Japan is a sovereign island nation in Eastern Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asia Mainland and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea, the kanji that make up Japans name mean sun origin. 日 can be read as ni and means sun while 本 can be read as hon, or pon, Japan is often referred to by the famous epithet Land of the Rising Sun in reference to its Japanese name. Japan is an archipelago consisting of about 6,852 islands. The four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido and Shikoku, the country is divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions. Hokkaido being the northernmost prefecture and Okinawa being the southernmost one, the population of 127 million is the worlds tenth largest. Japanese people make up 98. 5% of Japans total population, approximately 9.1 million people live in the city of Tokyo, the capital of Japan. Archaeological research indicates that Japan was inhabited as early as the Upper Paleolithic period, the first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD.
Influence from other regions, mainly China, followed by periods of isolation, from the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive feudal military shoguns who ruled in the name of the Emperor. Japan entered into a period of isolation in the early 17th century. 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 bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japan is a member of the UN, the OECD, the G7, the G8, the country has the worlds third-largest economy by nominal GDP and the worlds fourth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It is the worlds fourth-largest exporter and fourth-largest importer, although Japan has officially renounced its right to declare war, it maintains a modern military with the worlds eighth-largest military budget, used for self-defense and peacekeeping roles. Japan is a country with a very high standard of living. Its population enjoys the highest life expectancy and the third lowest infant mortality rate in the world, in ancient China, Japan was called Wo 倭.
It was mentioned in the third century Chinese historical text Records of the Three Kingdoms in the section for the Wei kingdom, Wa became disliked because it has the connotation of the character 矮, meaning dwarf. The 倭 kanji has been replaced with the homophone Wa, meaning harmony, the Japanese word for Japan is 日本, which is pronounced Nippon or Nihon and literally means the origin of the sun. The earliest record of the name Nihon appears in the Chinese historical records of the Tang dynasty, at the start of the seventh century, a delegation from Japan introduced their country as Nihon
The Crown dependencies are the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea and the Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey in the English Channel. Being independently administered jurisdictions, they do not form part of either the United Kingdom or the British Overseas Territories and they are self-governing possessions of the Crown. Internationally, the dependencies are considered territories for which the United Kingdom is responsible rather than as sovereign states, as a result, they are not member states of the Commonwealth of Nations. However, they do have a relationship with the Commonwealth, the European Union and they are not part of the European Union, although they are within the EUs customs area. In each case, the head of government is referred to as a Chief Minister, the Crown is defined differently in each crown dependency. Legislation of the Isle of Man defines the Crown in right of the Isle of Man as being separate from the Crown in right of the United Kingdom and this constitutional concept is worded as the Crown in right of the Bailiwick of Guernsey.
Each Bailiwick is a Crown dependency and each is headed by a Bailiff, each Bailiwick has its own legal and healthcare systems, and their own separate immigration policies, with local status in one Bailiwick having no jurisdiction in the other. The two Bailiwicks exercise bilateral double taxation treaties, since 1961, the Bailiwicks have had separate courts of appeal, but generally the Bailiff of each Bailiwick has been appointed to serve on the panel of appellate judges for the other Bailiwick. The Bailiwick of Guernsey comprises three separate jurisdictions, which the nearby islands of Herm and Jethou. Sark, which includes the nearby island of Brecqhou. Alderney, including smaller surrounding uninhabited islands, the parliament of Guernsey is the States of Deliberation, the parliament of Sark is called the Chief Pleas, and the parliament of Alderney is called the States of Alderney. The three parliaments together can approve joint Bailiwick-wide legislation that applies in those parts of the Bailiwick whose parliaments approve it.
Guernsey issues its own coins and banknotes, Guernsey banknotes Coins of the Guernsey pound These circulate freely in both Bailiwicks alongside UK coinage and English and Scottish banknotes and they are not legal tender within the UK. There are no parties in any of the parliaments, candidates stand for election as independents. e. 5432 on 2 wheels and on 4 wheels, the Bailiwick of Jersey consists of the island of Jersey and a number of surrounding uninhabited islands. The parliament is the States of Jersey, the first known mention of which is in a document of 1497, Jersey issues its own coins and banknotes, Jersey banknotes Coins of the Jersey pound These circulate freely in both Bailiwicks alongside UK coinage and English and Scottish banknotes. They are not legal tender within the UK but are legal currency backed by deposits at the Bank of England, there are few political parties, as candidates generally stand for election as independents. The Isle of Mans Tynwald claims to be the worlds oldest parliament in continuous existence, candidates often stand for election as independents, rather than being selected by political parties
British Overseas Territories
The 14 British Overseas Territories are territories under the jurisdiction and sovereignty of the United Kingdom. They are the parts of the British Empire that have not been granted independence or have voted to remain British territories. These territories do not form part of the United Kingdom and, with the exception of Gibraltar, are not part of the European Union, though the Cyprus SBAs are subject to EU law and use the Euro. Most of the territories are internally self-governing, with the UK retaining responsibility for defence. The rest are either uninhabited or have a population of military or scientific personnel. They share the British monarch as head of state, the term British Overseas Territory was introduced by the British Overseas Territories Act 2002, replacing the term British Dependent Territory, introduced by the British Nationality Act 1981. Prior to 1 January 1983, the territories were referred to as British Crown Colonies. With the exceptions of the British Antarctic Territory and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands and the British Indian Ocean Territory, the Territories retain permanent civilian populations.
Permanent residency for the 7,000 or so living in the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri. Collectively, the Territories encompass a population of about 250,000 people, the vast majority of this,660,000 square miles, constitutes the British Antarctic Territory. The current minister responsible for the Territories excluding the Falkland Islands and the Sovereign Base Areas is Baroness Anelay, Minister of State for the Commonwealth, the other three territories are the responsibility of Sir Alan Duncan MP, Minister of State for Europe and the Americas. The first, colony was Newfoundland, where English fishermen routinely set up camps in the 16th century. It is now a province of Canada known as Newfoundland and Labrador and it retains strong cultural ties with Britain. English colonisation of North America began officially in 1607 with the settlement of Jamestown, st. Georges town, founded in Bermuda in that year, remains the oldest continuously inhabited British settlement in the New World. Bermuda and Bermudians have played important, sometimes pivotal, but generally underestimated or unacknowledged roles in the shaping of the English and British trans-Atlantic Empires.
These include maritime commerce, settlement of the continent and of the West Indies, separate self-governing colonies federated to become Canada, South Africa, and Rhodesia. These and other large self-governing colonies had become known as Dominions by the 1920s, the Dominions achieved almost full independence with the Statute of Westminster. Through a process of following the Second World War, most of the British colonies in Africa, Asia
Counties of the United Kingdom
The counties of the United Kingdom are subnational divisions of the United Kingdom, used for the purposes of administrative and political demarcation. The older term shire was historically equivalent to country, in Scotland shire was the only term used until after the Act of Union 1707. Since the early 19th century, counties have been adapted to new administrative and political requirements. In some areas of England and Wales, counties still perform the functions of local government. In other parts of the United Kingdom, especially within metropolitan areas, they have been replaced with alternative unitary authorities. Today, these by and large have replaced the historic county corporate entities granted self-governance with county government powers, the names of these regions are often well known, even famous seen in older historic geographic and literary referents. The whole of England is divided into 48 ceremonial counties, which are known as geographic counties. Many of these counties have their basis in the 39 historic counties whose origins lie in antiquity, outside Greater London and the Isles of Scilly, England is divided into 83 metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties.
These correspond to areas used for the purposes of local government, as of April 2009,27 such counties are divided into districts and have a county council. Most ceremonial counties correspond to a metropolitan or non-metropolitan county of the same name, the current arrangement is the result of incremental reform, from 1974 to 1996 the metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties corresponded directly with the ceremonial counties. From 1889 to 1974 areas with county councils were known as administrative counties, there are six counties in Northern Ireland. In order of landmass these are, Antrim, Londonderry, a mnemonic to help remember these counties is FAT-LAD. The six historic counties of Northern Ireland are no longer in use for administrative purposes, combined with the boroughs of Belfast and Derry, the counties do serve for organisational purposes within government, and often with private businesses and sporting clubs. The counties of Northern Ireland are all within the province of Ulster.
The regions and districts were abolished in 1996, under the Local Government etc. Act 1994, in favour of unitary Scottish council areas, the counties of Ross and Cromarty were merged to form Ross and Cromarty. One region and various districts, created in 1975, had similar to those of earlier counties. Two of the three islands areas—Orkney and Shetland—have boundaries identical to those of earlier counties, Scotland has registration counties, which are in current use
Currie is a suburb of Edinburgh, situated 7 miles south west of the city centre. A former village within the County of Midlothian, it lies to the south west of the city, Currie falls within the jurisdiction of the City of Edinburgh Council. It gives its name to a civil parish, in 2001 the population of Currie was 8,550 and it contained 3,454 houses. There is no accepted derivation of the name Currie but it is possibly from the Scottish Gaelic word curagh/curragh, a wet or boggy plain, or from the Brythonic word curi, a dell or hollow. The neighbouring suburb of Balerno derives its name from Scottish Gaelic, whilst the nearby Pentland Hills derive their name from Brythonic, the earliest record of a settlement in the Currie area is a Bronze Age razor found at Kinleith Mill and the stone cists at Duncans Belt and Blinkbonny. There are a few mentions of this area in mediaeval and early modern documents, one of the first is when Robert of Kildeleith became Chancellor of Scotland in 1249. Kildeleith means Chapel by the Leith, and survives today as Kinleith, Robert the Bruce gave Riccarton as a wedding present in 1315 and in 1392 the land passed to the family of Bishop Wardlaw.
In 1612 the land went to Ludovic Craig, a Senator of the College of Justice, in 1818 it passed to the female line and became the property of the Gibson-Craigs. There has been a Christian community in the area for more than 1,000 years, in 1018, the archdeacons of Lothian set up their headquarters in the area. A settlement began to shape around Currie Kirk and the main Lanark Road. The period 1921-1951 brought great changes with the building of council houses in Currie. Wider scale development began in the late 1950s and early 1960s with the construction of a housing estate to the east of Curriehill Road. House builders began to promote Currie as a pleasant commuting suburb of Edinburgh, Currie High School was constructed on its present site in 1966 and extensively refurbished and renewed in 1997. There was a short loop railway running over what is now the Water of Leith Walkway, the physical topography has ensured that the original historic core to the south of Lanark Road West including the Water of Leith has remained undeveloped.
In March 1972 the historic centre of Currie was declared a Conservation Area, in 1694, the heritors appointed a Mr Thomson to teach scholars in the Church until Thomas Craig of Riccarton found a place for the building of a school and house for the schoolmaster. The foundations of the school were laid in 1699, the school and school house cost 500 merks and the salary of the Schoolmaster, a Mr Thomson, was 20 pounds Scots per year. The move has now completed and the main campus of Heriot-Watt University occupies and manages a wooded area with enough space for future expansion. Currie has two football teams Currie Football Club and Currie Star FC
British Forces Post Office
The British Forces Post Office provides a postal service to HM Forces, separate from that provided by Royal Mail in the United Kingdom. BFPO addresses are used for the delivery of mail in the UK, BFPO moved from its original base at Inglis Barracks, Mill Hill to its current based at RAF Northolt in North West London in 2007. The mission of BFPO is to. provide an efficient and effective Postal, below is an example of a BFPO address, using the fictitious Loamshire Regiment,12345678 LCPL B Jones B Company 1 Loamshire Regt BFPO61 BFPO61 is for Milan, Italy. Until the handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997, BFPO1 was the address for British forces serving in the colony. When sending mail from the UK to a member of HM Forces serving overseas, the sender must address it to the appropriate BFPO number, in addition, mail to those destinations cannot be sent using the Bluey system. In 2012, in collaboration with Royal Mail, the BFPO introduced UK-style postcodes, to help ordering items online, the addresses are assigned to the notional post town BFPO and, as of 2012, the postcodes all begin with BF1.
Due to the sorting process at BFPO these UK style postcodes should not appear on items of mail. The letters are downloaded and printed and dispatched to the recipient via the military postal system. Letters sent by serving Armed Forces members to family and friends in the UK are downloaded and printed at various locations in the UK, the name, e-bluey, comes from the aerograms that are provided for troops on active service and their families at home. E-Bluey was thus a natural term for the BFPOs electronic hybrid mail system, the entire system uses high level 256K SSL security and encrypted databases. The e-blueys are downloaded from a web server and utilises Pressure Sealed forms that are printed and sealed with an integrated Printer/Sealer. This ensures maximum security and privacy and the correspondence is not censored or reviewed, the e-bluey was first conceived of by Brigadier Barry Cash, CE of the British Forces Post Office assigning the initial development to Major Roy Walker MBE in the late 1990s.
The service was activated the week before Christmas of 2000, photo capability was added in 2005 allowing senders to attach personal photos to their e-blueys. In the spring of 2003 during the first 3 months of the Invasion of Iraq over 250,000 e-blueys per month were sent, subsequently the e-bluey has become ubiquitous with mail delivery for British Troops and currently accounts for 80% of the flat mail delivered to troops in theatre. E-blueys are available in locations around the globe plus operational Navy ships. For the past ten years the system has been supported by SuperLetter. Com Inc. who provide the software. The system has won awards including BFPO e-bluey System Winner 2001 World Mail Award, BFPO e-bluey System Winner 2005 UK Mail Award. The E-bluey equipment has been maintained by Technical Support Services, a department within BFPO London, one of the services that is provided by some of the British Forces Post Offices is the issuing and cashing of postal orders
Yodel is a delivery service company in the United Kingdom and is one of the largest couriers along with Royal Mail. It was originally known as the Home Delivery Network until it acquired the B2B and B2C operations of DHL Express UK and thereafter and it is privately owned by the billionaire Barclay Brothers. Home Delivery Network operated as the division of Shop Direct Group until it demerged in 2008. It was formed by the merger of Business Express and Reality, Yodel has hubs at Shaw and Wednesbury. In 2011, the London Evening Standard carried a story on reports of packages from Yodel being lost or not delivered on time for Christmas, in March 2012, the BBCs Watchdog consumer programme broadcast a segment highly critical of Yodel. In January 2014, Yodel was voted as the worst delivery service in the UK for the second consecutive year, BBC Watchdog says that it continued to regularly receive reports of bad service after the re-branding to Yodel. Yodel was named the worst parcel delivery firm in a poll by MoneySavingExpert.
com, of 9,000 people, despite this, Yodel continues to be the delivery company of choice for many major UK retailers, largely due to the companys relatively low prices. The company apologised in November 2015 after one of the couriers had left a parcel on the roof of a customers home. In February 2016, Yodel was featured in a Dispatches investigation, the investigation was entitled Wheres My Missing Mail. The programme sent a reporter to work at Yodel as a sorter. The investigation highlighted how parcels had been thrown onto conveyor belts, during filming, staff could be seen dropping televisions and walking across parcels. During the twelve days the reporter spent working for Yodel, he witnessed parcels being thrown into the back of every day. One worker stated to the reporter that he was told by a manager that if it doesnt say fragile, the programme sent an undercover reporter to work as a delivery driver who was based on the outskirts of Leeds. The investigation highlighted that these drivers are self-employed, and in the case of the undercover reporter, they are paid a flat delivery rate of 60p per parcel based on a semi-rural route
Post Office Ltd
The company is owned by the British Governments Department for Business and Skills, through Postal Services Holding Company Limited. Post Office branches, along with the Royal Mail delivery service, were part of the General Post Office. Post Office Counters Ltd was created as an owned subsidiary of the Post Office corporation in 1986. After the Post Office corporation was renamed Royal Mail Group in 2001, Post Office Ltd has in recent years announced losses, a reported £102 million in 2006. This has raised concerns in the media regarding Post Office Ltds ability as a company to operate efficiently. Plans to cut the subsidy for rural post offices led to the announcement that 2,500 local post offices were to be closed. This announcement resulted in a backlash from local communities that relied on the service, in 2007, the government gave a £1.7 billion subsidy to Royal Mail Group so that it could turn a profit by 2011. This was to be used to invest across the network of Royal Mail, Post Office Ltd.
85 Crown post offices were closed,70 of which were sold to WHSmith and this followed a trial of six Post Office outlets in WHSmith stores. WHSmith was expected to make up to £2.5 million extra in annual profit,2,500 sub-post offices closed between 2008 and 2009. Redundancy packages were provided from public funding, in November 2010, the government committed £1.34 billion of funding up to 2015 to Post Office Ltd to enable it to modernise the Post Office network. As part of the Postal Services Act 2011, Post Office Ltd became independent of Royal Mail Group on 1 April 2012, a ten-year inter-business agreement was signed between the two companies to allow post offices to continue issuing stamps and handling letters and parcels for Royal Mail. The Act contained the option for Post Office Ltd to become an organisation in the future. On 8 February 2013, Post Office Ltd announced it was planning to move around seventy of its Crown post offices into shops and this would reduce the Crown network, which it stated was losing £40 million a year, to around 300.
On 27 November 2013, the government committed an additional £640 million of funding for 2015 to 2018 to allow Post Office Ltd to complete its network modernisation. There are currently around 11,500 post office branches across the UK, the majority of other branches are either run by various franchise partners or local subpostmaster or operators, as sub-postoffices. The Post Office has a variety of services throughout the network of branches. Products and services available vary throughout the network, main post offices generally provide the range of services
TNT Express is an international courier delivery services company with headquarters in Hoofddorp, Netherlands. The firm has fully owned operations in 61 countries and delivers documents, the company recorded sales of €6.91 billion in 2015. Its major competitors include United Parcel Service and DHL, tNTs competitor FedEx reached an agreement to buy the company in April 2015, which was completed on 25 May 2016. Shortly after the cessation of hostilities of World War II in Asia, at the same time, Hungarian immigrant Peter Abeles had formed Alltrans with fellow Hungarian immigrant George Rockey. In 1967, Alltrans merged with Thomas Nationwide Transport, and the companies became TNT Ltd. operating in both Australia and New Zealand. Having floated on the Dutch Stock Exchange in 1994/5, KPN bought TNT in a merger in 1996. Two years later, KPN demerged its postal division and combined it with TNT to form TNT N. V, on 26 May 2011, TNT Express was demerged from its parent company, taking a listing on the Euronext Amsterdam Stock Exchange. TNT N. V.
subsequently renamed itself PostNL, on March 19,2012, UPS announced its intention to acquire TNT Express for $6.7 billion. However, the deal fell through in January 2013 after it was announced that UPS had failed to obtain permission from the European Commission and as such had been blocked on competition grounds. In April 2015, FedEx announced its intention to buy TNT Express for €4. 4bn. The European Commission launched an investigation into the planned acquisition on 31 July 2015. On January 8,2016, the European Commission unconditionally approved the acquisition by FedEx, the deal was completed on May 25,2016. The company offers road- and air services in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, the Americas, the Middle East. In June 2014 TNT conducted a rail-freight trial assessing improving support to UK businesses, media related to TNT N. V. at Wikimedia Commons Official website Merger website
London postal district
The London postal district is the area in England of 241 square miles to which mail addressed to the LONDON post town is delivered. It was integrated by the Post Office into the national system of the United Kingdom during the early 1970s and corresponds to the N, NW, SW, SE, W, WC, E. The postal district has known as the London postal area. The County of London was much smaller at 117 square miles, by the 1850s, the rapid growth of the metropolitan area meant it became too large to operate efficiently as a single post town. A Post Office inquiry into the problem had been set up in 1837, in 1854 Charles Canning, the Postmaster General, set up a committee at the Post Office in St. Martins Le Grand to investigate how London could best be divided for the purposes of directing mail. In 1856, of the 470 million items of mail sent in the United Kingdom during the year, approximately one fifth were for delivery in London, the General Post Office thus at the control of the Postmaster General devised the area in 1856 project-managed by Sir Rowland Hill.
Hill produced an almost perfectly circular area of 12 miles radius from the central post office at St. Martins Le Grand, within the district it was divided into two central areas and eight compass points which operated much like separate post towns. Each was constituted London with a suffix indicating the area it covered, the system was introduced during 1857 and completed on 1 January 1858. The remaining eight letter prefixes have not changed, at the same time, the London postal district boundary was retracted in the east, removing places such as Ilford for good. In 1868 the S district was split between SE and SW, the NE and S codes have been re-used in the national postcode system and now refer to the NE postcode area around Newcastle upon Tyne and the S postcode area around Sheffield. In 1917, as a measure to improve efficiency, the districts were further subdivided with a number applied to each sub-district. Exceptionally and esoterically, W2 and SW11 are head districts, the numbered sub-districts became the outward code of the postcode system as expanded into longer codes during the 1970s.
Ad hoc changes have taken place to the organisation of the districts, subdivisions of postcode sub-districts Owing to heavier demand, seven high-density postcode districts in central London have been subdivided to create new, smaller postcode districts. This is achieved by adding a letter after the postcode district. Where such sub-districts are used such as on street signs and maps. The districts subdivided are E1, N1, EC SW1, W1, WC1, there are solely non-geographic suffixed sub-districts for PO boxes in NW1 and SE1. The London postal district has never been aligned with the London boundary, when the initial system was designed, the London boundary was restricted to the square mile of the small, ancient City of London. The wider metropolitan area covered parts of Middlesex, Kent, Essex
Postal counties of the United Kingdom
The postal counties of the United Kingdom, now known officially as the former postal counties, were postal subdivisions in routine use by Royal Mail until 1996. The raison dêtre of the postal county – as opposed to any kind of county – was to aid the sorting of mail by enabling differentiation between like-sounding post towns. Since 1996 this has been done by using the code of the postcode instead. For operational reasons the former counties, although broadly based on the counties of the United Kingdom, did not match up to their boundaries. The boundaries changed over time as post towns were created or amended, according to the Royal Mail, the former postal county data no longer forms part of postal addresses. It was removed from the Postcode Address File database in 2000, despite this, county data is routinely sold to companies, ostensibly in order for them to cleanse their own address data. As the former postal county data was the last to be in routine use, in 2009 the Royal Mail code of practice consultation included discussion of the possibility of replacing the currently supplied alias data with an up-to-date county information data field.
In 2010 the regulator advised Royal Mail to cease supply of county data altogether, for example, Chinley in Derbyshire had a postal address of Stockport, Cheshire which was updated to High Peak, Derbyshire when a new post town was created. Secondly, the London postal district, which formed a special post town, the postal district was created in 1858 and has periodically been revised. However, at no point has its boundary coincided with either the metropolis of 1855—1965, which was smaller, or the Greater London area created in 1965. For example, Wembley Stadium had an address of Wembley. Sewardstone, in the Epping Forest district of Essex, is the only locality outside Greater London to be included in the London postal district, the Royal Mail adopted some, but not all, of the local government reforms of 1965 and 1974/5. This caused postal counties in some areas to reflect boundary changes, although the Post Office did not follow the changes of the London Government Act 1963 with respect to the outer London suburbs, it did reflect the move of Potters Bar from Middlesex to Hertfordshire.
In contrast, Middlesex remained part of the address for Staines and Sunbury. Furthermore, retaining the existing county boundaries was explained as largely due to cost reasons. The Local Government Act 1972 redrew the county map of England, when the local government changes came into force, the Post Office announced that the new counties would form part of postal addresses from 1 July 1974, and should be used as soon as possible. Old counties could, still be used until 1 July 1975, in Humberside it is necessary to show whether an address is in North Humberside or South Humberside. Addresses in certain post-towns have not, in the past, included a county name, these addresses are unchanged, addresses in Greater London are unchanged as are addresses in any place where the new county bears the same name as the former one