 1.067-m gauge (15,430 km electrified)
48 km 0.762-m gauge (48 km electrified)
Roadways
total: 4,960,600 km (2017)
paved: 4,338,600 km (includes 136,500 km of expressways) (2017)
unpaved: 622,000 km (2017)
total: 1,218,772 km (2015)
paved: 992,835 km (includes 8,428 km of expressways) (2015)
unpaved: 225,937 km (2015)
Waterways
110,000 km (navigable waterways) (2011)
1,770 km (seagoing vessels use inland seas) (2010)
Pipelines
76000 km gas, 30400 km crude oil, 27700 km refined petroleum products, 797000 km water (2018)
4456 km gas, 174 km oil, 104 km oil/gas/water (2013)
Ports and terminals
major seaport(s): Dalian, Ningbo, Qingdao, Qinhuangdao, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Tianjin
container port(s) (TEUs): Dalian (9,707,000), Guangzhou (18,858,000), Ningbo (24,607,000), Qingdao (18,262,000), Shanghai (40,233,000), Shenzhen (25,208,000), Tianjin (15,040,000) (2017)
LNG terminal(s) (import): Fujian, Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shandong, Shanghai, Tangshan, Zhejiang
river port(s): Guangzhou (Pearl)
major seaport(s): Chiba, Kawasaki, Kobe, Mizushima, Moji, Nagoya, Osaka, Tokyo, Tomakomai, Yokohama
container port(s) (TEUs): Kobe (2,924,179), Nagoya (2,784,109), Osaka (2,326,852), Tokyo (4,500,156), Yokohama (2,926,698) (2017)
LNG terminal(s) (import): Chita, Fukwoke, Futtsu, Hachinone, Hakodate, Hatsukaichi, Higashi Ohgishima, Higashi Niigata, Himeiji, Joetsu, Kagoshima, Kawagoe, Kita Kyushu, Mizushima, Nagasaki, Naoetsu, Negishi, Ohgishima, Oita, Sakai, Sakaide, Senboku, Shimizu, Shin Minato, Sodegaura, Tobata, Yanai, Yokkaichi
Okinawa - Nakagusuku
Merchant marine
total: 4,610
by type: bulk carrier 1114, container ship 242, general cargo 741, oil tanker 503, other 2010 (2018)
total: 5,299
by type: bulk carrier 158, container ship 29, general cargo 1942, oil tanker 703, other 2467 (2018)
Airports
total: 507 (2013)
total: 175 (2013)
Airports - with paved runways
total: 510 (2019)
over 3,047 m: 87
2,438 to 3,047 m: 187
1,524 to 2,437 m: 109
914 to 1,523 m: 43
under 914 m: 84
total: 142 (2017)
over 3,047 m: 6 (2017)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 45 (2017)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 38 (2017)
914 to 1,523 m: 28 (2017)
under 914 m: 25 (2017)
Airports - with unpaved runways
total: 23 (2019)
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 0
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 7
under 914 m: 13
total: 33 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 5 (2013)
under 914 m: 28 (2013)
Heliports
39 (2019)
16 (2013)
National air transport system
number of registered air carriers: 56 (2015)
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 2,890 (2015)
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 436,183,969 (2015)
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 19.806 billion mt-km (2015)
number of registered air carriers: 23 (2015)
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 627 (2015)
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 113.762 million (2015)
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 8,868,745,000 mt-km (2015)
Civil aircraft registration country code prefix
B (2016)
JA (2016)

Military

ChinaJapan
Military branches
People's Liberation Army (PLA): Ground Forces, Navy (PLAN, includes marines and naval aviation), Air Force (PLAAF, includes airborne forces), Rocket Force (strategic missile force), and Strategic Support Force (space and cyber forces); People's Armed Police (PAP, includes Coast Guard, Border Defense Force, Internal Security Forces); PLA Reserve Force (2019)
Japanese Ministry of Defense (MOD): Ground Self-Defense Force (Rikujou Jieitai, GSDF; includes aviation), Maritime Self-Defense Force (Kaijou Jieitai, MSDF; includes naval aviation), Air Self-Defense Force (Koukuu Jieitai, ASDF); Japan Coast Guard (Ministry of Land, Transport, Infrastructure and Tourism) (2019)
Military service age and obligation
18-22 years of age for selective compulsory military service, with a 2-year service obligation; no minimum age for voluntary service (all officers are volunteers); 18-19 years of age for women high school graduates who meet requirements for specific military jobs (2018)
18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; mandatory retirement at age 53 for senior enlisted personnel and at 62 years for senior service officers (2012)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP
1.87% of GDP (2018)
1.9% of GDP (2017)
1.93% of GDP (2016)
1.95% of GDP (2015)
1.9% of GDP (2014)
0.93% of GDP (2018)
0.93% of GDP (2017)
0.94% of GDP (2016)
0.94% of GDP (2015)
0.97% of GDP (2014)

Transnational Issues

ChinaJapan
Disputes - international

China and India continue their security and foreign policy dialogue started in 2005 related to a number of boundary disputes across the 2,000 mile shared border; India does not recognize Pakistan's 1964 ceding to China of the Aksai Chin, a territory designated as part of the princely state of Kashmir by the British Survey of India in 1865; China claims most of the Indian state Arunachal Pradesh to the base of the Himalayas, but The US recognizes the state of Arunachal Pradesh as Indian territory; Bhutan and China continue negotiations to establish a common boundary alignment to resolve territorial disputes arising from substantial cartographic discrepancies, the most contentious of which lie in Bhutan's west along China's Chumbi salient; Chinese maps show an international boundary symbol off the coasts of the littoral states of the South China Sea, where China has interrupted Vietnamese hydrocarbon exploration; China asserts sovereignty over Scarborough Reef along with the Philippines and Taiwan, and over the Spratly Islands together with Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Brunei; the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea eased tensions in the Spratlys, and in 2017 China and ASEAN began confidential negotiations for an updated Code of Conduct for the South China Sea designed not to settle territorial disputes but establish rules and norms in the region; this still is not the legally binding code of conduct sought by some parties; Vietnam and China continue to expand construction of facilities in the Spratlys and in early 2018 China deployed advanced military systems to disputed Spratly outposts; China occupies some of the Paracel Islands also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan; the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands are also claimed by China and Taiwan; certain islands in the Yalu and Tumen Rivers are in dispute with North Korea; North Korea and China seek to stem illegal migration to China by North Koreans, fleeing privation and oppression; China and Russia have demarcated the once disputed islands at the Amur and Ussuri confluence and in the Argun River in accordance with their 2004 Agreement; China and Tajikistan have begun demarcating the revised boundary agreed to in the delimitation of 2002; the decade-long demarcation of the China-Vietnam land boundary was completed in 2009; citing environmental, cultural, and social concerns, China has reconsidered construction of 13 dams on the Salween River, but energy-starved Burma, with backing from Thailand, continues to consider building five hydro-electric dams downstream despite regional and international protests

the sovereignty dispute over the islands of Etorofu, Kunashiri, and Shikotan, and the Habomai group, known in Japan as the "Northern Territories" and in Russia as the "Southern Kuril Islands," occupied by the Soviet Union in 1945, now administered by Russia and claimed by Japan, remains the primary sticking point to signing a peace treaty formally ending World War II hostilities; Japan and South Korea claim Liancourt Rocks (Take-shima/Tok-do) occupied by South Korea since 1954; the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands are also claimed by China and Taiwan

Refugees and internally displaced persons
refugees (country of origin): 321,502 (Vietnam), undetermined (North Korea) (2018)
IDPs: undetermined (2014)
stateless persons: 709 (2018)

Source: CIA Factbook