Economic Comparison of South Korea and Japan

2951 words 12 pages
An Economic Comparison of

South Korea

South Korea and Japan have had a close relationship from ancient history to the present day. Because of this reason, their economic growth and development have similarities and disparate differences. This paper will discuss some of the two countries’ major characteristics including geographic, social, and political characteristics and look at their histories and economies.
Another reason that it is natural to compare them is their economic growth has mirrored one another. Both emerged from a war with its economy devastated and its infrastructure in ruins. Both countries changed with the economic climate of the time and took advantage of
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This came to be called the “post-war economic miracle.”
Statistical Comparison: South Korea Japan
Population: 50 Mln (25th) 128 Mln (10th)
GDP (PPP) $1.6 Trillion (12th) $4.4 T (4th)
GDP (PPP) per capita: $23.749 (32nd) $34,739 (25th)
GDP (nominal) $1.1 T (15th) $5.9 T (3rd)
GDP Growth: 3.9% -0.9%
Inflation (US=1.9%) 4.2% 0.3%
Unemployment: 3.4% 4.7%
Ease of Doing Biz: 8th 20th
Exports: $555.8 Bln (7th) $800.8 Bln (4th)
Gross Debt: $380.6 Bln $2.2 Trln
Debt as a % of GDP: 33.3% (93rd) 208.2% (2nd)
At first glance, one would assume that the Japanese economy is in much better shape: Japan has over twice their population, three times their Parity GDP, 5 times their Nominal GDP, a vastly lower inflation rate, and has half again the number of exports that South Korea has.
However, this does not fully take into account the downward trend of Japan in nearly all categories: including its aging population, that is also declining over all. (Japan overall population growth rate is -.2%, which makes it 207th among 230 measured countries). The dire status of Japan’s economy can be measure in its negative GDP growth and its huge debt. Even though the US has a much higher debt, it is 108% of GDP: a number that has caused a firestorm of controversy here. In comparison, Japan’s debt percentage is over 208% of their total GDP.
These numbers and the amount of increased competition


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