Laos the Lao People's Democratic Republic referred to by its colloquial name of Muang Lao, is a socialist state and the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia. Located at the heart of the Indochinese peninsula, Laos is bordered by Myanmar and China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the southwest, Thailand to the west and southwest. Present-day Laos traces its historic and cultural identity to the kingdom of Lan Xang Hom Khao, which existed for four centuries as one of the largest kingdoms in Southeast Asia. Due to Lan Xang's central geographical location in Southeast Asia, the kingdom became a popular hub for overland trade, becoming wealthy economically as well as culturally. After a period of internal conflict, Lan Xang broke off into three separate kingdoms—Luang Phrabang and Champasak. In 1893, it became a French protectorate, with the three territories uniting to form what is now known as the country of Laos, it gained independence in 1945 after Japanese occupation, but was recolonised by France until it won autonomy in 1949.
Laos became independent with a constitutional monarchy under Sisavang Vong. Shortly after independence, a long civil war began, which saw the communist resistance, supported by the Soviet Union, fight against, the monarchy and a number of military dictatorships, supported by the United States. After the Vietnam War ended in 1975, the Communist Pathet Lao movement came to power, seeing the end to the civil war. During the first years of Communist rule, Laos was dependent on military and economic aid supported by the Soviet Union until its dissolution in 1991. In 2018, the country had the fourth highest GDP per capita in Indochina, after Singapore and Thailand. In the same year, the country ranked 139th on the Human Development Index, indicating medium development. Laos is a member of the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, East Asia Summit and La Francophonie. Laos applied for membership of the World Trade Organization in 1997, it is a one-party socialist republic espousing Marxism–Leninism governed by the Lao People's Revolutionary Party.
The capital and largest city is Vientiane. Other major cities include Luang Prabang and Pakse; the official language is Lao. Laos is a multi-ethnic country, with the politically and culturally dominant Lao people making up about 55 percent of the population in the lowlands. Mon-Khmer groups, the Hmong and other indigenous hill tribes, accounting for 45 percent of the population, live in the foothills and mountains. Laos's strategies for development are based on generating electricity from its rivers and selling the power to its neighbours, namely Thailand and Vietnam, as well as its initiative to become a "land-linked" nation, shown by the construction of four new railways connecting Laos to its neighbours. Laos has been referred to as one of East Asia and Pacific's Fastest Growing Economies by the World Bank, with annual GDP growth averaging 7.8% for the past decade. The English word Laos was coined by the French, who united the three Lao kingdoms in French Indochina in 1893 and named the country as the plural of the dominant and most common ethnic group, which are the Lao people.
In the Lao language, the country's name is "Muang Lao" or "Pathet Lao", both mean "Lao Country". An ancient human skull was recovered from the Tam Pa Ling Cave in the Annamite Mountains in northern Laos. Stone artifacts including Hoabinhian types have been found at sites dating to the Late Pleistocene in northern Laos. Archaeological evidence suggests agriculturist society developed during the 4th millennium BC. Burial jars and other kinds of sepulchers suggest a complex society in which bronze objects appeared around 1500 BC, iron tools were known from 700 BC; the proto-historic period is characterised by contact with Indian civilisations. According to linguistic and other historical evidence, Tai-speaking tribes migrated southwestward to the modern territories of Laos and Thailand from Guangxi sometime between the 8th–10th centuries. Laos traces its history to the kingdom of Lan Xang, founded in the 14th century by a Lao prince Fa Ngum, with 10,000 Khmer troops, took over Vientiane. Ngum was descended from a long line of Lao kings.
He made Theravada Buddhism Lan Xang prospered. Within 20 years of its formation, the kingdom expanded eastward to Champa and along the Annamite mountains in Vietnam, his ministers, unable to tolerate his ruthlessness, forced him into exile to the present-day Thai province of Nan in 1373, where he died. Fa Ngum's eldest son, Oun Heuan, ascended to the throne under the name Samsenthai and reigned for 43 years. Lan Xang became an important trade centre during Samsenthai's reign, but after his death in 1421 it collapsed into warring factions for 100 years. In 1520, Photisarath came to the throne and moved the capital from Luang Prabang to Vientiane to avoid a Burmese invasion. Setthathirat became king in 1548, after his father was killed, ordered the construction of what became the symbol of Laos, That Luang. Setthathirat disappeared in the mountains on his way back from a military expedition into Cambodia and Lan Xang began to decline, it was not until 1637, when Sou
Nepal the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked country in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas but includes parts of the Indo-Gangetic Plain. With an estimated population of 26.4 million, it is 48th largest country by population and 93rd largest country by area. It borders China in the north and India in the south and west while Bangladesh is located within only 27 km of its southeastern tip and Bhutan is separated from it by the Indian state of Sikkim. Nepal has a diverse geography, including fertile plains, subalpine forested hills, eight of the world's ten tallest mountains, including Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth. Kathmandu is largest city. Nepal is a multiethnic nation with Nepali as the official language; the name "Nepal" is first recorded in texts from the Vedic period of the Indian subcontinent, the era in ancient India when Hinduism was founded, the predominant religion of the country. In the middle of the first millennium BCE, Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, was born in Lumbini in southern Nepal.
Parts of northern Nepal were intertwined with the culture of Tibet. The centrally located Kathmandu Valley is intertwined with the culture of Indo-Aryans, was the seat of the prosperous Newar confederacy known as Nepal Mandala; the Himalayan branch of the ancient Silk Road was dominated by the valley's traders. The cosmopolitan region developed distinct traditional architecture. By the 18th century, the Gorkha Kingdom achieved the unification of Nepal; the Shah dynasty established the Kingdom of Nepal and formed an alliance with the British Empire, under its Rajput Rana dynasty of premiers. The country was never colonized but served as a buffer state between Imperial China and British India. Parliamentary democracy was introduced in 1951, but was twice suspended by Nepalese monarchs, in 1960 and 2005; the Nepalese Civil War in the 1990s and early 2000s resulted in the proclamation of a secular republic in 2008, ending the world's last Hindu monarchy. The Constitution of Nepal, adopted in 2015, establishes Nepal as a federal secular parliamentary republic divided into seven provinces.
Nepal was admitted to the United Nations in 1955, friendship treaties were signed with India in 1950 and the People's Republic of China in 1960. Nepal hosts the permanent secretariat of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, of which it is a founding member. Nepal is a member of the Non Aligned Movement and the Bay of Bengal Initiative; the military of Nepal is the fifth largest in South Asia. Local legends have it that a Hindu sage named "Ne" established himself in the valley of Kathmandu in prehistoric times, that the word "Nepal" came into existence as the place was protected by the sage "Nemi", it is mentioned in Vedic texts. According to the Skanda Purana, a rishi called. In the Pashupati Purana, he is mentioned as a protector, he is said to have taught there. The name of the country is identical in origin to the name of the Newar people; the terms "Nepāl", "Newār", "Newāl" and "Nepār" are phonetically different forms of the same word, instances of the various forms appear in texts in different times in history.
Nepal is the learned Sanskrit form and Newar is the colloquial Prakrit form. A Sanskrit inscription dated 512 CE found in Tistung, a valley to the west of Kathmandu, contains the phrase "greetings to the Nepals" indicating that the term "Nepal" was used to refer to both the country and the people, it has been suggested that "Nepal" may be a Sanskritization of "Newar", or "Newar" may be a form of "Nepal". According to another explanation, the words "Newar" and "Newari" are vulgarisms arising from the mutation of P to V, L to R. Neolithic tools found in the Kathmandu Valley indicate that people have been living in the Himalayan region for at least eleven thousand years. Nepal is first mentioned in the late Vedic Atharvaveda Pariśiṣṭa as a place exporting blankets, in the post-Vedic Atharvashirsha Upanishad. In Samudragupta's Allahabad Pillar it is mentioned as a border country; the Skanda Purana has a separate chapter, known as "Nepal Mahatmya", with more details. Nepal is mentioned in Hindu texts such as the Narayana Puja.
Legends and ancient texts that mention the region now known as Nepal reach back to the 30th century BC. The Gopal Bansa were one of the earliest inhabitants of Kathmandu valley; the earliest rulers of Nepal were the Kiratas, peoples mentioned in Hindu texts, who ruled Nepal for many centuries. Various sources mention up to 32 Kirati kings. Around 500 BCE, small kingdoms and confederations of clans arose in the southern regions of Nepal. From one of these, the Shakya polity, arose a prince who renounced his status to lead an ascetic life, founded Buddhism, came to be known as Gautama Buddha. By 250 BCE, the southern regions had come under the influence of the Maurya Empire of North India and became a vassal state under the Gupta Empire in the 4th century CE. There is a quite detailed description of the kingdom of Nepal in the account of the renowned Chinese Buddhist pilgrim monk Xuanzang, dating from about 645 CE. Stone inscriptions in the Kathmandu Valley are important sources for the history of Nepal.
The kings of the Lichhavi dynasty have been found to have r
Thailand the Kingdom of Thailand and known as Siam, is a country at the centre of the Southeast Asian Indochinese peninsula composed of 76 provinces. At 513,120 km2 and over 68 million people, Thailand is the world's 50th largest country by total area and the 21st-most-populous country; the capital and largest city is a special administrative area. Thailand is bordered to the north by Myanmar and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, to the west by the Andaman Sea and the southern extremity of Myanmar, its maritime boundaries include Vietnam in the Gulf of Thailand to the southeast, Indonesia and India on the Andaman Sea to the southwest. Although nominally a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy, the most recent coup in 2014 established a de facto military dictatorship. Tai peoples migrated from southwestern China to mainland Southeast Asia from the 11th century. Various Indianised kingdoms such as the Mon, the Khmer Empire and Malay states ruled the region, competing with Thai states such as Ngoenyang, the Sukhothai Kingdom, Lan Na and the Ayutthaya Kingdom, which rivaled each other.
European contact began in 1511 with a Portuguese diplomatic mission to Ayutthaya, one of the great powers in the region. Ayutthaya reached its peak during cosmopolitan Narai's reign declining thereafter until being destroyed in 1767 in a war with Burma. Taksin reunified the fragmented territory and established the short-lived Thonburi Kingdom, he was succeeded in 1782 by Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke, the first monarch of the Chakri dynasty and founder of the Rattanakosin Kingdom, which lasted into the early 20th century. Through the 18th and 19th centuries, Siam faced pressure from France and the United Kingdom, including forced concessions of territory, but it remained the only Southeast Asian country to avoid direct Western rule. Following a bloodless revolution in 1932, Siam became a constitutional monarchy and changed its official name to "Thailand". While it joined the Allies in World War I, Thailand was an Axis satellite in World War II. In the late 1950s, a military coup revived the monarchy's influential role in politics.
Thailand became a major ally of the United States and played a key anti-communist role in the region. Apart from a brief period of parliamentary democracy in the mid-1970s, Thailand has periodically alternated between democracy and military rule. In the 21st century, Thailand endured a political crisis that culminated in two coups and the establishment of its current and 20th constitution by the military junta. Thailand is a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy under a military junta. Thailand is a founding member of Association of Southeast Asian Nations and remains a major ally of the US. Despite its comparatively sporadic changes in leadership, it is considered a regional power in Southeast Asia and a middle power in global affairs. With a high level of human development, the second largest economy in Southeast Asia, the 20th largest by PPP, Thailand is classified as a newly industrialized economy. Thailand the Kingdom of Thailand known as Siam, is a country at the centre of the Indochinese peninsula in Southeast Asia.
The country has always been called Mueang Thai by its citizens. By outsiders prior to 1949, it was known by the exonym Siam; the word Siam may have originated from Pali or Sanskrit श्याम or Mon ရာမည. The names Shan and A-hom seem to be variants of the same word; the word Śyâma is not its origin, but a learned and artificial distortion. Another theory is the name derives from Chinese: "Ayutthaya emerged as a dominant centre in the late fourteenth century; the Chinese called this region Xian, which the Portuguese converted into Siam." A further possibility is that Mon-speaking peoples migrating south called themselves'syem' as do the autochthonous Mon-Khmer-speaking inhabitants of the Malay Peninsula. The signature of King Mongkut reads SPPM Mongkut Rex Siamensium, giving the name "Siam" official status until 24 June 1939 when it was changed to Thailand. Thailand was renamed to Siam from 1946 to 1948. According to George Cœdès, the word Thai means "free man" in the Thai language, "differentiating the Thai from the natives encompassed in Thai society as serfs".
A famous Thai scholar argued that Thai means "people" or "human being", since his investigation shows that in some rural areas the word "Thai" was used instead of the usual Thai word "khon" for people. According to Michel Ferlus, the ethnonyms Thai/Tai would have evolved from the etymon *kri:'human being' through the following chain: *kəri: > *kəli: > *kədi:/*kədaj > *di:/*daj > *dajA > tʰajA2 or > tajA2. Michel Ferlus' work is based on some simple rules of phonetic change observable in the Sinosphere and studied for t
Singapore the Republic of Singapore, is an island city-state in Southeast Asia. It lies one degree north of the equator, at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, with Indonesia's Riau Islands to the south and Peninsular Malaysia to the north. Singapore's territory consists of one main island along with 62 other islets. Since independence, extensive land reclamation has increased its total size by 23%; the country is known for its transition from a developing to a developed one in a single generation under the leadership of its founder Lee Kuan Yew. In 1819, Sir Stamford Raffles founded colonial Singapore as a trading post of the British East India Company. After the company's collapse in 1858, the islands were ceded to the British Raj as a crown colony. During the Second World War, Singapore was occupied by Japan, it gained independence from the British Empire in 1963 by joining Malaysia along with other former British territories, but separated two years over ideological differences, becoming a sovereign nation in 1965.
After early years of turbulence and despite lacking natural resources and a hinterland, the nation developed as an Asian Tiger economy, based on external trade and its workforce. Singapore is a global hub for education, finance, human capital, logistics, technology, tourism and transport; the city ranks in numerous international rankings, has been recognised as the most "technology-ready" nation, top International-meetings city, city with "best investment potential", world's smartest city, world's safest country, second-most competitive country, third least-corrupt country, third-largest foreign exchange market, third-largest financial centre, third-largest oil refining and trading centre, fifth-most innovative country, the second-busiest container port. The Economist has ranked Singapore as the most expensive city to live in, since 2013, it is identified as a tax haven. Singapore is the only country in Asia with an AAA sovereign rating from all major rating agencies, one of 11 worldwide. Globally, the Port of Singapore and Changi Airport have held the titles of leading "Maritime Capital" and "Best Airport" for consecutive years, while Singapore Airlines is the 2018 "World's Best Airline".
Singapore ranks 9th on the UN Human Development Index with the 3rd highest GDP per capita. It is placed in key social indicators: education, life expectancy, quality of life, personal safety and housing. Although income inequality is high, 90% of homes are owner-occupied. According to the Democracy Index, the country is described as a "flawed democracy"; the city-state is home to 5.6 million residents, 39% of whom are foreign nationals, including permanent residents. There are four official languages: English, Mandarin Chinese, Tamil, its cultural diversity is reflected in major festivals. Pew Research has found. Multiracialism has been enshrined in its constitution since independence, continues to shape national policies in education, politics, among others. Singapore is a unitary parliamentary republic with a Westminster system of unicameral parliamentary government; the People's Action Party has won every election since self-government began in 1959. As one of the five founding members of ASEAN, Singapore is the host of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Secretariat and Pacific Economic Cooperation Council Secretariat, as well as many international conferences and events.
It is a member of the East Asia Summit, Non-Aligned Movement and the Commonwealth of Nations. The English name of Singapore is an anglicisation of the native Malay name for the country, in turn derived from Sanskrit, hence the customary reference to the nation as the Lion City, its inclusion in many of the nation's symbols. However, it is unlikely that lions lived on the island. There are however other suggestions for the origin of the name and scholars do not believe that the origin of the name is established; the central island has been called Pulau Ujong as far back as the third century CE "island at the end" in Malay. Singapore is referred to as the Garden City for its tree-lined streets and greening efforts since independence, the Little Red Dot for how the island-nation is depicted on many maps of the world and Asia, as a red dot. Singapore is referred to as the "Switzerland of Asia" in 2017 due to its neutrality on international and regional issues; the Greco-Roman astronomer Ptolemy identified a place called Sabana in the general area in the second century, the earliest written record of Singapore occurs in a Chinese account from the third century, describing the island of Pu Luo Chung.
This was itself a transliteration from the Malay name "Pulau Ujong", or "island at the end". The Nagarakretagama, a Javanese epic poem written in 1365, referred to a settlement on the island called Tumasik. In 1299, according to the Malay Annals, the Kingdom of Singapura was founded on the island by Sang Nila Utama. Although the historicity
Quezon City is the most populous and a urbanized city in the Philippines. It was founded by and named after Manuel L. Quezon, the 2nd President of the Philippines, to replace Manila as the national capital; the city was proclaimed as such in 1948. However, since all government buildings are still in Manila, many functions of national government remained there. Quezon City held the status as the official capital until 1976 when a presidential decree was issued to designate Manila as the capital and Metro Manila as the seat of government, it is the largest city in terms of population and land area in Metro Manila, the National Capital Region of the Philippines. Quezon City is not located in and should not be confused with Quezon Province, named after the president. Quezon City now hosts a number of government offices, the most important of which are the Batasang Pambansa Complex, the Quezon City Reception House. Quezon City serves as home to the University of the Philippines Diliman—the national university—and Ateneo de Manila University.
The Quezon Memorial Circle is a national shrine located in Quezon City. The park is an ellipse bounded by the Elliptical Road, its main feature is a mausoleum containing the remains of President Quezon and his wife, First Lady Aurora Quezon. Before Quezon City was created, its land was settled by the small individual towns of San Francisco del Monte and Balintawak. On August 23, 1896, the Katipunan, led by its Supremo Andrés Bonifacio, launched the Philippine Revolution against the Spanish Empire at the house of Melchora Aquino in Pugad Lawin. In the early 20th century, President Manuel L. Quezon dreamt of a city that would become the future capital of the country to replace Manila, it is believed that his earlier trip in Mexico influenced his vision. In 1938, President Quezon created the People's Homesite Corporation and purchased 15.29 km2 from the vast Diliman Estate of the Tuason family. The National Assembly of the Philippines passed Commonwealth Act 502, known as the Charter of Quezon City proposed as "Balintawak City.
President Quezon allowed the bill to lapse into law without his signature on October 12, 1939, thus establishing Quezon City. When Quezon City was created in 1939, the following barrios or sitios: Balingasa, Galas, Kangkong, La Loma, Masambong, San Isidro, San Jose and Tatalon from Caloocan. Instead of opposing them, the six towns willingly gave land to Quezon City in the belief that it would benefit the country's new capital. However, in 1941, the area within Wack Wack Golf and Country Club was reverted to Mandaluyong, Barangka and Jesus de la Peña to Marikina. In addition, the land of Camp Crame was part of San Juan. On 1 January 1942, President Quezon issued an executive order from the tunnel of Corregidor designating Jorge Vargas Mayor of Greater Manila, a new political entity comprising, aside from Manila proper, Quezon City, Pasay, San Juan, Mandaluyong and Parañaque. Greater Manila would be expanded to include Las Piñas, Navotas. Imperial Japanese forces occupied Quezon City in 1942 during World War II.
In October of that year, the Japanese authorities divided the City of Greater Manila into twelve districts, two of which were formed from Quezon City: Balintawak which consisted of San Francisco del Monte, La Loma. In 1945, combined Filipino and American troops under the United States Army, Philippine Commonwealth Army, Philippine Constabulary, with help from recognized guerrilla units and recaptured Quezon City in a few months, expelling Imperial Japanese forces. Heavy fighting occurred near Novaliches, which at that time was in Rizal Province, New Manila, a strongpoint. Toward the end of the Battle of Manila, Pres. Sergio Osmeña dissolved the Greater Manila Complex, which included the Japanese-created districts of Balintawak and Diliman, formed from the prewar Quezon City. After the war, Republic Act No. 333, which redefined the Caloocan–Quezon City boundary, was signed by President Elpidio Quirino on July 17, 1948, declaring Quezon City to be the national capital, specifying the city's area to be 156.60 km2.
The barrios of Baesa, Banlat, Novaliches Proper, Pasong Putik, Pasong Tamo, Pugad Lawin, San Bartolome and Talipapa, which belonged to Novaliches and had a combined area of about 8,100 hectares, were taken from Caloocan and ceded to Quezon City. This caused the territorial division of Caloocan into two non-contiguous parts, the South section being the more urbanized part, the North half being sub-rural. On June 16, 1950, the Quezon City Charter was revised by Republic Act No. 537, changing the city's boundaries to an area of 153.59 km2. Six years after on Ju
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