Japan is an extremely homogeneous society with non-Japanese, mostly Koreans, making up less than 1% of the population. The Japanese people are primarily the descendants of various peoples who migrated from Asia in prehistoric times; the dominant strain is N Asian or Mongoloid, with some Malay and Indonesian admixture. One of the earliest groups, the Ainu, who still persist to some extent in Hokkaido, are physically somewhat similar to Caucasians.
Japan's principal religions are Shinto and Buddhism; most Japanese adhere to both faiths. While the development of Shinto was radically altered by the influence of Buddhism, which was brought from China in the 6th cent., Japanese varieties of Buddhism also developed in sects such as Jodo, Shingon, and Nichiren. Numerous sects, called the "new religions," formed after World War II and have attracted many members. One of these, the Soka Gakkai, a Buddhist sect, grew rapidly in the 1950s and 60s and became a strong social and political force. Less than 1% of the population are Christians. Confucianism has deeply affected Japanese thought and was part of the generally significant influence that Chinese culture wielded on the formation of Japanese civilization.
The Japanese educational system, established during the Allied occupation after World War II, is one of the most comprehensive and effective in the world. The two leading national universities are at Tokyo and Kyoto. The standard of living improved dramatically from the 1950s on, and the Japanese have the highest per capita income of all Asians (excluding the citizens of the major oil producers). Programs for social welfare and health insurance are fairly comprehensive. Since 1961, Japan has had a health-insurance system that covers all of its citizens. Major concerns confronting policy planners are the expected steady decline in the population during the 21st cent. (the population decreased for the first time in 2005) and the large and growing portion of the population that is elderly.
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Япония-крайне однородное ОБЩЕСТВО С неяпонского, в основном корейцы, составляя менее 1% населения. Японцы в первую очередь являются потомками различных народов, мигрировавших из Азии в доисторические времена; доминирующий штамм Н-азиатских или Монголоид, с некоторыми Малайский и индонезийский примеси. Один из самых ранних групп, Айнов, которые все еще сохраняются в какой-то степени в Хоккайдо, физически немного похожими на кавказцев..
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