Economy of Japan

The economy of Japan is a developed free-market economy. It is the third-largest in the world by nominal GDP and the fourth-largest by purchasing power parity, and is the world's second largest developed economy. Japan is a member of the G7. According to the International Monetary Fund, the country's per capita GDP was at $38,937. Due to a volatile currency exchange rate, Japan's GDP as measured in dollars fluctuates sharply. Accounting for these fluctuations through the use of the Atlas method, Japan is estimated to have a GDP per capita of around $38,490; the Japanese economy is forecast by the Quarterly Tankan survey of business sentiment conducted by the Bank of Japan. The Nikkei 225 presents the monthly report of top blue chip equities on Japan Exchange Group, the world's third-largest stock exchange by market capitalisation. In 2018, Japan was the fourth-largest exporter, it has the world's second-largest foreign-exchange reserves worth $1.3 trillion. It ranks 39th on Ease of doing business 5th on Global Competitiveness Report.

Japan is the world's third-largest consumer market. Japan is the world's third largest automobile manufacturing country, has the largest electronics goods industry, is ranked among the world's most innovative countries leading several measures of global patent filings. Facing increasing competition from China and South Korea, manufacturing in Japan today now focuses on high-tech and precision goods, such as optical instruments, hybrid vehicles, robotics. Besides the Kantō region, the Kansai region is one of the leading industrial clusters and manufacturing centers for the Japanese economy; the size and industrial structure of cities in Japan have maintained tight regularities despite substantial churning of population and industries across cities overtime. Japan is the world's largest creditor nation. Japan runs an annual trade surplus and has a considerable net international investment surplus; as of 2010, Japan possesses 13.7% of the world's private financial assets at an estimated $13.5 trillion.

As of 2017, 51 of the Fortune Global 500 companies are based in Japan, down from 62 in 2013. Japan has the highest ratio of public debt to GDP of any developed nation, with national debt at 236% relative to GDP as of 2017; this debt is predominantly owned by Japanese nationals. The Japanese economy faces considerable challenges posed by a declining population, which peaked at 128 million in 2010 and has fallen to 126.5 million as of 2018. Projections suggest the population will continue to fall to lower than 100 million by the middle of the 21st century. In the three decades of economic development following 1960, rapid economic growth referred to as the Japanese post-war economic miracle occurred. By the guidance of Ministry of Economy and Industry, with average growth rates of 10% in the 1960s, 5% in the 1970s, 4% in the 1980s, Japan was able to establish and maintain itself as the world's second largest economy from 1978 until 2010, when it was surpassed by the People's Republic of China.

By 1990, income per capita in Japan surpassed that in most countries in the West. During the second half of the 1980s, rising stock and real estate prices created an economic bubble; the economic bubble came to an abrupt end as the Tokyo Stock Exchange crashed in 1990–92 and real estate prices peaked in 1991. Growth in Japan throughout the 1990s at 1.5% was slower than global growth, giving rise to the term Lost Decade. After another decade of low growth rate, the term became the Lost 20 Years. Nonetheless, GDP per capita growth from 2001 to 2010 has still managed to outpace Europe and the United States. With this low growth rate, the national debt of Japan has expanded due to its considerable social welfare spending in an aging society with a shrinking tax-base; the scenario of "Abandoned homes" continues to spread from rural areas to urban areas in Japan. A mountainous, volcanic island country, Japan has inadequate natural resources to support its growing economy and large population, therefore exports goods in which it has a comparative advantage such as engineering-oriented and development-led industrial products in exchange for the import of raw materials and petroleum.

Japan is among the top-three importers for agricultural products in the world next to the European Union and United States in total volume for covering of its own domestic agricultural consumption. Japan is the world's largest single national importer of fishery products. Tokyo Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market is the largest wholesale market for primary products in Japan, including the renowned Tsukiji fish market. Japanese whaling, ostensibly for research purposes, has been sued as illegal under international law. Although many kinds of minerals were extracted throughout the country, most mineral resources had to be imported in the postwar era. Local deposits of metal-bearing ores were difficult to process; the nation's large and varied forest resources, which covered 70 percent of the country in the late 1980s, were not utilized extensively. Because of political decisions on local and national levels, Japan decided not to exploit its forest resources for economic gain. Domestic sources only supplied between 30 percent of the nation's timber needs.

Agriculture and fishing were the best developed resources, but only through years of painstaking investment and toil. The nation, built up the manufacturing and processing industries to convert raw materials imported from abroad; this strategy of economic development necessitated the establishment of a strong economic infrastructure to provide the needed energy, communicatio

Bishop's Castle, Glasgow

The Bishop's Castle known as Glasgow Castle and as the Bishop's Palace, was a medieval castle in Glasgow, Scotland. It served as the residence of the bishops and archbishops of Glasgow Cathedral until the Reformation, when the last Catholic archbishop, James Beaton, fled to France in about 1560; the castle was destroyed in the late 18th century, to make way for the Glasgow Royal Infirmary. The origins of the castle are unclear, but the first development was in the 12th century, it was recorded as a royal fortress in the mid 13th century. It had become an episcopal residence by the time of the Wars of Scottish Independence, when William Wallace recaptured the castle from the English in 1296. In 1301 the castle was garrisoned again by Edward I. In the 15th century a 5-storey keep was built by Bishop Cameron, this was extended with additional fortifications and buildings, constructed by bishops. Archbishop Beaton added a large corner tower, Archbishop Dunbar built a round-towered gatehouse in 1544.

The central keep served as the residence of the bishop, was called the Bishop's Palace. The castle played a role in the many political battles during the 16th century, including the protracted struggle between supporters of Mary, Queen of Scots, her enemies, it changed hands six times between 1513 and 1570, was occupied by French troops at one point. In 1544 it was defended in 1560 defended for Arran; the castle fell into disrepair during the 17th century, despite an attempt at repair by Archbishop Ross in the 1680s, was dismantled for its stone. It was demolished in 1789, to make way for the construction of the Glasgow Royal Infirmary. Foundations of the castle were discovered during excavations for the St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art in the 1980s; the museum building was designed by architect Iain Begg to reflect the style of the Bishop's Castle. A stone from the castle, with a modern plaque, is located in Cathedral Square, marking the location of the keep. Coventry, Martin The Castles of Scotland, Goblinshead, 2001 Mason, Gordon The Castles of Glasgow and the Clyde, Goblinshead, 2000 Glasgow Story - Bishop's Castle See Glasgow - Medieval Glasgow

Al-Hariri of Basra

Abū Muhammad al-Qāsim ibn Alī ibn Muhammad ibn Uthmān al-Harīrī, popularly known as al-Hariri of Basra was an Arab poet, scholar of the Arabic language and a high government official of the Seljuk Empire. He is known for his Maqamat al-Hariri, a collection of some 50 stories written in the Maqama style, a mix of verse and literary prose. Although the maqamat did not originate with al-Hariri, he elevated the genre to an art form. Al-Hariri was born 446 AH and died in his native city of Basra in AH 516. Although his place of birth is uncertain, scholars suggest that he was born in Mashan, where his family had a palm tree plantation, and only resided in Basra after the age of maturity. The street where he died, Banu Haaran, was a place where Bedouins were known to have settled and was a centre of Basra's silk manufacturing industry, his name, al-Hariri reflects his residence. He liked to boast of his Arab heritage: he was a descendant of Rabi’at al Faras, son of Nizār, the son of Ma’add, the son of Adnan al-Ya`muri, a companion of Muhammad.

His family had achieved great wealth, enabling him to receive a good education, studying with Al Fadl al Kasbani. He is known to have studied jurisprudence, his occupation is described as a high official. Al-Hariri divided his time between Basra where he had his business interests and Baghdad where he carried out his literary activities. In terms of al-Hariri's physical appearance, he was short in stature and wore a beard, which he had the habit of plucking when he was deep in thought He was described as an exceptionally ugly man; when visitors shunned his appearance, he would tell them: "I am a man to be heard, not seen". He is best known for writing Maqamat al-Hariri, a virtuosic display of saj', consisting of 50 anecdotes written in stylized prose, once memorized by heart by scholars, Mulhat al-i'rab fi al-nawh, an extensive poem on grammar. Various accounts of Al-Hariri's inspiration to write the Maqmat can be found in the literature. One account, which has become the established account, was related by Al Hariri's son, Abu al-Qasim Abdullah, is that the author and his servants, were seated in a mosque in Banu Haaran when an indigent man, by the name of Abu Zayd, dressed in ragged cloaks and spoke with great fluency and elegance.

The speaker related the story of his native city of Saruj being ransacked and his daughter taken captive. As soon as it first appeared, Al-Hariri's Maqamat attained enormous popularity across the Arab-speaking world, with people travelling from as far afield as Andalusia to hear the verse read from the author's lips; the work's alternative title, ‘'The Assemblies'’ comes from the fact that maqamat were recited before an assembled audience. During the author's lifetime, the work was worthy of memorisation, public recitation and literary commentaries. Al-Hariri himself recited his Maqamat before learned scholars. Audience members would make corrections to their own personal manuscripts. At the time, this type of public recitation was the main method for disseminating copies of literary works in the Arab speaking world; when al-Hariri had written 40 maqamat, he collected them into a single volume and headed to Baghdad where he expected a triumphant reception. However, his opponents accused him of plagiarism.

To test the merit of such claims, the Vizier sent for al-Hariri and invited him to compose a letter on a specified subject. However, Al-Hariri was not an improviser, rather he required long periods of solitude in which to compose his stories, although he retired to a corner for a lengthy period, he was unable to produce anything and was ashamed. In an effort to redeem his reputation, al -Hariri returned to Basra where he composed ten additional maqamat in the following months, he had two sons. His sons were trained in the recitation of their father's Maqamat. For more than eight centuries, Al-Hariri's best known work, his Maqmat has been regarded as the greatest treasure in Arabic literature after the Koran; as a genre, the maqamat was developed by Badi' al-Zaman al-Hamadani, but Al-Hariri elevated it into major literary form. Al-Hariri's Maqamat consists of 50 anecdotes, related by Abu Zayd to Al-Harith, understood to be the work's narrator. Abu Zayd is a wanderer and confidence trickster, able to survive using his wiles and his eloquence.

The work makes extensive use of language as spoken by desert Arabs – its idioms and subtle expressions. Al-Hariri's Maqamat made extensive use of literary artifice. In one maqama, known as "the reversal" sentences can be read in reverse, giving each passage an opposite meaning. In the 26th maqama, known as the "Spotted", the protagonist composes a "spotted letter" in which a character with a dot is alternated with a character without a dot. In a passage that al-Hariri added to a version of his Maqamat, he lists a variety of techniques: Language and light, jewells of eloquence, verses from the Q’ran, choice metaphors, Arab proverbs, grammatical riddles, double meanings of words, discourses and entertaining jests. Like most books of the period, maqamat were intended to be read aloud before a large gathering. Oral retellings of maqamat were improvised, however, al-Hariri who composed his stories in private, intended them as fin