7 Ways America Is Better Than Japan

Japan and the United States are two very different countries. Geographically, historically and culturally both nations are highly distinct. However, America and Japan also share a close connection, which has formed especially since the end of World War Two. As the two countries are so different, they can be hard to compare. But, with that said, it is possible to objectively identify some areas where the US outperforms Japan…

1. America Has A Bigger Economy Than Japan

A first way that America is better than Japan is because it has a bigger economy.

The United States is by far the largest economy in the world. With a total GDP of 23.32 trillion USD, America makes up around a fifth of the total world economy. Having a large economy not only means that America is able to develop good businesses and provide a range of quality jobs for it’s people, but it also gives the country a dominate role in global trade and commerce.

Japan also has a big economy. With a GDP of 4.94 trillion USD, it is the third largest economy in the world. However, its economy is less than a quarter the size of America’s. Although Japan has a significant global influence in its role as a major hub for manufacturing and technology, it’s small economy in comparison to the US is one reason why America is better.

The size of a country’s economy is key to its success. America and Japan both have highly advanced economies, but the enormous scale of the US economy gives it some advantages over Japan.

2. The US Is A Much Larger Nation Than Japan

A second way that America could be better than Japan is because it is a much larger nation.

The United States is the fourth biggest country in the world. Covering a total of nearly ten million square kilometers, the US takes up a huge proportion of the North American continent. The huge size of the US gives the country a range of advantages – from being able to support a larger population to having better access to natural resources. The geography of the US is also highly varied – with everything from deserts to mountains and forests to prairies.

Japan is significantly smaller than the US and this is one reason why America is better. Covering a total area of 377,000 square kilometers, Japan is made up of 421 inhabited islands. Japan is also very mountainous. Although the country has done a fantastic job of developing advanced infrastructure and overcoming many of its geographical challenges, the combination of being an island archipelago and a mountainous country, as well as having essentially no natural resources, made developing Japan harder than America.

The size, and geography, of a country plays a major role in its success. Although Japan has overcome many of the hurdles posed by its smaller size and tough geography, the range of advantages the US has by being a larger nation with almost perfect geography, could be seen as one reason why it is better.

3. Americans Are Richer Than Japanese

A third way that America is better than Japan is because it is richer.

The US is one of the richest countries in the world. With a per capita income of 70,480 USD, the average American is wealthy by global standards. The high wages that Americans earn means they can ensure their basic needs are met, whilst still having a proportion of their income left to spend on things they enjoy. The high per capita income in the United States also helps to ensure the US economy continues to expand.

Japan is also a wealthy nation. However, with a per capita income of 44,570 USD, the average Japanese is not as well-off as the average American. This could be seen as one way that the US is better than Japan. A higher proportion of Japanese people also live in poverty than in the US, with 16% of Japanese living in destitution compared to 11% of Americans. This is further example of how the US could be seen as being better than Japan.

4. America Is A More Diverse Country That Japan

Another way that America is better than Japan is because it is more diverse.

As we’ve said, the United States is one of the largest countries in the world. This means it has a huge range of natural landscapes and wildlife. There are also architectural, cultural and even linguistic differences across the nation. America is also highly ethnically diverse, meaning that different communities live alongside each other adding further to the country’s diversity.

Japan is much more homogenous than America. Being a smaller country, there is less variety in landscapes and nature. Japan also heavily limits immigration, meaning the country does not have diverse languages, cultures or ethnicities.

Many people like the fact that Japan is more mono-cultural. However, the huge diversity seen in America is for many more a factor that makes the country great. The fact that Japan lacks diversity could be seen as one way that America is better.

5. The US Is A Much Bigger Military Power Than Japan

One reason why America could be considered better than Japan is because it has a much stronger military.

America has the third largest armed forces in the world. It also has by far the most technologically advanced military. The size and of the United States armed forces, combined with its ability to deploy military technology far above what most other nations have, ensures that America remains a dominant global player. Although many would argue that America uses its military strength often for nefarious means, it cannot be denied that the power of the US military gives the country a range of advantages.

Japan is not considered a major military power. In fact, since the country’s defeat at the end of World War Two, Japan’s armed forces have remained constrained, and many nations feel this should continue. Japan relies almost entirely on the United States for its defence. This is one reason why many think the US is actually better.

Military strength is vital for a nation to be seen as a major global power. Its also key to protecting a country’s strategic interests. The fact that America has one of the top militaries in the world, and Japan lacks an extensive armed force, is to many people a reason why the United States is better.

6. America Has Greater Global Influence Than Japan

A further reason why Japan may be better than America is because it has more global influence.

The United States is arguably the most influential country in the world. America plays a dominate role in many global bodies, such as the United Nations and NATO. The country is also highly active in diplomatic circles and has a range of allegiances with other countries around the world. The US uses its global influence firstly to ensure its strategic goals are achieved and to protect its role in the global economy, but also as a way to promote the country’s values overseas.

For a nation of its size, Japan is influential on the world stage. However, it lacks the alliance network that America has. For many, this is why the US is better. As we’ve said, Japan is a close US ally, however for many people this means Japan lacks an independent global voice. Japan does play a role in global bodies, but does not dominate them in the way America does.

In the modern world, being able to influence other nations and direct global affairs to a country’s advantage is vitally important. America is simply better at this than Japan.

7. American Culture Is Consumed More Widely Than Japanese

A final reason why the United States could be better than Japan is because its culture is more widely consumed.

American culture dominates globally. In almost every corner of the world, American food, TV, movies, music and art is consumed. English is spoken all over the world mainly because of America’s cultural dominance. The role American culture plays around the world provides the US with a range of advantages. These include everything from soft power to the simple fact that many people feel an affinity and connection with the US through its cultural outputs.

Japan has successfully promoted its culture abroad for many decades. Japanese food especially has become common in many places. Japanese TV and movies also have a niche global following. However, Japanese culture does not have the same prominent role around the world as American culture has. This is one way that America has been more successful.

As we’ve said, there are many advantages to a country’s culture having a worldwide audience. The fact that America leads the world with cultural outputs and consumption, could be seen as a way that it is better than Japan.

Global Affairs Explained

Global Affairs Explained is an ongoing project aiming to provide concise guides to world events. Focusing on international relations, history, and geo-politics, Global Affairs Explained uses original research and data to answer questions often not covered by traditional media.

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