Japan is a prosperous country and has the most diverse economy in Asia. With a GDP of $4.9 trillion in 2005, Japan's economy is 2nd only to that of the U.S. The leading Japanese companies are among the largest, most efficiently run, and most well-known firms in the world. Familiar names like Sony, Toshiba, Sanyo, Casio, Canon, Minolta, Honda, Toyota, Mitsubishi, and many others have infiltrated the world market in a variety of sectors. Whether you're in the field of business, engineering, manufacturing, research, economics, or politics, chances are you will be competing with, if not working for, a Japanese entity. From anime to sushi bars, karaoke to manga, bonsai to origami, Japanese culture has become part of international culture. A knowledge of the language will give you direct access to Japanese film, animations, and comic books, and develop your ability to order sashimi like a native at your favorite Japanese restaurant!
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