Lüshunkou District is a district of Dalian, in Liaoning province, China. Called Lüshun City or Lüshun Port, it was known as both Port Arthur (亚瑟港. Port-Artur and Ryojun; the district's area is 512.15 square kilometres and its permanent population as of 2010 is 324,773. Lüshunkou is located at the extreme southern tip of the Liaodong Peninsula, it has an excellent natural harbor, the possession and control of which became a casus belli of the Russo-Japanese War. Japanese and Russian administration was established in 1895 and continued until 1905 when control was ceded to Japan. During the first decade of that period, it was world-famous and was more significant than the other port on the peninsula, Dalian proper. In Western diplomatic and historical writings, it was known as Port Arthur, during the period when the Japanese controlled and administered the Liaodong Peninsula it was called Ryojun, the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese characters in the city's name. After the Japanese defeat in World War II, the city was under the administration of the Soviet Union, which rented the port from China, until 1950.
Although the Russians presented the port to China in 1950, Soviet troops remained in the city until 1955. Central Dalian is some 64 kilometres farther up the coast, sprawling around the narrowest neck of the Liaodong Peninsula, whereas Lüshun occupies its southern tip. Seen on the map are the Liaodong Peninsula and its relation to Korea, the Yellow Sea to its southeast, the Korea Bay to its due east, the Bohai Sea to its west. Beijing is directly across the Bo Hai Gulf from the port city. Surrounded by ocean on three sides, this strategic seaport was known to the Chinese as Lüshun, it took its English name, Port Arthur, from a British Royal Navy Lieutenant named William C. Arthur who surveyed the harbor in the gunboat HMS Algerine in August 1860, during the Second Opium War. At that time Lüshun was an unfortified fishing village. In the late 1880s, the German company Krupp was contracted by the Chinese government to build a series of fortifications around Port Arthur; this was after local contractors had "made an extensive bungle of the job".
Port Arthur first came into international prominence during the First Sino-Japanese War. Following Japan's defeat of Chinese troops at Pyongyang in Korea in September 1894, the Japanese First and Second Armies converged on the Liaodong Peninsula by land and sea. Japanese war planners, ambitious for control of the Liaodong Peninsula and Port Arthur and cognizant of that port's strategic position controlling the northern Yellow Sea routes and the passage to Tianjin, were determined to seize it. Following only token resistance during the day and night of November 20–21, 1894, Japanese troops entered the city on the morning of November 21. Several Western newspaper correspondents present at the time related the widespread massacre of Chinese inhabitants of the city by the victorious Japanese troops in response to the murderous treatment the Chinese had shown Japanese prisoners of war at Pyongyang and elsewhere. Foremost among the correspondents was James Creelman of the New York World. Though at least one American correspondent present contradicted Creelman's account, there is "little doubt" that the Japanese troops "indiscriminately killed" thousands of Chinese soldiers and civilians, the story of a Japanese massacre soon spread among the Western public, damaging Japan's public image and the movement in the United States to renegotiate the unequal treaties between that country and Japan.
The event came to be known as the Port Arthur massacre. An account of a US sailor who visited the port in the weeks prior to the attack commented that the Chinese soldiers were "ridiculous", they lacked any semblance of military bearing, their dress was unkempt and untidy, they wandered about the place with little in the way of direction or smartness associated with professional soldiers. He stated that at the time, the garrison numbered 20,000 soldiers, but from his estimation, it should have had between 30,000 and 40,000 men stationed there, he opined that the Japanese could have taken the port with one third of its force, but that against disciplined soldiers, the place should have been impenetrable. Japan went on to occupy Port Arthur and to seize control of the whole Liaodong Peninsula as spoils of war; as part of the terms of the 1895 Treaty of Shimonoseki concluding the war, Japan was granted the Liaodong Peninsula but had to cede back the territory when threatened jointly with war by France and Russia in what is called the Triple Intervention of 1895.
This was seen as a great humiliation in Japan. Two years Russia coerced a lease of the Liaodong Peninsula from China and gained railroad right-of-way to join the Liaodong Peninsula to the Chinese Eastern Railway with a line running from Port Arthur and nearby Dalny to the Chinese city of Harbin, systematically began to fortify the town and harbor at Port Arthur; this railway from Port Arthur to Harbin became a southern branch of
Located at the southernmost point of the Liaodong Peninsula, the city of Dalian came under the territorial control of the Russian Empire from 1898 until that country's defeat in the Russo-Japanese War in 1905. The Russians called the city Dalniy, which means “distant” or "remote", describing the city's location relative to the Russian heartland; the modern Chinese name, comes from a Chinese reading of the Japanese colonial name Dairen, which itself was a loose transliteration of Dalniy. Under Russian control, Dalniy grew into a vibrant port city and before its loss in 1905 was one terminus of the Russian-controlled Chinese Eastern Railway; the 1890s saw the intensification of rivalries among Qing China and Russia – with the lesser interests of Great Britain and the United States – over paramount influence in Manchuria. For Russia, the region of the Liaodong Peninsula was of particular interest as one of the few areas in the region that had the potential to develop ice-free ports; these rivalries came to their first armed conflict during the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895, which resulted in Japan's resounding victory over the Qing Dynasty, a contest that involved a battle over the port of Lushun near what would become Dalian, or Dalniy.
The engagements on the Liaodong peninsula between Japanese and Chinese troops confirmed to the Japanese the strategic importance of the region, in particular the strategic positioning of the region around Dalian. Though Japan seized control over the peninsula and was awarded it in the subsequent Treaty of Shimonoseki, it was forced to retrocede it to Qing China following the diplomatic pressure of Russia and France, the so-called Triple Intervention of 1895; this would contribute to the growing and bitter rivalry between Japan and Russia while paving the way for the Russian seizure of the region three years later. In 1897 Russia signed with Qing China a secret agreement for the establishment under Russian guidance of the Chinese Eastern Railway. On December 15, 1897, fearing that without decisive action it might lose its chance to seize the port of Dalian to another imperial power such as Germany, which earlier that year had taken control of Qingdao, had its fleet steam into Dalian harbor.
On March 27, 1898, Russia signed the Pavlov Agreement with China, which granted Russia a 25-year lease on Dalian and Lushun and exclusive right to lay a branch of the Chinese Eastern Railway to them - what would become the South Manchurian Railway. At first the flags of both China and Russia were raised over the city, something that assuaged the anger of some local Chinese. Within a few weeks, the Chinese ensign was no longer flying. Dalniy soon became a center of Russian military power in the Far East. In 1897 there were 12,500 Russian troops in Lushun and the surrounding area, a number that would grow to 35,000 by 1904. However, the powerful Russian Finance Minister Sergei Witte had larger visions for the region than just a military garrison. Witte was overseeing the development of the Chinese Eastern Railway and soon pushed through plans to extend the railway from Harbin to the port at Dalny. In such a vision the city would become a powerful open trading port in the Far East while nearby Port Arthur would be an exclusive Russian military city.
On 8 November 1899, Nicholas II ordered the start of construction of this port city, - at Witte's suggestion - christened the city Dal’nii, meaning “far away” in Russian. Between 1899 and 1903 the Chinese Eastern Railway, which had obtained the concession to build the South Manchurian Railway terminating in Dalny, pumped nearly 20 million rubles into the city's development. In 1899 V. V. Sakharov, a Russian engineer, tasked earlier with the design of Vladivostok, was selected to implement plans for the development of Russian Dalniy, he approached the monumental task of transforming what was a scattering of sleepy Chinese fishing villages into a port city to rival Shanghai or Tianjin by dividing construction into two phases. Overall Sakharov's plans were inspired by the "Garden City" or "City Beautiful" movements that were influencing and transforming the urban centers of Europe and America, it called for the city to be divided into five connected districts - one commercial, two administrative, one residential, one Chinese, all supplied with electricity and a modern water system.
In the first phase from 1899-1902 two main wharves were built capable of berthing twenty-five ships of 1000 tons. The wharves were never completed by the time the Japanese seized control of the city in 1905 in the wake of the Russo-Japanese War, but by 1902 much of the wharf construction had been completed and that year over 900 ships from eight countries docked in the new facilities. Considering the existence of a large Russian port at Vladivostok, as well as a better developed Chinese port at nearby Yingkou, Dalniy had its detractors, who dubbed it Lishny. In any case, from a maritime standpoint the major attraction of the location for the Russians was as a naval - rather than a commercial - port; the Russian development of the city by necessity involved the uprooting of the location's original Chinese inhabitants. In the summer of 1899 this sparked an angry riot in which Chinese attacked the railway office with stones, dragging away the Chinese clerks and interpreters working for the Russians.
The city's development brought opportunities, during the years of Russian tenureship tens of thousands of Chinese migrated into the area. In terms of the railroad, construction linking Dalniy with Harbin was begun
Qingniwaqiao is the downtown area of Dalian, Liaoning Province, located front of the Dalian Railway Station. The area gives its name to a subdistrict in Qingniwaqiao Subdistrict. Qingniwaqiao was a small fishing village in the 19th century whose name means the "bridge over the blue mud swamp", it was near here where the Russians chose to build their commercial town, as they leased in 1898 the naval port of Lushun and its surrounding area, which they called Dalny. This became the core of the city of Dalian. Qingniwaqiao is a rectangular area, demarked on the northern side by Changjiang Road, on the southern side by Wuhui Road, on the eastern side by Jiefang Road and on the western side by Youhao Street. In its center runs from east to west Zhongshan Road, the main street of Dalian. Dalian's central business district, extends from the east side of Qinagniwaqiao, along Zhongshan and Renmin Roads, via Friendship Square and Zhongshan Square, towards the Port of Dalian, it sometimes includes Hope Square and Dalian Mori Building on Qingniwaqiao's west side, along Zhongshan Road.
Qingniwaqiao is Dalian's commercial center. Dashang Group, the largest retailer in Northeast China has its flagship store here. Dashang Group Dashang Department Store MYKAL Department Store New Mart Supermarket Dashang Men's Store, on Jiefang Road Dashang Women's Store, on Zhongshan Road (formerly, Mitsukoshi Department Store Suning Appliance GOME Electrical Appliances Jiuguang Department Store Parkland Pacific Department Store Restaurants and coffee shops from overseas: Pizza Hut McDonald's KFC Starbucks Amici Invested by a Taiwan company, there is a 3-storey underground shopping area under Victory Plaza, sandwiched between Changjiang and Zhongshan Roads, it is one of Dalian-ites' favorite pastimes to do shopping or play bowling here in winter. Branches of all major Chinese Nationwide banks Bank of Dalian headquarters Standard Chartered Bank Citibank Bank of East Asia Tokyo-Mitsubishi Bank Mizuho Bank Swissôtel Ramada Hotel Zhongshan Hotel Bohai Hotel Kempinski Hotel InterContinental Hotel New World Hotel Shangri-La Hotel Furama Hotel Qingniwaqiao is the public transportation hub of Dalian City.
Metro, trolley bus and tramway Long distance bus Railway List of township-level divisions of Liaoning Dalian Dashang Group Xi'an Road Commercial Zone The General View of Qingniwaqiao Subdistrict, Zhongshan District, Dalian City
Central business district
A central business district is the commercial and business center of a city. In larger cities, it is synonymous with the city's "financial district". Geographically, it coincides with the "city centre" or "downtown", but the two concepts are separate: many cities have a central business district located away from its commercial or cultural city centre or downtown; the CBD is also the "city centre" or "downtown", but this is often not the case. Midtown Manhattan is the largest central business district in the world. For example, London's "city centre" is regarded as encompassing the historic City of London and the mediaeval City of Westminster, whereas the City of London and the transformed Docklands area are regarded as its two CBDs. Mexico City has a historic city centre, the colonial-era Centro Histórico, along with two CBDs: the mid-late 20th century Paseo de la Reforma - Polanco, the new Santa Fe; the shape and type of a CBD always reflect the city's history. Cities with strong preservation laws and maximum building height restrictions to retain the character of the historic and cultural core will have a CBD quite a distance from the centre of the city.
This is quite common for European cities such as Vienna. In cities in the New World that grew after the invention of mechanised modes such as road or rail transport, a single central area or downtown will contain most of the region's tallest buildings and act both as the CBD and the commercial and cultural city center. Increasing urbanisation in the 21st century have developed megacities in Asia, that will have multiple CBDs scattered across the urban area, it has been said. No two CBDs look alike in terms of their spatial shape, however certain geometric patterns in these areas are recurring throughout many cities due to the nature of centralised commercial and industrial activities. In Australia the acronym CBD is used commonly to refer to major city "centres", it is used in particular to refer to the skyscraper districts in state capital cities such as Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. Melbourne is Australia's largest CBD with Sydney second and Brisbane third when judged by area size; the iTowers of Masa Square CBD were built for doing business tasks only.
It is located within Gaborone. In China terms "city centre" are used but a different commercial district outside of the historic core called a "CBD" or "Financial District" may exist. Large Chinese cities have multiple CBDs spread throughout the urban area. Cities traditionally being major cultural centres with many historic structures in the core such as Beijing, Suzhou or Xi'an will have the greenfield CBDs built adjacent to the urban core, similar to European cities. While other cities such as Guangzhou, Shanghai and Wuhan the city centre will house a number of CBDs in addition to greenfield CBDs built in the periphery. In France, the term « quartier d’affaires » may be used to describe the central business district; the main ones business districts in the country are as following: La Défense in Paris, which with 3,300,000 square metres of office space is Europe's leading business district in terms of area. La Part-Dieu in Lyon, is the 2nd largest business district in France and has nearly 1,600,000 square metres.
Euralille in Lille, is the 3rd business district of France with 1,120,000 square metres of offices. Euroméditerranée in Marseille, is the 4th business district in France with 650,000 square metres of offices. In Germany, the terms Innenstadt and Stadtzentrum may be used to describe the central business district. Both terms can be translated to mean "inner city" and "city centre"; some of the larger cities have more than one central business district, like Berlin, which has three. Due to Berlin's history of division during the Cold War, the city contains central business districts both in West and East Berlin, as well as a newly-built business centre near Potsdamer Platz; the city's historic centre — the location of the Reichstag building, as well as the Brandenburg gate and most federal ministries — was abandoned when the Berlin Wall cut through the area. Only after the reunification with the redevelopment of Potsdamer Platz, the construction of numerous shopping centers, government ministries, office buildings and entertainment venues, was the area revived.
In Frankfurt, there is a business district, in the geographical centre of the city and it is called the Bankenviertel. In Düsseldorf, there is a business district, located around the famous High-Street Königsallee with banks and offices. In Hong Kong, Sheung Wan and Causeway Bay are considered as the central business districts of Victoria City; the Yau Tsim Mong District has been considered the city centre of Kowloon before another core emerged in Cheung Sha Wan. As part of the Airport Core Programme, the Union Square project launched by the MTR Corporation has brought it another CBD in West Kowloon. With the latest implementation of "Energising Kowloon East" Scheme by the Hong Kong Government, Kowloon Bay and Kwun Tong Business Area have been redeveloped and transformed into CBDs; the CBDs of new towns and satellite cities such as Tuen Mun, Sha Tin and Tung Chung have been characterised by sky-scraping residential blocks on top of large shopping centres that provide services to local resi
Simplified Chinese characters
Simplified Chinese characters are standardized Chinese characters prescribed in the Table of General Standard Chinese Characters for use in mainland China. Along with traditional Chinese characters, they are one of the two standard character sets of the contemporary Chinese written language; the government of the People's Republic of China in mainland China has promoted them for use in printing since the 1950s and 1960s to encourage literacy. They are used in the People's Republic of China and Singapore. Traditional Chinese characters are used in Hong Kong and the Republic of China. While traditional characters can still be read and understood by many mainland Chinese and the Chinese community in Malaysia and Singapore, these groups retain their use of simplified characters. Overseas Chinese communities tend to use traditional characters. Simplified Chinese characters may be referred to by their official name colloquially; the latter refers to simplifications of character "structure" or "body", character forms that have existed for thousands of years alongside regular, more complicated forms.
On the other hand, the official name refers to the modern systematically simplified character set, which includes not only structural simplification but substantial reduction in the total number of standardized Chinese characters. Simplified character forms were created by reducing the number of strokes and simplifying the forms of a sizable proportion of Chinese characters; some simplifications were based on popular cursive forms embodying graphic or phonetic simplifications of the traditional forms. Some characters were simplified by applying regular rules, for example, by replacing all occurrences of a certain component with a simplified version of the component. Variant characters with the same pronunciation and identical meaning were reduced to a single standardized character the simplest amongst all variants in form. Many characters were left untouched by simplification, are thus identical between the traditional and simplified Chinese orthographies; some simplified characters are dissimilar to and unpredictably different from traditional characters in those where a component is replaced by a simple symbol.
This has led some opponents of simplification to complain that the'overall process' of character simplification is arbitrary. Proponents counter that the system of simplification is internally consistent. Proponents have emphasized a some particular simplified characters as innovative and useful improvements, although many of these have existed for centuries as longstanding and widespread variants. A second round of simplifications was promulgated in 1977, but was retracted in 1986 for a variety of reasons due to the confusion caused and the unpopularity of the second round simplifications. However, the Chinese government never dropped its goal of further simplification in the future. In August 2009, the PRC began collecting public comments for a modified list of simplified characters; the new Table of General Standard Chinese Characters consisting of 8,105 characters was implemented for use by the State Council of the People's Republic of China on June 5, 2013. Although most of the simplified Chinese characters in use today are the result of the works moderated by the government of the People's Republic of China in the 1950s and 60s, character simplification predates the PRC's formation in 1949.
Cursive written text always includes character simplification. Simplified forms used in print are attested as early as the Qin dynasty. One of the earliest proponents of character simplification was Lufei Kui, who proposed in 1909 that simplified characters should be used in education. In the years following the May Fourth Movement in 1919, many anti-imperialist Chinese intellectuals sought ways to modernise China. Traditional culture and values such as Confucianism were challenged. Soon, people in the Movement started to cite the traditional Chinese writing system as an obstacle in modernising China and therefore proposed that a reform be initiated, it was suggested that the Chinese writing system should be either simplified or abolished. Lu Xun, a renowned Chinese author in the 20th century, stated that, "If Chinese characters are not destroyed China will die". Recent commentators have claimed that Chinese characters were blamed for the economic problems in China during that time. In the 1930s and 1940s, discussions on character simplification took place within the Kuomintang government, a large number of Chinese intellectuals and writers maintained that character simplification would help boost literacy in China.
In 1935, 324 simplified characters collected by Qian Xuantong were introduced as the table of first batch of simplified characters, but they were suspended in 1936. The PRC issued its first round of official character simplifications in two documents, the first in 1956 and the second in 1964. Within the PRC, further character simplification became associated with the leftists of the Cultural Revolution, culminating with the second-round simplified characters, which were promulgated in 1977. In part due to the shock and unease felt in the wake of the Cultural Revolution and Mao's death, the second-round of simplifications was poorly received. In 1986 the authorities retracted the second round completely. In the same year, the authorities promulgated a final list of simplifications, identical to the 1964 list except for six changes (including the restoration of three characters, simplified in the First Round: 叠, 覆, 像.
Traditional Chinese characters
Traditional Chinese characters are Chinese characters in any character set that does not contain newly created characters or character substitutions performed after 1946. They are most the characters in the standardized character sets of Taiwan, of Hong Kong and Macau, in the Kangxi Dictionary; the modern shapes of traditional Chinese characters first appeared with the emergence of the clerical script during the Han Dynasty, have been more or less stable since the 5th century. The retronym "traditional Chinese" is used to contrast traditional characters with Simplified Chinese characters, a standardized character set introduced by the government of the People's Republic of China on Mainland China in the 1950s. Traditional Chinese characters are used in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau. In contrast, Simplified Chinese characters are used in mainland China and Malaysia in official publications. However, several countries – such as Australia, the US and Canada – are increasing their number of printed materials in Simplified Chinese, to better accommodate citizens from mainland China.
The debate on traditional and simplified Chinese characters has been a long-running issue among Chinese communities. A large number of overseas Chinese online newspapers allow users to switch between both character sets. Although simplified characters are taught and endorsed by the government of China, there is no prohibition against the use of traditional characters. Traditional characters are used informally in regions in China in handwriting and used for inscriptions and religious text, they are retained in logos or graphics to evoke yesteryear. Nonetheless, the vast majority of media and communications in China is dominated by simplified characters. In Hong Kong and Macau, Traditional Chinese has been the legal written form since colonial times. In recent years, simplified Chinese characters in Hong Kong and Macau has appeared to accommodate Mainland Chinese tourists and immigrants; this has led to concerns by many residents to protect their local heritage. Taiwan has never adopted simplified characters.
The use of simplified characters in official documents is prohibited by the government of Taiwan. Simplified characters are understood to a certain extent by any educated Taiwanese, learning to read them takes little effort; some stroke simplifications that have been incorporated into Simplified Chinese are in common use in handwriting. For example, while the name of Taiwan is written as 臺灣, the semi-simplified name 台灣 is acceptable to write in official documents. In Southeast Asia, the Chinese Filipino community continues to be one of the most conservative regarding simplification. While major public universities are teaching simplified characters, many well-established Chinese schools still use traditional characters. Publications like the Chinese Commercial News, World News, United Daily News still use traditional characters. On the other hand, the Philippine Chinese Daily uses simplified. Aside from local newspapers, magazines from Hong Kong, such as the Yazhou Zhoukan, are found in some bookstores.
In case of film or television subtitles on DVD, the Chinese dub, used in Philippines is the same as the one used in Taiwan. This is because the DVDs belongs to DVD Region Code 3. Hence, most of the subtitles are in Traditional Characters. Overseas Chinese in the United States have long used traditional characters. A major influx of Chinese immigrants to the United States occurred during the latter half of the 19th century, before the standardization of simplified characters. Therefore, United States public notices and signage in Chinese are in Traditional Chinese. Traditional Chinese characters are called several different names within the Chinese-speaking world; the government of Taiwan calls traditional Chinese characters standard characters or orthodox characters. However, the same term is used outside Taiwan to distinguish standard and traditional characters from variant and idiomatic characters. In contrast, users of traditional characters outside Taiwan, such as those in Hong Kong and overseas Chinese communities, users of simplified Chinese characters, call them complex characters.
An informal name sometimes used by users of simplified characters is "old characters". Users of traditional characters sometimes refer them as "Full Chinese characters" to distinguish them from simplified Chinese characters; some traditional character users argue that traditional characters are the original form of the Chinese characters and cannot be called "complex". Simplified characters cannot be "standard" because they are not used in all Chinese-speaking regions. Conversely, supporters of simplified Chinese characters object to the description of traditional characters as "standard," since they view the new simplified characters as the contemporary standard used by the vast majority of Chinese speakers, they point out that traditional characters are not traditional as many Chinese characters have been made more elaborate over time. Some people refer to traditional characters as "proper characters" and modernized characters as "simplified-stroke characters" (sim
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