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May 2015

Japan

Japan

On May 29, 2015 the volcoano on Mount Shindake erupted. Located on the small island of Kuchinoerabu, Japan the volcano's eruption caused the island inhabitants (140) to evacuate. The pyroclastic eruption sent ash and rock fragments into the air and down the northwest side of the mountain to the shore.

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Japan became a regional power that was able to defeat the forces of both China and Russia. It occupied Korea, Formosa (Taiwan), and southern Sakhalin Island. In 1931-32 Japan occupied Manchuria, and in 1937 it launched a full-scale invasion of China. Japan attacked US forces in 1941 - triggering America's entry into World War II - and soon occupied much of East and Southeast Asia. After its defeat in World War II, Japan recovered to become an economic power and an ally of the US.

Japan, located in eastern Asia, is a chain of islands in the North Pacific Ocean. Japan's mostly rugged mountain terrain includes a coastline of nearly 30,000km. Its climate varies from tropical in the south to a cool, temperate zone in the north. Dormant and active volcanoes both exist in Japan; Unzen and Sakura-jima are Decade Volcanoes. They have an explosive history and are close to large population areas.

CIA World Factbook, 5/2015

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