Japan is a land of many languages. Some are spoken by millions of people all over the country, while others are spoken by a few hundred people on small islands. The major languages include: Japanese, Korean, and Okinawan. A few minor languages are: Kikai, Kunigami, Oki-No-Erabu, and Yonagami.
Japanese- Most people in Japan speak the Japanese language. About 121,000,000 people in Japan speak Japanese as their first language. Almost 5,000,000 more people in the world speak Japanese as their second language. The Japanese language has several dialects with the Kagoshima dialect being spoken by 84% of the people. There are at least three different writing systems including: Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji. Kanji system uses Chinese characters. Buddhist, Shinto, and Christian writings have all been translated into Japanese. Experts disagree about whether or not Japanese is related to Korean.
Korean- About 5% of the population of Japan speaks Korean. Korean may be related to Japanese, but people who speak one language cannot understand the other one.
Okinawan- About 900,000 people speak Okinawan. Most of them live on the island of Okinawa. The young people on Okinawa usually speak Japanese. People over 50 speak Okinawan.