Unemployment: The Asian country with the largest percentage of its population out of work is the Philippines, with 9.2%. China has the region's lowest national jobless rate of 2.3%.
Inventions: On average, 962 patent applications are presented to the Japanese government per day, 82 of which are from foreign companies and governments. By contrast, the United States receives an average of 416.
Robotics: Japan uses nearly 70% of the world's industrial robots.
Research: Japan's research and development spending is second only to that of the United States. The Asian nation spends nearly $224 million a day on R&D, while the U.S. daily expenditure is about $382 million.
Waterways: China's Grand Canal--extending from Beijing to Hangzhou, a total of 1,107 miles--is the world's longest canal.
Traffic: Hong Kong has the world's highest traffic density, with 418 vehicles per mile of road in 1992.
Agriculture: China is the world's largest producer of cotton, with a yield of 20.7 million bales in 1993.
Industry: The 15-story container freight station of Asia Terminals Ltd. at the Kwai Chung container port in Hong Kong is the largest multilevel, single-structure industrial building in the world, with a total floor area of more than 7 million square feet.
Steel: Nippon Steel Corp. of Japan is the world's largest crude steel producer. It made 30.52 million tons in the year ending March 31, 1992.
Elevators: The express elevators of the Sunshine 60 building in Tokyo are the fastest lifts in the world. The elevators, built by Mitsubishi, reach speeds of 23 m.p.h. in their 60-story climb.
Power: Fukushima, Japan, is home to the world's largest nuclear power station. The plant is equipped with 10 reactors and has a net output of 8,814 megawatts.
PACIFIC RIM ALLIANCES
Name: Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
Founded: Nov. 7, 1989
Mission: Promotion of trade and investment in the Pacific Rim.
Members: Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Taiwan and the United States.
Name: Assn. of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
Founded: Aug. 9, 1967
Mission: Regional economic, social and cultural cooperation.
Members: Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand.
Observers: Laos, Papua New Guinea and Vietnam. Sources: The CIA World Factbook 1994, the 1994 Guinness Book of World Records and "On an Average Day in Japan" Compiled by Times researcher LAURA A. GALLOWAY