Japan consists of four major islands and several thousand smaller ones. More than half of the country is steep mountainous areas covered with forest. Because Japan is located in a region where several continental plates meet, the country experiences frequent earthquakes. There are also many active volcanoes.
Wildlife species native to Japan include bear, raccoon dog, mink, red fox, sika deer and numerous bird species. The only indigenous primate is the Japanese macaque, a small monkey found in the north. Surrounded by sea, the waters of Japan are also home dugong, finless porpoise and Steller’s sea lion.
Air and water pollution, especially in urban centres, have improved compared to several decades ago. Today, global warming and climate change are of great concern.