English Reading Practice

The United States


Japan is a country in Asia that is made up of 6,852 islands. Not all of these islands are inhabited. "Inhabited" means that people live on them.

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 Japan

There are four main islands where people live. Tokyo, the capital of Japan, is on one of these main islands. In Japanese, the language of Japan, the country is called "Nippon."

This means "Land of the Rising Sun," which is also Japan’s nickname in English. A "nickname" is an informal or friendly name that people use to talk about a person or place.

Land of the Rising Sun

Japan is famous for many things including its landscape, art, music, poetry and food.

Japanese food

Today, Japan may be most famous for its inventions in science and technology.

Many of the pieces of technology that we use everyday came from Japan. Japan has many companies that produce technology. For example, many digital cameras are made in Japan. Japanese companies that make digital cameras are Fuji, Panasonic, Canon, and Nikon.

digital cameras

Also, many computers and printers are make by Japanese companies. If you have a computer or printer that is made by Sony or Epson then you have Japanese computer or printer.

Japan is also famous for its cars. Japanese car companies include Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and Mazda. Chances are that many pieces of technology in your house including your television, cell phone, and even your digital alarm clock are made by Japanese companies.

These companies are always doing research and developing new products to continue advancing technology in the home.

Japanese companies don't only make small electronics for personal use. Japan is also a very important country in space exploration. "Exploration" means investigation or discovering new places.

The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency does research on planets, aviation (flying), rockets, and satellites. "Satellites" are pieces of technology that fly in space and send pictures and information back to Earth.

Satellites

Japan works with other nations including the United States and Russia on better understanding space and the other planets.

They are also very involved in trying to understand the Earth's climate. "Climate" means weather conditions. The Earth's climate has been changing quickly over the past hundred years and scientists, including the Japanese, are studying the climate from space to understand what it will be like in the future.

Because of the work they have done in technology and science, many Japanese researchers and scientists have won the Nobel Prize. This is the highest honor that a scientists and authors can receive. It is awarded (given) once a year to someone who has changed the world because of their research or work. Japanese scientists have won the Nobel prize in chemistry, physics, and medicine.

Japan is an important contributor to the world's technology and understanding of science. A "contributor" is someone who gives time or money or information to someone else.

Japanese researchers and companies have changed the way that everyone around the world is able to communicate, receive information, and move from one place to another.

Japan

Luckily for all of us, the Japanese are continuing to develop new products and technologies to make our lives easier!


And now, practice:

Japan - Exercises

Vocabulary Questions

1. What does "nickname" mean?

a) A name for someone who is called Nick

b) An informal and friendly name people use to talk about another person or place

c) A formal name people use to talk about another person or place

d) A special name for Japan

2. What does "produce" mean?

a) make

b) buy

c) sell

d) destroy

3. What does "awarded" mean?

a) taken away

b) researched

c) given

d) created


Grammar Questions

1. Many of the pieces of technology that we ________ everyday came from Japan

a) use

b) used

c) used to

d) have used

2. They are also very involved ________ trying to understand the Earth's climate.

a) on

b) at

c) to

d) in

3. Japanese scientists ________ the Nobel prize in chemistry, physics, and medicine.

a) win

b) won

c) have won

d) will win


Comprehension Questions

1. What are some products that you have at home that may be made in Japan?

_______________________________________________________________

2. What is something that the Japanese are researching in space?

_______________________________________________________________

3. What topics have Japanese scientists won Nobel Prizes in?

_______________________________________________________________


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