Japan is an island nation with more than 1,000 seaports. Of these, 892 are local ports, and 16 are major ports. Some of the most familiar seaports to westerners are Kobe, Tokyo, Osaka and Kawasaki.
Japan is a major exporter of electronics and automobiles. Japan is also one of the top ship-building nations. Machinery, chemicals, iron and steel are listed as major exports for Japan as well. In 2013, Japan was both the world's fourth largest exporter and fourth richest country. Japan's geographic positioning, with the United States to the east and all of East and Southeast Asia to the west, makes it an ideal country for the transportation of goods.
Not all of Japan's seaports are dominated by the import and export business, however; some of them are major passenger hubs for travel and tourism. Osaka is one such port. Tokyo is both a major trade and an industrial hub, as well as a passthrough for passengers traveling into, out of and within the country. Several of Japan's seaports are primarily military ports, not all of which generate exclusively Japanese traffic. The U.S. military controls a large part of the traffic into and out of Yakosuka, which shares part of its port with Tokyo Bay.