Japan is an archipelago off the coast of eastern Asia. The mountains of Japan
are volcanic, but many are no longer active. The most famous peak is Mount Fuji,
Japan's highest mountain and national symbol. Despite its lack of mineral resources,
Japan has developed a strong industrial economy. Farmland is very limited, but
Japanese farmers use intensive cultivation, modern machinery, and fertilizers
to produce high crop yields. Most of its citizens live in crowded urban areas
on the coastal plains. Japan's government is a constitutional monarchy. Many
Japanese practice two religions, Buddhism and Shinto, which also have influenced
the country's arts.
The Korean Peninsula juts out from northern China, between the Sea of Japan
and the Yellow Sea. Following World War II it was divided into two countriesCommunist
North Korea and non-Communist South Korea. South Korea has a strong industrial
economy. The Communist government of North Korea has spent money and devoted
resources to its military. As a result the country is economically poor.