The 'Land of the Rising Sun' for centuries was a very closed society until the first Europeans opened the door for trade. Japan then became and remained an economic powerhouse through the 20th century until today.
Japan is an archipelago in the northeastern Pacific region with a population of about 126 million, making it the world's 10th most populous country. It is currently the world's 3rd largest economy. The country today blends a distinctly Western lifestyle with its ancient religion and traditions that go back thousands of years.
Tokyo is set to host the Summer Olympics in 2020. But plans to make the Japanese capital smoke-free have hit a catch: Restaurants have been fighting back against a bill that would ban smoking in all public and enclosed spaces, saying it will put many of them out of business.