Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • this video was made possible by curiosity stream.

  • When you sign up at the link in the description, you'll also get access to Nebula, the streaming video platform that real life floor is a part of.

  • For over 100 years now, Japan has been one of the world's most powerful civilizations.

  • Her impact on culture, technology and society has been among the greatest in history.

  • But all of this is, despite her civilization spawned point being not necessarily the greatest.

  • The core of Japanese civilization has always been based around the Japanese archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, Japan has always been an island civilization and modern day Japan consists of 6852 different islands, although there is really only four important ones that you need to know about Hokkaido, Hondshew, Shikoku and Kyushu, all of these islands combined give Japan a land area that's roughly equivalent to the U.

  • S.

  • State of California.

  • But it's a lot more spread out than that.

  • If you place Japan off the east coast of the United States, the southernmost islands would be south of Miami, while the northernmost would be above Halifax.

  • And unlike California, Japan has a population of nearly 127 million people, more than three times the population.

  • In California.

  • However, most of this population is concentrated into just a few small areas on the island of Hong.

  • Xu in a topographic map helps to explain why this is Japan's first major geographic weakness.

  • The home islands are absolutely hovered with mountains.

  • 73% of Japan's total land area, in fact, is mountainous, which means that most of Japan's land is incredibly difficult and expensive to develop for human habitation.

  • With only 27% of her land not being covered by mountains, it means that despite being much larger in over all territory, Japan has about the same amount of livable and workable land that South Korea has.

  • Most of the Japanese population is therefore crowded and stuffed into highly concentrated, dense urban areas across the scattered planes in between the mountains, like the no bi plane, home to seven million or the Osaka plane home toe.

  • Over 19 million Japanese civilization historically was based around the Osaka plane with a capital in Kyoto before it was moved to the larger, more strategic and more productive Kanto Plain in the 17th century.

  • The Kanto Plain is the largest single area of flat land in Japan, with the highest potential for agriculture and cheap expansion.

  • And it's why today, the plainest home to the largest urban area in the world, Tokyo, home to three out of every 10 Japanese, 38 million people concentrated into an area the size of Kuwait.

  • All three of these planes are home to massive urban areas because of their flat land and location nearby to base that allow for easy trade and transportation.

  • And Japan has always had to rely on trade to maintain her status as a great power because the biggest weakness in Japan's geography is maintaining her enormous population on an island that doesn't have enough resource is to sustain it.

  • Only 12% of Japan's land is arable and suitable for farming, compared with 25% of the U.

  • K's land, 34% of Germany's land, or 53% of India's land.

  • The Japanese islands are also famously poor in natural resource is with virtually no oil reserves, natural gas, coal or minerals.

  • Therefore, Japan has always had to look abroad, for the resource is to feed her population and fuel her economy, either through trade or through conquest.

  • Japan currently relies extremely heavily on imported foodstuffs and fossil fuels, and for a time the government tried to offset this dependence by switching to nuclear power.

  • In 2010 25% of Japan's electricity came from domestic nuclear energy production.

  • But Japan's other great geographic weakness intervened a severe vulnerability to natural disasters.

  • The 2011 earthquake and tsunami triggered a nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear reactor plant, and the resulting outcry and public opinion against nuclear energy led to the closure of every single nuclear power plant in the entire country by 2012.

  • Today, only 4% of Japan's electricity comes from nuclear power, and the country is even more dependent on fossil fuel imports, and another disaster could strike again at any time.

  • Japan is, after all, one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to natural disasters and certainly the most vulnerable great power by a wide margin, the top two most expensive disasters in human history both took place in Japan.

  • The previously mentioned 2011 earthquake and tsunami that caused $411 billion in damages and the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake that caused $330 billion in damages.

  • Japan's geographic location is unfortunately at the intersection of four different tectonic plates that are grinding and scraping past one another, which often causes huge earthquakes and devastating tsunamis.

  • But those aren't the only disasters that Japan has to worry about.

  • The intersection of these plates has also given the Japanese islands 108 current active volcanoes 10% of all the active volcanoes in the world, which occasionally erupt to cause even more damage.

  • The various natural disasters and rugged geography have made development in Japan historically difficult, but they also make any outside invasion of Japan a very difficult thing to accomplish throughout her entire history.

  • Japan has never once been conquered by an outside power, and part of the reason for this is just because historically, Japan has been located pretty far away from all the other major world powers.

  • China is located 800 kilometers away across an open ocean, and the only major time an invasion came from this direction was when the Mongols attempted to invade twice in the 13th century and failed twice from two different typhoons that destroyed their fleets.

  • Natural disasters can occasionally work in Japan's favor, after all.

  • And since Japan is located so far away from the troubles of Asia and the rest of the world, they have the option at any time to pursue a policy of isolationism, which they did for over two centuries between 16 41 and 18 53 when Japan had essentially zero contact with the outside world and punished any Japanese person leaving the islands with death if they ever returned.

  • But the lack of raw materials and farm land at home needed to supply her economy and feed her people has occasionally led Japan to pursue a very different policy of imperialism to conquer what she needs.

  • And Korea has always been the first target.

  • The peninsula is a logical choice for expansion because it's close to Japan's core.

  • It can serve as a funnel for the Japanese military to push deeper into Asia from, and it's rich with natural mineral resource is and arable land a unified Japan attempted to conquer.

  • Korea wants for these reasons before the isolationist period in 15 92 and then again in 20th century after the end of the isolationist period, Japan's rapidly industrializing economy in the 20th century demanded things like oil, coal, steel and, of course, food, all of which Japan's geography has relatively poor amounts of and so Japan's that about on decades of conquest and war to secure those resource is she conquered Taiwan from China, defeated Russia and conquered Korea, attacked Germany and conquered her Pacific islands, attacked China again to conquer Manchuria, and then eventually invaded all of China.

  • It was a dangerous addiction that Japan's struggled to satisfy because every attack the Japan made resulted in even more international sanctions that restricted her ability to trade for resource is and continue her wars.

  • When the U.

  • S embargo Japan in 1940 cut off for oil supply, the Japanese military calculated that they only had two years left of oil in their reserves before they ran dry and couldn't continue.

  • The need for oil placed on them by their geography and trade restrictions caused the Japanese military to commit to invading Indonesia and the Philippines, which would eventually bring in basically the entire world against them.

  • Japan overextended themselves all across the Pacific and with rapidly depleting reserves of oil and coal that they couldn't possibly replenished.

  • Back at home, they inevitably lost against a massive coalition that they couldn't have ever hoped to defeat.

  • But the allies of the war faced the same problem that the Mongols faced in the 13th century.

  • Invading Japan itself really, really sucks.

  • Japan planned a massive, all out defense of their home islands that probably would have cost the Allies million's of casualties.

  • So rather than dealing with that, the U.

  • S.

  • Resulted to dropping the atomic bombs in Japan surrendered without it ever coming to that.

  • In the aftermath, Japan lost all of her imperial conquests since her industrial revolution and was once again confined to the media resource is and farmland of the Japanese home islands.

  • Japan continues to claim the southern curl islands, however, which were annexed by the Soviet Union in later Russia after the war.

  • And because of that dispute, Russia and Japan have still to this day in 2019, never signed an official peace treaty ending the Second World War between them.

  • The Japan of today, however, manages its geography struggle by trading for its resource is rather than conquering them, Japan has since specialized in automobiles, electron ICS, industrial equipment and robotics, and trades these specialized goods for the raw materials and food stuff that she desperately needs.

  • 84% of Japan's energy and 50% of her meat is imported from other countries, and she is the world's largest importer of natural gas, second largest coal importer, second largest agricultural importer and third largest oil importer.

  • It's safe to say that Japan still struggles with her geographic limitations and still deals with them by seeking out.

  • Resource is abroad just in a different manner than she has in the past.

  • Of course.

  • The way that Japan attempted to solve her geographic limitations in the past through conquest was not justifiable.

  • However, if you want to see a much more in depth video explaining how and why Japan fought World War two and how her geography hurt and helped, you should check out Apocalypse the Second World War.

  • Next on Curiosity Stream, a glorious six part documentary Siri's that explains the full history of the Second World War through archival footage that has been painstakingly colored in so that you can see the events the same way as the people who lived through it actually did.

  • This is just one of thousands of titles that you can watch on your desktop.

  • Smart TV, IOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku Chromecast and more platforms through Curiosity Stream.

  • They're the perfect site for anybody who likes being entertained and taught something at the same time.

  • But what's even crazier is that they made their annual subscription even better by including a subscription to Nebula.

  • Nebula is the streaming site that I and a bunch of other creators started as a place to try out new things on a platform purpose built for educational content.

  • All new real life lower videos go up their ad free, and there's also a bunch of original exclusive content from different creators such as My Car show.

  • To get all of that, all you need to do is sign up for the annual plan just 1999 per year at curiosity, stream dot com slash real life floor, and then you'll get an email with a link to get your free Nebula subscription.

this video was made possible by curiosity stream.

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

B1 japanese land resource geography nuclear natural

Why Japan's Geography Sucks

  • 7 2
    林宜悉 posted on 2020/12/26
Video vocabulary