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Kyushu
Geography
Location East Asia
Archipelago Japanese Archipelago
Area 36,782 km2 (14,202 sq mi) (37th)
Coastline 12,221 km (7,594 mi)
Elevation 1,791 m (5,876 ft)
Country
Demographics
Population 12,970,479 (2016)
Density 307.13/km2 (795.5/sq mi)

Kyushu; literally "Nine Provinces" is the third largest island of Japan's five main islands.

As of 2016 Kyushu has a population of 12,970,479 and covers 36,782 square kilometres (14,202 sq mi). Kyushu comprises 10.3 percent of the entire population of Japan.

Geography

The island is mountainous, and Japan's most active volcano, Mt Aso at 1,591 metres (5,220 ft), is on Kyushu. There are many other signs of tectonic activity, including numerous areas of hot springs. The most famous of these are in Beppu, on the east shore, and around Mt. Aso, in central Kyushu.

The island is separated from Honshu by the Kanmon Straits. Kyushu is the nearest to the Asian continent which makes it the gateway to Japan.

Today's Kyushu Region is a politically defined region that consists of the seven prefectures on the island of Kyushu:

Kagoshima Prefectural Government Office
Kagoshima Prefectural Government Office

Economy and environment

Beppu Hot Springs (31338411912)
Beppu Hot Springs

Parts of Kyushu have a subtropical climate, particularly Miyazaki prefecture and Kagoshima prefecture.

Major agricultural products are rice, tea, tobacco, sweet potatoes, and soy; silk is also widely produced. The island is noted for various types of porcelain. Heavy industry is concentrated in the north and includes chemicals, automobiles, semiconductors, and metal processing.

In 2010, the graduate employment rate in the region was the lowest nationwide, at 88.9%.

Besides the volcanic area of the south, there are significant mud hot springs in the northern part of the island, around Beppu. These springs are the site of occurrence of certain extremophile micro-organisms, that are capable of surviving in extremely hot environments.

Transportation

Kanmon roadway tunnel01
Kanmon roadway tunnel

The island is linked to the larger island of Honshu by the Kanmon Tunnels, which carry both the San'yō Shinkansen and non-Shinkansen trains of the Kyushu Railway Company, as well as vehicular, pedestrian, and bicycle traffic.

The Kanmon Bridge also connects the island with Honshu. Railways on the island are operated by the Kyushu Railway Company, and Nishitetsu Railway.

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