Population Case Study - Japan

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Sasha Zouev

Geography IB, 13/09/05

IB Case Study: Japan (MEDC)

Population, Distribution, Density


        Japan is a great example of an MEDC with a particular population pattern and distribution.  The country, located on the western edge of the Pacific Ocean lies to the east of Asia and is made up of about 3,000 smaller islands.  There are several large main islands including, from top to bottom, Hokkaido, Honshu (the biggest), Shikoku and Kyushu.  Japan is also interestingly rated 10th in the world by population count and has an area of about 377,835 km².  The aim of this case study is to examine, section by section, the different factors that affect Brazilian population growth and distribution by looking at areas such as geographical positioning, politics, history, and generate some sort of conclusion



        Japan’s population is mostly concentrated alongside the south and west coast (figure 1). Japan’s population density is ranked 18th in the world, and has assisted in advertising very expensive land prices. From the years 1980 to 1987, prices of land in the six largest cities nearly doubled.  This prevents many poorer families from ever purchasing or renting housing in the central cities.  Because of this, daily transportation for many workers became a real lengthy hassle.  For example some daily commuters had to travel up to four hours total to reach the Tokyo central area

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        Parks in small cities over Japan are rarer than in most European and American places, despite Japan’s excess forested areas.  Japan is often labeled as an “urban society” where only a small 5% of the labor force comes from farming.  Roughly 80 million urban Japanese are situated heavily on the pacific shore of Honshu and also North Kyushu.  These areas include famous cities like Tokyo, Kobe, Yokohama, Osaka and Kyoto.    


Population Growth

        Japans current population, believed to be about 127,333,000 has undergone a unique and unbelievable growth rate during the last century due to industrial, scientific ...

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An excellent over view of Japan's population and the problems they face in the future. Great use of data and good inclusion of diagrams, though reference needs to be made to these in the text. 5 stars.