Slovakia the Slovak Republic, is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east, Hungary to the south, Austria to the west, the Czech Republic to the northwest. Slovakia's territory spans about 49,000 square kilometres and is mountainous; the population is over 5.4 million and consists of Slovaks. The capital and largest city is Bratislava, the second largest city is Košice; the official language is Slovak. The Slavs arrived in the territory of present-day Slovakia in the 6th centuries. In the 7th century, they played a significant role in the creation of Samo's Empire and in the 9th century established the Principality of Nitra, conquered by the Principality of Moravia to establish Great Moravia. In the 10th century, after the dissolution of Great Moravia, the territory was integrated into the Principality of Hungary, which would become the Kingdom of Hungary in 1000. In 1241 and 1242, much of the territory was destroyed by the Mongols during their invasion of Central and Eastern Europe.
The area was recovered thanks to Béla IV of Hungary who settled Germans which became an important ethnic group in the area in what are today parts of central and eastern Slovakia. After World War I and the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Czechoslovak National Council established Czechoslovakia. A separate Slovak Republic existed during World War II as a totalitarian, clero-fascist one-party client state of Nazi Germany. At the end of World War II, Czechoslovakia was re-established as an independent country. A coup in 1948 ushered in a totalitarian one-party state under the Communist regime during whose rule the country existed as a satellite of the Soviet Union. Attempts for liberalization of communism in Czechoslovakia culminated in the Prague Spring, crushed by the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968. In 1989, the Velvet Revolution ended the Communist rule in Czechoslovakia peacefully. Slovakia became an independent state on 1 January 1993 after the peaceful dissolution of Czechoslovakia, sometimes known as the Velvet Divorce.
Slovakia is a developed country, with a high-income advanced economy and a high Human Development Index, a high standard of living and performs favourably in measurements of civil liberties, press freedom, internet freedom, democratic governance and peacefulness. The country maintains a combination of market economy with a comprehensive social security system. Citizens of Slovakia are provided with universal health care, free education and one of the longest paid parental leave in the OECD; the country joined the European Union on 1 May 2004 and joined the Eurozone on 1 January 2009. Slovakia is a member of the Schengen Area, NATO, the United Nations, the OECD, the WTO, CERN, the OSCE, the Council of Europe and the Visegrád Group. Although regional income inequality is high, 90% of citizens own their homes. In 2018, Slovak citizens had visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 179 countries and territories, ranking the Slovak passport 10th in the world; as part of Eurozone, Slovak legal tender is the world's 2nd-most-traded currency.
Slovakia is the world's largest per-capita car producer with a total of 1,040,000 cars manufactured in the country in 2016 alone and the 7th largest car producer in the European Union. The car industry represents 43% of Slovakia's industrial output, a quarter of its exports; the first written mention of name Slovakia is in 1586. It derives from the Czech word Slováky; the native name Slovensko derives from an older name of Slovaks Sloven what may indicate its origin before the 15th century. The original meaning was geographic, since Slovakia was a part of the multiethnic Kingdom of Hungary and did not form a separate administrative unit in this period. Radiocarbon dating puts the oldest surviving archaeological artefacts from Slovakia – found near Nové Mesto nad Váhom – at 270,000 BCE, in the Early Paleolithic era; these ancient tools, made by the Clactonian technique, bear witness to the ancient habitation of Slovakia. Other stone tools from the Middle Paleolithic era come from the Prévôt cave in Bojnice and from other nearby sites.
The most important discovery from that era is a Neanderthal cranium, discovered near Gánovce, a village in northern Slovakia. Archaeologists have found prehistoric human skeletons in the region, as well as numerous objects and vestiges of the Gravettian culture, principally in the river valleys of Nitra, Ipeľ, Váh and as far as the city of Žilina, near the foot of the Vihorlat and Tribeč mountains, as well as in the Myjava Mountains; the most well-known finds include the oldest female statue made of mammoth-bone, the famous Venus of Moravany. The statue was found in the 1940s in Moravany nad Váhom near Piešťany. Numerous necklaces made of shells from Cypraca thermophile gastropods of the Tertiary period have come from the sites of Zákovská, Podkovice and Radošina; these findings provide the most ancient evidence of commercial exchanges carried out between the Mediterranean and central Europe. The Bronze Age in the geographical territory of modern-day Slovakia went through three stages of development, stretching from 2000 to 800 BCE.
Major cultural and political development can be attributed to the significant growth in production of copper in central Slovakia and northwe
Let L-410 Turbolet
The Let L-410 Turbolet is a twin-engine short-range transport aircraft, manufactured by the Czech aircraft manufacturer Let Kunovice used as an airliner. The aircraft is capable of landing on short and unpaved runways and operating under extreme conditions from +50 °C to −50 °C. In 2016, 1,200 L-410 have been built and over 350 are in service in more than 50 countries. Development of the L-410 was started in the 1960s by the Czechoslovak aircraft manufacturer Let Kunovice; the Soviet airline Aeroflot was looking for a turboprop-powered replacement for the Antonov An-2 aircraft, initiating the design development by Let. After preliminary studies of an aircraft called the L-400, a new version was introduced called the L-410 Turbolet; the first prototype, designated XL-410, flew on April 16, 1969. Because of delays in the development of a suitable Czech engine, the prototype and first production version were powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6-27 engines. After M601 development was completed, the PT6 engine was replaced by M601 engines coupled with Avia V508 three-blade propellers and the next variant was introduced, the L-410M.
A further version for Aeroflot was the L-410 UVP. This has improved performance in take-off and landing due to increased wing and tail area - STOL. However, due to an increased empty weight and a shift in the center of gravity, the aircraft had a decreased seating capacity: 15 passengers; the L-410UVP-E has increased maximum take-off weight to 6400 kg, M601E engines with increased power, new five-blade propellers designated V 510 and the provision for wing tip tanks to increase fuel quantity. First flight was made in 1984, production started in 1986; the L-410UVP-E9 and UVP-E20 are versions which vary from each other only by minor changes arising from various certification regulations. The last L-410 family member is the L-420 which uses the new Walter engine variant, the M601F. Produced L 410 UVP-E20's are powered by next derivative of M601 engine designated as GE H80-200 and new Avia Propeller AV-725 five blade propellers; the L-420 was first approved by the US FAA on March 11, 1998 the L-410 UVP-E20 on June 30, 2015.
The L-410 UVP-E20 was EASA certified on 4 February 2005 on the other variants on 28 March 2007. On 3 September 2013 the Russian company UGMK became the wholesale owner of LET Kunovice Aircraft Industries, they announced that they would produce the L-410 in Russia within the year. On 7 July 2015 UGMK represented first L-410NG aircraft manufactured in Russia; the L-410 UVP-E is an unpressurized all-metal high-wing commuter aircraft, with Avia V 510 five-blade propellers. It is equipped with a retractable undercarriage; the aircraft uses two hydraulic circuits: emergency. The main electrical system operates with 28V DC; the de-icing system is leading edge pneumatic deicers and electrical heating of propellers, cockpit windshields and pitot-static system heads. Maximum take-off weight of the L-410 UVP-E is 6400 kg with the possibility of an increase to 6600 kg for the E9 and E20 variants, seating capacity 17 to 19. Cruise speed is maximum range about 770 nautical miles; the airplane is certified for IFR operation, CAT I ILS approach, flights in icing conditions.
The L 410 UVP-E20 is certified on the basis of FAR 23 either Amendment 34 or Amendment 41. It is certified by the EU, the Russian Federation, the US, Argentina, Peru, Cuba, Nepal, Korea, Republic of South Africa, Australia, Taiwan and many other countries accepting some of the previous certificates; the aircraft has been approved for operation in a number of other countries, such as Kenya, Uganda, Colombia, South Korea and others. L-410: Prototype, three units built. L-410A: First series with Pratt & Whitney PT6A-27 turbo-prop engines. Twelve built. L-410AB: Version with four-bladed propellers. L-410AF: Aerial photo version supplied to Hungary. L-410AG: With modified equipment. Never built. L-410AS: Test aircraft, supplied to the USSR. Five airplanes built L-410FG: Aerial photography version based on L-410UVP L-410M: Second series with Walter M601A engines. L-410AM: Version with improved M601Bs known as L-410MA or L-410MU. L-410UVP: Third series, fundamentally modified. Main changes are an extended wingspan by 0.80 m, M601Bs, a higher horizontal stabilizer.
The UVP variants possesses STOL characteristics. L-410UVP-S: Salon variant of the UVP with upward hinged entrance hatch. L-410UVP-E: Re-equipped with M601Es, five-bladed Avia V510 propellers, additional fuel tanks at the wing ends. L-410T: Transport variant of the UVP with larger loading hatch, can transport 6 stretchers as a medical airplane with a medic, or 12 parachutists, it can carry 1,000 kg of cargo containers. L-420: upgraded L-410UVP-E - new M601Fs, certified variant of the L 410 UVP-E20 L-410NG: New version featuring new GE H85 engines, a longer nose and a larger rear area to contain more luggage, new wings and a new glass cockpit; the fuselage will be the same of the classic L-410 but it will be made of newer materials. Following the roll out of the prototype it made its maiden flight on 29 July 2015. Type certification is expected in 2016 with production planned to start in 2017. Power will grow to 850 shp instead of the previous 800 shp speed increases to 223kt. Maximum take-off weight range to 1,350 nm up from the current 820 nm.
Fuel capacity endurance from 5h to 9h. FAA, EASA and Russian certification du
A wing is a type of fin that produces lift, while moving through air or some other fluid. As such, wings have streamlined cross-sections that are subject to aerodynamic forces and act as an airfoils. A wing's aerodynamic efficiency is expressed as its lift-to-drag ratio; the lift a wing generates at a given speed and angle of attack can be one to two orders of magnitude greater than the total drag on the wing. A high lift-to-drag ratio requires a smaller thrust to propel the wings through the air at sufficient lift. Lifting structures include various foils, including hydrofoils. Hydrodynamics is the governing science, rather than aerodynamics. Applications of underwater foils occur in hydroplanes and submarines; the word "wing" from the Old Norse vængr for many centuries referred to the foremost limbs of birds. But in recent centuries the word's meaning has extended to include lift producing appendages of insects, pterosaurs, some sail boats and aircraft, or the inverted airfoil on a race car that generates a downward force to increase traction.
The design and analysis of the wings of aircraft is one of the principal applications of the science of aerodynamics, a branch of fluid mechanics. The properties of the airflow around any moving object can – in principle – be found by solving the Navier-Stokes equations of fluid dynamics. However, except for simple geometries these equations are notoriously difficult to solve. However, simpler explanations can be described. For a wing to produce "lift", it must be oriented at a suitable angle of attack relative to the flow of air past the wing; when this occurs the wing deflects the airflow downwards. Since the wing exerts a force on the air to change its direction, the air must exert a force on the wing, equal in size but opposite in direction; this force manifests itself as differing air pressures at different points on the surface of the wing. A region of lower-than-normal air pressure is generated over the top surface of the wing, with a higher pressure on the bottom of the wing; these air pressure differences can be either measured directly using instrumentation, or can be calculated from the airspeed distribution using basic physical principles—including Bernoulli's principle, which relates changes in air speed to changes in air pressure.
The lower air pressure on the top of the wing generates a smaller downward force on the top of the wing than the upward force generated by the higher air pressure on the bottom of the wing. Hence, a net upward force acts on the wing; this force is called the "lift" generated by the wing. The different velocities of the air passing by the wing, the air pressure differences, the change in direction of the airflow, the lift on the wing are intrinsically one phenomenon, it is, possible to calculate lift from any of the other three. For example, the lift can be calculated from the pressure differences, or from different velocities of the air above and below the wing, or from the total momentum change of the deflected air. Fluid dynamics offers other approaches to solving these problems—and all produce the same answers if done correctly. Given a particular wing and its velocity through the air, debates over which mathematical approach is the most convenient to use can be mistaken by novices as differences of opinion about the basic principles of flight.
An airfoil or aerofoil is the shape of blade, or sail. Wings with an asymmetrical cross section are the norm in subsonic flight. Wings with a symmetrical cross section can generate lift by using a positive angle of attack to deflect air downward. Symmetrical airfoils have higher stalling speeds than cambered airfoils of the same wing area but are used in aerobatic aircraft as they provide practical performance whether the aircraft is upright or inverted. Another example comes from sailboats, where the sail is a thin membrane with no path-length difference between one side and the other. For flight speeds near the speed of sound, airfoils with complex asymmetrical shapes are used to minimize the drastic increase in drag associated with airflow near the speed of sound; such airfoils, called supercritical airfoils, are flat on top and curved on the bottom. Aircraft wings may feature some of the following: A rounded leading edge cross-section A sharp trailing edge cross-section Leading-edge devices such as slats, slots, or extensions Trailing-edge devices such as flaps or flaperons Winglets to keep wingtip vortices from increasing drag and decreasing lift Dihedral, or a positive wing angle to the horizontal, increases spiral stability around the roll axis, whereas anhedral, or a negative wing angle to the horizontal, decreases spiral stability.
Aircraft wings may have various devices, such as flaps or slats that the pilot uses to modify the shape and surface area of the wing to change its operating characteristics in flight. Ailerons to roll the aircraft clockwise or counterclockwise about its long axis Spoilers on the upper surface to disrupt the lift and to provide additional traction to an aircraft that has just landed but is still moving. Vortex generators to help prevent flow separation in transonic flow Wing fences to keep flow attached to the wing by stopping boundary layer separation from spreading roll direction. Folding wings allow more aircraft storage in the confined space of the hangar deck of an aircraft carrier Variable-sweep wing or "swing wings" that allow outstretched wings during low-speed flight and swept back wings for high-speed flight (includin
Italy the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Austria and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 and has a temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe. Due to its central geographic location in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy has been home to a myriad of peoples and cultures. In addition to the various ancient peoples dispersed throughout modern-day Italy, the most famous of which being the Indo-European Italics who gave the peninsula its name, beginning from the classical era and Carthaginians founded colonies in insular Italy and Genoa, Greeks established settlements in the so-called Magna Graecia, while Etruscans and Celts inhabited central and northern Italy respectively; the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which became a republic with a government of the Senate and the People.
The Roman Republic conquered and assimilated its neighbours on the peninsula, in some cases through the establishment of federations, the Republic expanded and conquered parts of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. By the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin and became the leading cultural and religious centre of Western civilisation, inaugurating the Pax Romana, a period of more than 200 years during which Italy's technology, economy and literature flourished. Italy remained the metropole of the Roman Empire; the legacy of the Roman Empire endured its fall and can be observed in the global distribution of culture, governments and the Latin script. During the Early Middle Ages, Italy endured sociopolitical collapse and barbarian invasions, but by the 11th century, numerous rival city-states and maritime republics in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through shipping and banking, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism.
These independent statelets served as Europe's main trading hubs with Asia and the Near East enjoying a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europe. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science and art. Italian culture flourished, producing famous scholars and polymaths such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Machiavelli. During the Middle Ages, Italian explorers such as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, John Cabot and Giovanni da Verrazzano discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery. Italy's commercial and political power waned with the opening of trade routes that bypassed the Mediterranean. Centuries of infighting between the Italian city-states, such as the Italian Wars of the 15th and 16th centuries, left the region fragmented, it was subsequently conquered and further divided by European powers such as France and Austria.
By the mid-19th century, rising Italian nationalism and calls for independence from foreign control led to a period of revolutionary political upheaval. After centuries of foreign domination and political division, Italy was entirely unified in 1871, establishing the Kingdom of Italy as a great power. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Italy industrialised, namely in the north, acquired a colonial empire, while the south remained impoverished and excluded from industrialisation, fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Despite being one of the main victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil, leading to the rise of a fascist dictatorship in 1922. Participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in military defeat, economic destruction and the Italian Civil War. Following the liberation of Italy and the rise of the resistance, the country abolished the monarchy, reinstated democracy, enjoyed a prolonged economic boom and, despite periods of sociopolitical turmoil became a developed country.
Today, Italy is considered to be one of the world's most culturally and economically advanced countries, with the sixth-largest worldwide national wealth. Its advanced economy ranks eighth-largest in the world and third in the Eurozone by nominal GDP. Italy owns the third-largest central bank gold reserve, it has a high level of human development, it stands among the top countries for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military and diplomatic affairs. Italy is a founding and leading member of the European Union and a member of numerous international institutions, including the UN, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the WTO, the G7, the G20, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Council of Europe, Uniting for Consensus, the Schengen Area and many more; as a reflection
General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon variants
A large number of variants of the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon have been produced by General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, various licensed manufacturers. The details of the F-16 variants, along with major modification programs and derivative designs influenced by the F-16, are described below. Two single-seat YF-16 prototypes were built for the Light Weight Fighter competition; the first YF-16 was rolled out at Fort Worth on 13 December 1973 and accidentally accomplished its first flight on 21 January 1974, followed by its scheduled "first flight" on 2 February 1974. The second prototype first flew on 9 March 1974. Both YF-16 prototypes participated in the flyoff against the Northrop YF-17 prototypes, with the F-16 winning the Air Combat Fighter competition, as the LWF program had been renamed. In January 1975, the Air Force ordered eight full-scale development F-16s – six single-seat F-16A and a pair of two-seat F-16B – for test and evaluation; the first FSD F-16A flew on 8 December 1976 and the first FSD F-16B on 8 August 1977.
Over the years, these aircraft have been used as test demonstrators for a variety of research and modification study programs. The F-16A and F-16B were equipped with the Westinghouse AN/APG-66 pulse-doppler radar, Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-200 turbofan, rated at 14,670 lbf and 23,830 lbf with afterburner; the USAF bought 375 F-16As and 125 F-16Bs, with delivery completed in March 1985. Early blocks featured minor differences between each. Most were upgraded to the Block 10 configuration in the early 1980s. There were 94 Block 1, 197 Block 5, 312 Block 10 aircraft produced. Block 1 is the early production model with the nose cone painted black, it was discovered that the Block 1 aircraft's black nose cone became an obvious visual identification cue at long range, so the color of the nose cone was changed to the low-visibility grey for Block 5 aircraft. During the operation of F-16 Block 1, it was discovered that rain water could accumulate in certain spots within the fuselage, so drainage holes were drilled in the forward fuselage and tail fin area for Block 5 aircraft.
The Soviet Union reduced the export of titanium during the late 1970s, so the manufacturers of the F-16 used aluminum instead wherever practical. New methods were used: the corrugated aluminum is bolted to the epoxy surface for Block 10 aircraft, replacing the old method of aluminum honeycomb being glued to the epoxy surface used in earlier aircraft; the first major change in the F-16, the Block 15 aircraft featured larger horizontal stabilizers, the addition of two hardpoints to the chin inlet, an improved AN/APG-662 radar, increased capacity for the underwing hardpoints. The Block 15 gained the Have Quick II secure UHF radio. To counter the additional weight of the new hardpoints, the horizontal stabilizers were enlarged by 30%. Block 15 is the most numerous variant of the F-16, with 983 produced; the last one was delivered in 1996 to Thailand. Block 20 added some F-16C/D block 50/52 capabilities: improved AN/APG-663 radar with added CW mode to guide two types of BVR missiles – AIM-7M Sparrow missiles and AIM-120 AMRAAM, carriage of AGM-84 Harpoon missiles, as well as the LANTIRN navigation and targeting pod.
The Block 20 computers are improved in comparison to that of the earlier versions that integrated into post 1997 Block 50/52, getting color MFD. The Republic of China received 150 F-16A/B Block 20 aircraft. F-16C and F-16D; the Block 25 F-16C entered USAF service in September. The aircraft are fitted with the Westinghouse AN/APG-68 radar and have improved precision night-attack capability. Block 25 introduced a substantial improvement in cockpit avionics, including improved fire-control and stores management computers, an Up-Front Controls integrated data control panel, data-transfer equipment, multifunction displays, radar altimeter, many other changes. Block 25s were first delivered with the Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-200 engine and upgraded to the Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-220E. With 209 Block 25 C-models and 35 D-models delivered, today the USAF's Air National Guard and Air Education and Training Command are the only remaining users of this variant. One F-16C, nicknamed the "Lethal Lady", had flown over 7,000 hours by April 2008.
This was the first block of F-16s affected by the Alternative Fighter Engine project under which aircraft were fitted with the traditional Pratt & Whitney engines or, for the first time, the General Electric F110-GE-100. From this point on, blocks ending in "0" are powered by GE, blocks ending in "2" are fitted with Pratt & Whitney engines; the first Block 30 F-16 entered service in 1987. Major differences include the carriage of the AGM-45 Shrike, AGM-88 HARM, the AIM-120 missiles, which entered service in September 1991. From Block 30D, aircraft were fitted with larger engine air intakes for the increased-thrust GE engine. Since the Block 32 retained the Pratt and Whitney F-100 engine, the smaller was retained for those aircraft. A total of 733 aircraft were delivered to six countries; the Block 32H/J aircraft assigned to the USAF Thunderbird flight demonstration squadron were built in 1986 and 1987 and are some of the oldest operational F-16s in the Air Force. The Air National Guard procured many upgrades for their fleet of aging block 30/32s including the addition of improved inertial guidance systems, improved electronic warfare suite, upgrades to carry the Northrop Grumman LITENING targeting pod.
The standard Inertial Navigation Unit was fi
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