Australia the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area; the neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea and East Timor to the north. The population of 25 million is urbanised and concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, its largest city is Sydney; the country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians for about 60,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century, it is documented. After the European exploration of the continent by Dutch explorers in 1606, who named it New Holland, Australia's eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 and settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788, a date which became Australia's national day; the population grew in subsequent decades, by the 1850s most of the continent had been explored and an additional five self-governing crown colonies established.
On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated. Australia has since maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, comprising six states and ten territories. Being the oldest and driest inhabited continent, with the least fertile soils, Australia has a landmass of 7,617,930 square kilometres. A megadiverse country, its size gives it a wide variety of landscapes, with deserts in the centre, tropical rainforests in the north-east and mountain ranges in the south-east. A gold rush began in Australia in the early 1850s, its population density, 2.8 inhabitants per square kilometre, remains among the lowest in the world. Australia generates its income from various sources including mining-related exports, telecommunications and manufacturing. Indigenous Australian rock art is the oldest and richest in the world, dating as far back as 60,000 years and spread across hundreds of thousands of sites. Australia is a developed country, with the world's 14th-largest economy.
It has a high-income economy, with the world's tenth-highest per capita income. It is a regional power, has the world's 13th-highest military expenditure. Australia has the world's ninth-largest immigrant population, with immigrants accounting for 26% of the population. Having the third-highest human development index and the eighth-highest ranked democracy globally, the country ranks in quality of life, education, economic freedom, civil liberties and political rights, with all its major cities faring well in global comparative livability surveys. Australia is a member of the United Nations, G20, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, World Trade Organization, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Pacific Islands Forum and the ASEAN Plus Six mechanism; the name Australia is derived from the Latin Terra Australis, a name used for a hypothetical continent in the Southern Hemisphere since ancient times. When Europeans first began visiting and mapping Australia in the 17th century, the name Terra Australis was applied to the new territories.
Until the early 19th century, Australia was best known as "New Holland", a name first applied by the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman in 1644 and subsequently anglicised. Terra Australis still saw occasional usage, such as in scientific texts; the name Australia was popularised by the explorer Matthew Flinders, who said it was "more agreeable to the ear, an assimilation to the names of the other great portions of the earth". The first time that Australia appears to have been used was in April 1817, when Governor Lachlan Macquarie acknowledged the receipt of Flinders' charts of Australia from Lord Bathurst. In December 1817, Macquarie recommended to the Colonial Office. In 1824, the Admiralty agreed that the continent should be known by that name; the first official published use of the new name came with the publication in 1830 of The Australia Directory by the Hydrographic Office. Colloquial names for Australia include "Oz" and "the Land Down Under". Other epithets include "the Great Southern Land", "the Lucky Country", "the Sunburnt Country", "the Wide Brown Land".
The latter two both derive from Dorothea Mackellar's 1908 poem "My Country". Human habitation of the Australian continent is estimated to have begun around 65,000 to 70,000 years ago, with the migration of people by land bridges and short sea-crossings from what is now Southeast Asia; these first inhabitants were the ancestors of modern Indigenous Australians. Aboriginal Australian culture is one of the oldest continual civilisations on earth. At the time of first European contact, most Indigenous Australians were hunter-gatherers with complex economies and societies. Recent archaeological finds suggest. Indigenous Australians have an oral culture with spiritual values based on reverence for the land and a belief in the Dreamtime; the Torres Strait Islanders, ethnically Melanesian, obtained their livelihood from seasonal horticulture and the resources of their reefs and seas. The northern coasts and waters of Australia were visited s
Sébastien Gimbert is a professional motorcycle road racer. He competes in the Endurance FIM World Championship aboard a Honda CBR1000RR, his greatest success has come in the Endurance World Championship, the bulk of his career has been spent on Yamaha YZF-R1 with more recent seasons spent on BMW S1000RR and Honda CBR1000RR motorcycles. He was France's 250cc champion in 1996 and 1997, before moving up to the 500cc World Championship on a entered Honda in 1998 and 1999, racing in the 250cc World Championship in 2000, without many front-running displays. From 2002 to 2004 he was an endurance racer, he has won the biggest 24-hour races in the sport - Spa-Francorchamps and the Bol d'Or. He helped the team to the Endurance World Championship in 2004. Gimbert remained active in shorter races, finishing 2nd in the French Super Production series in 2003 and doing several rounds a year later, he raced his R1 in 3 Superbike World Championship races, taking a pair of 4th places despite 2 slow starts at Magny-Cours in 2004, a year with few manfuacturer backed bikes.
As a result of this, he was hired by Yamaha Motor France as their second rider in WSBK for 2005. He finished 16th overall in 2005, 19th in 2006, he raced in the Supersport World Championship for 2007 finishing 20th overall. He won the 2007 Bol d'Or endurance race. 1993- 2nd, French Yamaha TZR125 Championship Yamaha TZR125 1994- 11th, French 125cc Championship Honda RS125R 1995- 4th, French 250cc Championship Honda RS250R 1996- 5th, European 250cc Championship Honda RS250R / 1st, French 250cc Championship Honda RS250R 1997- 6th, European 250cc Championship Honda RS250R / 1st, French 250cc Championship #1 Honda RS250R 1998- 30th, 500cc Grand Prix #22 Honda NSR500V 1999- 19th, 500cc Grand Prix #22 Honda NSR500V 2000- 22nd, 500cc Grand Prix #22 Honda NSR500V / 22nd, 250cc World Championship Honda RS250R 2001- French Supersport 600 Championship #22 Honda CBR600RR 2002- 1st, Le Mans 24 Hours / 1st, Bol d'Or Suzuki GSX-R1000 2003- 2nd, Le Mans 24 Hours / 1st, 24 Hours of Spa / 1st, Bol d'Or Suzuki GSX-R1000 2004- 1st, Endurance FIM World Championship #94 Yamaha YZF-R1 2005- 16th, Superbike World Championship #32 Yamaha YZF-R1 2006- 19th, Superbike World Championship #16 Yamaha YZF-R1 2007- 20th, Supersport World Championship #194 Yamaha YZF-R6 / 7th, Endurance FIM World Championship #94 Yamaha YZF-R1 2008- 29th, Superbike World Championship #194 Yamaha YZF-R1 2009- 1st, French Superbike Championship #94 Yamaha YZF-R1 2010- 2nd, French Superbike Championship #1 BMW S1000RR / 9th, Endurance FIM World Championship #94 Yamaha YZF-R1 2011- 1st, French Superbike Championship #7 BMW S1000RR / 2nd, Endurance FIM World Championship #99 BMW S1000RR 2012- 2nd, French Superbike Championship #7 BMW S1000RR / 2nd, Endurance FIM World Championship #99 BMW S1000RR 2013- 17th, CIV Superbike Championship #7 BMW S1000RR / 12th, Endurance FIM World Championship #99 BMW S1000RR 2014- 2nd, French Superbike Championship #7 Honda CBR1000RR / 7th, Endurance FIM World Championship #111 Honda CBR1000RR 2015- 3rd, French Superbike Championship #7 Honda CBR1000RR / 9th, Endurance FIM World Championship #111 Honda CBR1000RR 2016- Endurance FIM World Championship #111 Honda CBR1000RR sebgimbert.com Official website
Michel Fabrizio is a professional motorcycle road racer. From 2006 to 2015, he raced in the Superbike World Championship, he competes in the CIV Supersport 600 Championship, aboard a MV Agusta F3 675. Born in Frascati, near Rome, Fabrizio first raced in Minimoto at the age of 6, winning several titles before reaching his teens, he won the Aprilia Challenge in 2001, raced in the 125 cc World Championship for Gilera in 2002, with little success. In 2004 he made his first appearance in MotoGP, with the WCM team, failing to complete the season and finishing the season 22nd cc-gp.htm. In 2005 he raced on a factory Honda, he was 5th overall, with 9 top 5 results in the 12 races. For 2006 Fabrizio was teamed with the veteran Pierfrancesco Chili on privateer Honda machinery, he started his career with eighth at Qatar. He stood in for Toni Elías on MotoGP Fortuna Honda at Donington Park, but crashed in practice and broke his collarbone, he replaced the injured Elías again for the same team in the 2007 German Grand Prix at Sachsenring on July 15, 2007.
At Brno in the 2006 Superbike World Championship, he started tenth, but chose hard-compound tyres, which remained on the pace as other riders faded. In the first race he passed a fading Andrew Pitt as well as Fonsi Nieto, Troy Corser and Noriyuki Haga in the closing laps to score his first Superbike World Championship podium finish. In race two he fared better - after passing James Toseland for fourth towards the end, he caught the battle for second between Haga and Corser; as Corser attempted a move, Fabrizio dived down the inside of both and nearly hitting Haga, before edging ahead of them both to the line improving on his career-best result with a second. His best results of 2007 were two third places, at Brno. In both seasons he was eleventh overall. In 2008 he raced alongside Troy Bayliss for Ducati Xerox Team on the new Ducati 1098, he came third in race one at Philip Island, despite a huge crash at the original start. At Miller Motorsports Park, he qualified on the front row and took a pair of third places, despite dropping to eleventh on lap one of the first race.
He had a double-DNF at Assen, shortly before an arm operation, finished a career-best 8th overall. For 2009, he stays on at Ducati Xerox, his first WSBK win came at Monza. Seven successive podiums followed, cementing his third place in the standings behind Spies; this run ended at Brno. He finished the season third overall. Fabrizio and Haga both continue with the team for 2010; the bike dominated pre-season testing at Phillip Island. After Ducati announced that they would be ending support for their World Superbike operations at the end of the 2010 season, Fabrizio agreed a contract with Team Suzuki Alstare to race in the 2011 Superbike World Championship season. In August 2009, after Casey Stoner announced his intention to withdraw from the next three Grand Prix, it was announced that his place in the Ducati Marlboro team would be taken by Mika Kallio whilst the Finn's place at Pramac Racing would be taken by Fabrizio, his race was marred by physical difficulties, which caused him to retire from the first race in Brno.
Fabrizio being unavailable for the next race in Indianapolis the ride was given to Aleix Espargaró for the remaining two races. Profile on motogp.com Profile on worldsbk.com
Max Neukirchner is a professional motorcycle racer competing in the Endurance FIM World Championship aboard a Yamaha YZF-R1. In 2004 he competed in the Supersport World Championship riding for Klaffi Honda, finishing the season ranked 9th with 63 points. For 2005, along with the Klaffi Honda team, moved to the Superbike World Championship, he finished the season 12th with 123 points. He looked set to remain with Klaffi Honda in 2006 but the ride went to Alex Barros. Klaffi wasn't able to find the money to run a second bike for Neukirchner and he was left without a ride, he joined Pedercini Ducati but after a poor first half of the season Neukirchner and Pedercini announced their split. Neukirchner went on to replace Fabien Foret at Alstare Eng. Corona Extra, he finished the season 18th with 28 points. For 2007 Neukirchner finished the season ranked ninth overall; the team used the 2006-spec works Suzuki GSX-R1000 K6. For 2008 he rode a 2007-spec Suzuki GSX-R1000 motorcycle for Team Alstare Suzuki.
At Valencia he took his first career pole, lead until the final corner, where he was hit by Carlos Checa, Neukirchner breaking his collarbone. On 27 April 2008 at Assen he achieved his second World Superbike podium finish, finishing behind Troy Bayliss and Checa in the first race. Neukirchner took his maiden victory in the first race at Monza, his 70th race in SBK, he won by just 0.058 seconds from Noriyuki Haga. In race 2, he achieved another podium, finishing 2nd to Haga, missing out on victory by 0.009 seconds in a three-way blanket finish. At Miller Motorsport Park he was helped to learn the fastest line through the early part of the track by video of Suzuki's AMA Superbike champion Ben Spies, he did not score another podium that season, but consistent points finishes including four further fourth places allowed him to finish as the top Suzuki in 5th overall. At Monza he suffered a broken femur in a first-corner crash. Although Suzuki Alstare announced in May that he would remain with the team for 2009 and 2010, doubts surfaced over his future with the team.
On October 12, 2009, Suzuki Alstare announced that they would not be offering Neukirchner a contract extension for the 2010 championship after he failed to provide medical evidence that he was fit to race. On October 14, 2009, it was confirmed that Neukirchner would race for the HANNspree Ten Kate Honda team for the 2010 season. For the 2011 season, Neukirchner rode for the MZ Racing Team with a 2010 FTR chassis at the Moto2 World Championship under the technical direction of the Italian company Pro Ride Motorsports. For the 2012 season, he is riding for the Kiefer Racing Team with a Kalex chassis at the Moto2 World Championship, but left the series after sustained injury in Brno. Neukirchner achieved his best result and his only point scoring finish of the year at Le Mans with 7th place. 2003- 9th, IDM Supersport Championship #7 Honda CBR600RR 2004- 9th, Supersport World Championship #76 Honda CBR600RR 2005- 12th, Superbike World Championship #76 Ducati 999R 2006- 18th, Superbike World Championship #76 Ducati 999R / Suzuki GSX-R1000 2007- 9th, Superbike World Championship #76 Suzuki GSX-R1000 2008- 5th, Superbike World Championship #76 Suzuki GSX-R1000 2009- 16th, Superbike World Championship #76 Suzuki GSX-R1000 2010- 18th, Superbike World Championship #76 Honda CBR1000RR 2011- 20th, Moto2 World Championship #76 MZ-RE Honda 2012- 26th, Moto2 World Championship #76 Kalex 2013- 14th, Superbike World Championship #27 Ducati 1199 Panigale 2014- 2nd, IDM Superbike Championship #76 Ducati 1199 Panigale 2015- 6th, IDM Superbike Championship #76 Yamaha YZF-R1 2016- 7th, IDM Superbike Championship #76 / 6th, Endurance FIM World Championship #7 Yamaha YZF-R1 2017- Endurance FIM World Championship #7 Yamaha YZF-R1 * Season still in progress.
Max-neukirchner.de Official Website
Spain the Kingdom of Spain, is a country located in Europe. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula, its territory includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country. Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are part of Spanish territory; the country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar. With an area of 505,990 km2, Spain is the largest country in Southern Europe, the second largest country in Western Europe and the European Union, the fourth largest country in the European continent. By population, Spain is the fifth in the European Union. Spain's capital and largest city is Madrid. Modern humans first arrived in the Iberian Peninsula around 35,000 years ago. Iberian cultures along with ancient Phoenician, Greek and Carthaginian settlements developed on the peninsula until it came under Roman rule around 200 BCE, after which the region was named Hispania, based on the earlier Phoenician name Spn or Spania.
At the end of the Western Roman Empire the Germanic tribal confederations migrated from Central Europe, invaded the Iberian peninsula and established independent realms in its western provinces, including the Suebi and Vandals. The Visigoths would forcibly integrate all remaining independent territories in the peninsula, including Byzantine provinces, into the Kingdom of Toledo, which more or less unified politically and all the former Roman provinces or successor kingdoms of what was documented as Hispania. In the early eighth century the Visigothic Kingdom fell to the Moors of the Umayyad Islamic Caliphate, who arrived to rule most of the peninsula in the year 726, leaving only a handful of small Christian realms in the north and lasting up to seven centuries in the Kingdom of Granada; this led to many wars during a long reconquering period across the Iberian Peninsula, which led to the creation of the Kingdom of Leon, Kingdom of Castile, Kingdom of Aragon and Kingdom of Navarre as the main Christian kingdoms to face the invasion.
Following the Moorish conquest, Europeans began a gradual process of retaking the region known as the Reconquista, which by the late 15th century culminated in the emergence of Spain as a unified country under the Catholic Monarchs. Until Aragon had been an independent kingdom, which had expanded toward the eastern Mediterranean, incorporating Sicily and Naples, had competed with Genoa and Venice. In the early modern period, Spain became the world's first global empire and the most powerful country in the world, leaving a large cultural and linguistic legacy that includes more than 570 million Hispanophones, making Spanish the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese. During the Golden Age there were many advancements in the arts, with world-famous painters such as Diego Velázquez; the most famous Spanish literary work, Don Quixote, was published during the Golden Age. Spain hosts the world's third-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Spain is a secular parliamentary democracy and a parliamentary monarchy, with King Felipe VI as head of state.
It is a major developed country and a high income country, with the world's fourteenth largest economy by nominal GDP and sixteenth largest by purchasing power parity. It is a member of the United Nations, the European Union, the Eurozone, the Council of Europe, the Organization of Ibero-American States, the Union for the Mediterranean, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Schengen Area, the World Trade Organization and many other international organisations. While not an official member, Spain has a "Permanent Invitation" to the G20 summits, participating in every summit, which makes Spain a de facto member of the group; the origins of the Roman name Hispania, from which the modern name España was derived, are uncertain due to inadequate evidence, although it is documented that the Phoenicians and Carthaginians referred to the region as Spania, therefore the most accepted etymology is a Semitic-Phoenician one.
Down the centuries there have been a number of accounts and hypotheses: The Renaissance scholar Antonio de Nebrija proposed that the word Hispania evolved from the Iberian word Hispalis, meaning "city of the western world". Jesús Luis Cunchillos argues that the root of the term span is the Phoenician word spy, meaning "to forge metals". Therefore, i-spn-ya would mean "the land where metals are forged", it may be a derivation of the Phoenician I-Shpania, meaning "island of rabbits", "land of rabbits" or "edge", a reference to Spain's location at the end of the Mediterranean. The word in question means "Hyrax" due to Phoenicians confusing the two animals. Hispania may derive from the poetic use of the term Hesperia, reflecting the Greek perception of Italy as a "western land" or "land of the setting sun" (Hesperia
Troy Bayliss is an Australian motorcycle racer. During his career Bayliss won the Superbike World Championship three times and a MotoGP race, all with Ducati, he finished his career after winning the 2008 World Superbike title. His 52 World Superbike victories are only behind Jonathan Rea. Troy did much of his growing up in the Northwest NSW town of Warialda, where his father, was a baker, his mother Lorraine drove a local school bus part-time; the family lived in Apollo Ave, across from the local high school. By age 10, Troy was an accomplished motocross rider, could be found riding through the local bushland which surrounded the town and came right up to the back of the family house; the family moved to Taree. Bayliss showed much promise as a youngster in the sport, however when he entered his teens his enthusiasm for racing waned, he commuted to work by bicycle. On this daily commute Bayliss would pass a motorcycle dealership and was tempted enough to obtain a loan to purchase a Kawasaki ZXR 750 on which he commenced racing.
He won the first race he performed well in subsequent events. As a result of this early success and despite the financial risk he was taking, Bayliss decided to compete in the Australian Supersport championship, Age 26. After finishing as runner-up in the Australian supersport championship in 1995, Bayliss moved up to the Australian Superbikes series the next year, finishing third that year and second in 1997, his big break came that year – he was entered as a wildcard for the 1997 Australian 250 Grand Prix riding for the Dutch Arie Molenaar Suzuki team. On a underpowered machine compared to his competitors, Troy finished in sixth despite exiting the final corner in third place, such was the lack of power of his machine. Bayliss's remarkable performance on a underpowered machine earned him considerable attention, he was subsequently offered a ride in the British championship with the new GSE Ducati team the next year, his first win came in race 11 at Cadwell Park, but a large number of crashes and mechanical failures prevented a serious title challenge.
This changed in Bayliss beating Chris Walker to the title. Bayliss began the 2000 season competing for Ducati in the US's AMA Superbike Championship, but was called in to replace Carl Fogarty in the Superbike World Championship when the latter was injured at Philip Island. Despite missing the first three rounds and having a poor start at his first race in Sugo, Bayliss had a creditable season, winning two races and earning sixth overall in the championship. In the 2001 season Bayliss opened with four seconds in five races, took his first victory in race 8 at Monza, his consistent performances and six race wins paved for the way for the championship title, defeating reigning champion Colin Edwards. Bayliss clinched the title in the penultimate meeting at Assen when Edwards broke down, however he failed to earn any points in the final meeting after crashing in race 1 and suffering a broken collarbone. Bayliss started 2002 in dominant form breaking the record for most race wins in a season, but Edwards thanks to his consistency in minimizing the points lost when Bayliss won by finishing second overturned the advantage, Edwards won his second title at a thrilling final round in Imola.
Bayliss crossed the line first in race one, but lost on aggregate, as the first part of race one being red flagged because of an oil leak by Peter Goddard's Benelli. Incidentally, Peter Goddard vacated his seat on the Suzuki superbike in the Australian series in 1997 and recommended Troy for his position. In retrospect, the 2002 season had been lost due to mishaps created by his own team. Troy was injured at Brands Hatch when colliding with his teammate Ruben Xaus, whilst Xaus was swerving to bring heat into his tyres, after the Laguna Seca round, Ducati changed the frame; this frame change would prove costly as Bayliss complained that the bike didn't feel like the same machine he had been riding previously. It was only at the final round in Imola. Bayliss was competitive all weekend. Both Bayliss and Edwards moved to MotoGP in 2003, it was Bayliss, more successful. In Ducati's first season in the class their bike was competitive, with Bayliss taking three third places and finishing sixth overall in the championship.
He led at Philip Island and Welkom, only narrowly losing the rookie of the year race to Nicky Hayden. Teammate Loris Capirossi took their first win at the Circuit de Catalunya. 2004 was a difficult year for the team however, with Bayliss only 14th in the standings. Despite its prodigious straight-line speed the bike didn't handle well, with Bayliss over-riding and crashing this led to Bayliss' subsequent sacking from the factory Ducati squad, a part of which Bayliss had been for five years previous; this move was considered an unpopular one by many, considering that neither Bayliss nor Capirossi were able to perform as well as they had the previous year. According to some, confirmation that Bayliss' sacking was influenced by sponsorship pressure rather than any performance based reasons was seen in the appointment of Carlos Checa as Bayliss' replacement. However, Bayliss is much older than Capirossi, had not been as close to him in 2004 as he had in 2003, so some questioned whether he had any more to offer the team.
However, good results near the end of the season earned him a ride with Sito Pons' Camel Honda team for 2005, but was not a frontrunner, despite promising speed shown in
Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south; the kanji that make up Japan's name mean "sun origin", it is called the "Land of the Rising Sun". Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago consisting of about 6,852 islands; the four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido and Shikoku, which make up about ninety-seven percent of Japan's land area and are referred to as home islands. The country is divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions, with Hokkaido being the northernmost prefecture and Okinawa being the southernmost one; the population of 127 million is the world's tenth largest. 90.7 % of people live in cities. About 13.8 million people live in the capital of Japan. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world with over 38 million people. Archaeological research indicates; the first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD.
Influence from other regions China, followed by periods of isolation from Western Europe, has characterized Japan's history. From the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive feudal military shōguns who ruled in the name of the Emperor. Japan entered into a long period of isolation in the early 17th century, ended in 1853 when a United States fleet pressured Japan to open to the West. After nearly two decades of internal conflict and insurrection, the Imperial Court regained its political power in 1868 through the help of several clans from Chōshū and Satsuma – and the Empire of Japan was established. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, victories in the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War and World War I allowed Japan to expand its empire during a period of increasing militarism; 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 Japanese surrender. Since adopting its revised constitution on May 3, 1947, during the occupation led by SCAP, the sovereign state of Japan has maintained a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy with an Emperor and an elected legislature called the National Diet.
Japan is a member of the ASEAN Plus mechanism, UN, the OECD, the G7, the G8, the G20, is considered a great power. Its economy is the world's third-largest by nominal GDP and the fourth-largest by purchasing power parity, it is the world's fourth-largest exporter and fourth-largest importer. Japan benefits from a skilled and educated workforce. Although it has renounced its right to declare war, Japan maintains a modern military with the world's eighth-largest military budget, used for self-defense and peacekeeping roles. Japan is a developed country with a high standard of living and Human Development Index, its population enjoys the highest life expectancy and third lowest infant mortality rate in the world, but is experiencing issues due to an aging population and low birthrate. Japan is renowned for its historical and extensive cinema, influential music industry, video gaming, rich cuisine and its major contributions to science and modern technology; the Japanese word for Japan is 日本, pronounced Nihon or Nippon and means "the origin of the sun".
The character nichi means "sun" or "day". The compound therefore means "origin of the sun" and is the source of the popular Western epithet "Land of the Rising Sun"; the earliest record of the name Nihon appears in the Chinese historical records of the Tang dynasty, the Old Book of Tang. At the end of the seventh century, a delegation from Japan requested that Nihon be used as the name of their country; this name may have its origin in a letter sent in 607 and recorded in the official history of the Sui dynasty. Prince Shōtoku, the Regent of Japan, sent a mission to China with a letter in which he called himself "the Emperor of the Land where the Sun rises"; the message said: "Here, I, the emperor of the country where the sun rises, send a letter to the emperor of the country where the sun sets. How are you". Prior to the adoption of Nihon, other terms such as Yamato and Wakoku were used; the term Wa is a homophone of Wo 倭, used by the Chinese as a designation for the Japanese as early as the third century Three Kingdoms period.
Another form of Wa, Wei in Chinese) was used for an early state in Japan called Nakoku during the Han dynasty. However, the Japanese disliked some connotation of Wa 倭, it was therefore replaced with the substitute character Wa, meaning "togetherness, harmony"; the English word Japan derives from the historical Chinese pronunciation of 日本. The Old Mandarin or early Wu Chinese pronunciation of Japan was recorded by Marco Polo as Cipangu. In modern Shanghainese, a Wu dialect, the pronunciation of characters 日本; the old Malay word for Japan, Japun or Japang, was borrowed from a southern coastal Chinese dialect Fukienese or Ningpo – and this Malay word was encountered by Portuguese traders in Southeast Asia in the 16th century. These Early Portuguese traders brought the word