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Japan

Capital City: Tokyo
%T:%M %A in Tokyo
After undergoing an important economic crisis for several years, Japan's activity has not shown a real recovery : the GDP growth rate was 2.7% in 2004 and 2% in 2005. The IMF forecasts a 2% growth in 2006. Unemployment has decreased since 2003 and touched 4.3% of the active population in 2005. Nippon exports strongly increased in 2005 (+6.4% in 2005, according to the OECD), especially to China. Despite these good results, Japan still has to face structural difficulties such as its public debt accounting for 160% of the GDP in 2005, its banking sector which is still fragile and a deflationary pressure. Despite the fact that its economic model is questioned, Japan remains the world's second largest economy and an attractive market with a very high living standard, especially concerning luxury products.

Agriculture only provides 1.3% and employs 7% of the active population. Tea and rice are the two main crops. Japan is the world's largest fish producer and consumer and the world's second paper producer and consumer. The industrial sector is contrasted: some sectors such as cars or robotics, microtechnology are very competitive whereas others such as building and supermarkets keep on being little productive models. Japan relocates more and more its production towards neighbouring countries like China with cheaper labour force.

Japan's three main trade partners, for exports and imports, are the United States, China and South Korea. Japan mainly imports fuels, electronic components, machinery, optical products and sea products. Products such as furniture, textile, food products and capital goods have numerous assets on the Japanese market.

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