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The Old Mandarin or possibly early Wu Chinese pronunciation of Japan was recorded by Marco Polo as Cipangu.In modern Shanghainese, a Wu dialect, the pronunciation of characters is used as a formal modern-day equivalent with the meaning of "the State of Japan".The Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937 expanded into part of World War II in 1941, which came to an end in 1945 following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Japanese surrender.Since adopting its revised constitution on May 3, 1947, during the occupation by the SCAP, Japan has maintained a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy with an Emperor and an elected legislature called the National Diet.The kanji, or Sino-Japanese characters, that make up Japan's name mean "sun origin", and it is often called the "Land of the Rising Sun".
Influence from other regions, mainly China, followed by periods of isolation, particularly from Western Europe, has characterized Japan's history.Its population enjoys the highest life expectancy and the third lowest infant mortality rate in the world.Japan is renowned for its historical and extensive cinema, rich cuisine and its major contributions to science and modern-day technology.Japan is a member of the UN, the OECD, the G7, the G8 and the G20—and is considered a great power.
The country has the world's third-largest economy by nominal GDP and the world's fourth-largest economy by purchasing power parity.
The population of 127 million is the world's tenth largest.