The origins of Japanese individualism are often traced to the medieval period, when the feudal structure was being developed. The 'feudal code' or 'bushido' helped forge a social, political and cultural identity between aristocrats, literati and warriors. Branches of the samurai mostly preserved their territories during the Muromachi period, however various clans fought with each other for resources and to maintain or gain control over territory, even in peacetime. The period of history known as the Edo period was characterized by peace and prosperity and the development of farming in Japan.
It has a high-income economy and high levels of human development. Japan's population is declining as a result of low birth rates, declining immigration and declining Japanese-born population. Out of the 108 UN members, Japan is the third-largest economy, but it is the largest in Asia and has the world's third-largest economy by nominal GDP. It is a member of the G20 major economies, OBOR, and the OECD. Since the Edo period it has had a rigorous national education system and a culture of educational excellence. Unified education standards were introduced in 1987. Japan performs among the highest on global education indices. It leads the highest number of international students and teachers. Fewer than 33% of adults hold a four-year degree or higher, resulting in smaller government spending on health care and social services. The ratio of marriage-aged women to men exceeds 100:100. Japan is, without a 1.5% deduction from tax revenue, one of the most highly taxed countries in the world, contributing 20.8% of global tax revenue.
Japan is a member of the United Nations and its Security Council. Common membership is negotiated by a conference of member states. In the 2014 election, Japan was re-elected for a second term by the Security Council with the vote of 13 out of 15 members. Japan is currently the oldest member of the Security Council. The Japanese Imperial forces led by British General Douglas MacArthur conquered the Asian countries of Korea and Formosa (Taiwan) between the First and Second World Wars. The gains were reversed by the defeat of Japan in World War II, which ended with the Japanese surrender in 1945. d2c66b5586