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.
Journalist Yasuda was released in early November after being held by Syrian Islamists for 40 months. Upon his return to Japan, he was slammed by some sections of Japanese society. Yasuda spoke to DW about his ordeal.