Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan People's Republic of China North Korea South Korea and Russia stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south. The characters that make up Japan's name mean sun-origin which is why Japan is sometimes referred to as the Land of the Rising Sun. Japan is an archipelago of 6 852 islands.