Geography 200
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Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education
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Japan's Geographic Challenge

Stratfor examines Japan's primary geographic challenge of sustaining its large population with little arable land and few natural resources. For more analysi...

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This short video did a great job in explaining why Japan became expansionist in the decades leading up to WW II.  The mountainous nature of the islands and lack of arable land challenges Japan to provide food for its people.  To understand Japan you must understand her geography, this helps to understand why a country acted the way it did in the past and can be a predictor of future actions. 

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David Ricci's comment, April 30, 2013 9:47 AM
Japan clearly has their job cut out for them due to the geography of the country. Thier land has very limited airable land making agriculture extremely hard to maintain. The mountainous terrain also makes travel much harder for these people. Because of this their population like stated in the video has been pushed to hotspots like the yamato region. Japan has developed their culture solely based on how disconnected they are from the rest of the world. Japan is a chain of many islands so they have to import alot of their goods. This means having good trade partners, always making new trade partners, and avoiding conflict. This didnt work so well looking back at world war II. Unfortunately they must either become more self sufficient like chris said, or they have to stay on the good sides of alot of other countries.
Kevin Cournoyer's comment, May 1, 2013 12:51 AM
Unlike other larger, more geographically diverse countries, Japan is faced with the problem of a general lack of farmable land and natural resources. The fact that the country is itself an island does not make things any easier for it in an economic sense. The way the country is divided up also makes for a difficult political situation, as mountain ranges create division, and therefore, political disunity.
The proximity of the Korean peninsula and China to Japan is also important to examine. Whenever Japan wishes to acquire natural resources and other economically beneficial materials, Korea is the conduit through which Japan tends to invade the mainland, usually China. Because of this, we can see how Japan’s geographic location may cause strained relationships with its neighbors, both politically and economically. Alienating two of its closest neighbors would clearly be a disastrous move for Japan, but it may be seen as necessary due to its unfortunate geographic location.
Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, November 27, 2013 5:31 PM

It would make sense to me that for a place like Japan to sustain itself successfully, it would have to have some help from other areas with more resources.  Again with the concept- people don't choose to be born, or where they are born... To be born in Japan is as unchosen by that person as it would be in any other country.  I don't think people should have to pay for resources that they do not have available, especially because they are on an island/island chain that simply doesn't have what they need.  I am really repulsed by the bartering system because of absolute indication of beyond excessive surplus and profit and greed and all that garbage that humanity reeks of.  Yeah some people are happy, but we could be completely unburdened of all negativity if we banded together to rid the world of negativity itself.  I know that Japan would be happy to receive everything that they need for no cost, but I also know that many people would be willing to work, and more willing to work, if they didn't have expenses to pay for... it would really be serving their life's purpose as a component of humankind if they worked to help others, rather than to pay their monthly rent.  I don't have a clue how I would go about organizing a movement to transform this idea into a reality, but I'll work on that.  In the mean time, I would advise supranationalism for Japan, and hope that with the alliance of other countries, they can band together and make deals that work for the greater good of their country, population, and the world.

Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education
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Let elderly people 'hurry up and die', says Japanese minister

Let elderly people 'hurry up and die', says Japanese minister | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
Taro Aso says he would refuse end-of-life care and would 'feel bad' knowing treatment was paid for by government

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

As populations age and the younger generations have less children the burden of government to provide care for the elderly becomes a big issue.  In countries where the government pays for their health care this will only become a bigger issue.  When the needs of the old and the needs of the young become a conflict what is a country to do?  These issues will only increase as the birth rates of developed countries declines.  

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Greg Hill's curator insight, January 30, 2013 1:17 AM

Tell us how you really feel

Ryan G Soares's curator insight, December 3, 2013 10:30 AM

Its clear that Japan is overpopulating. People are living long lives in a big country like Japan and people just keep reproducing. The Japense  minister in my opion is very wrong here. A minister should never wish deaths upon his people.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, November 25, 2015 6:41 AM

What this government minister said is repugnant, but his comments strike directly at the most serious issue facing Japan. The Japanese population has become to old to sustain itself. Their are not enough younger people in Japan to sustain future generations of Japanese society. When a society fails to reproduce, it dies out. Japan may be facing extinction in a few generations to come. The increased strain on the government of Japan, will eventually kill it. A state can not support a majority elderly population. The coasts of medical care would drown the government in debt and financial ruin. Many European nations are facing a similar demographic time bomb. If this problem is not corrected, there is a good chance that both European and Japanese society will die out.

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Struggle For Smarts? How Eastern And Western Cultures Tackle Learning

Struggle For Smarts? How Eastern And Western Cultures Tackle Learning | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
For the most part in American culture, intellectual struggle in school children is seen as an indicator of weakness, while in Eastern cultures it is not only tolerated, it is often used to measure emotional strength.

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This article has a message about the view of struggling in eastern and western cultures, and how this affects learning.  As an aspiring teacher, I found this very instructive.  The examples used were good and I really find myself wanting to read more on this topic.

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Lora Tortolani's curator insight, April 20, 2015 2:25 PM

I actually feel this is a great way to teach students, we just aren’t used to it in America.  The students who already know what they’re doing should be helping those who struggle.  When we boast about how well someone does at something, it can actually discourage the student who doesn’t understand.  It is definitely a tricky situation to be in, but I can understand why.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, November 25, 2015 6:54 AM

This video lays out them main difference between educational theory in the west, and educational theory in the east. In the west, we place value on a student achieving the right answer. Right Answers eventually lead to high grades. All classes eventually boil down to the grade given. In reality, it is all that most parents, teachers and students care about. In the east knowledge is measured through the work that goes in to getting the correct answer. Mistakes are seen as a natural outcome of hard work. They are not discouraged as they are in western education.

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 15, 2015 2:16 PM

the difference in mentality is amazing as described in this article the difference in perception of struggling students in america and Asian countries is staggering and i think that our country has been so concerned for so long with only the best succeeding that it needs to be fixed, i know that we have taken steps int he right direction with different government programs which is promising and hopefully this development will continue