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What are Japan's natural resources?

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Quick Answer

Japan's natural resources include fish, agriculture and small amounts of metals and minerals. Japan is notable for boasting strong industrial output and a high standard of living despite having very few natural resources, particularly in the area of natural energy.

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What are Japan's natural resources?
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Full Answer

Japan has significant coastal waters, which provide the country with fish and other seafood. However, the demand for fish is so high that it must be supplemented with imports from abroad. Although Japan has a small amount of arable land, the country has some of the highest crop yields in the world, producing over 60 percent of its own food each year. The country has adequate supplies of gold, silver and magnesium, but it must import many of the minerals essential to its booming electronics industry, such as iron ore and copper.

Notably lacking among the country's natural resources is any source of natural energy. Japan has almost no fossil fuel resources, with small oil fields in the northern Honshu and Hokkaido areas supplying less than 1 percent of the country's oil. Japan is the world's largest importer of both coal and liquefied natural gas, as well the second-largest importer of oil. As a result of this scarcity, Japan has harnessed its ample supply of water as a source of power, boasting one of the world's largest hydroelectric industries.

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