Japan and Germany: Ten facts
Japan and Germany are actually ideal partners because they are similar in many respects. There are also differences, however.
Dr Julia Münch, Secretary General of the Japanese-German Center Berlin, compares ten key features of the two industrialised nations for you:
- Japan and Germany are both parliamentary democracies and free market economies that believe in multilateralism and global trade.
- The political systems in Japan and Germany are roughly the same age: the post-war constitution came into force in Japan on 3 May 1947. The Federal Republic of Germany was established on 23 May 1949.
- Both countries are almost exactly the same size, at 377,975 km2 (Japan) and 357,582 km2 (Germany) – though they differ considerably in geographical shape. And Japan has more inhabitants – 126 million as compared with 83 million in Germany – the majority of whom live in coastal regions.
- Japan is the world’s third-largest economy, while Germany is the fourth-largest – after the USA (first place) and China (second place).
- Japan and Germany are innovative economies. As far as submissions to the European Patent Office are concerned, they are roughly on a par at 15 percent (Germany) and 13 percent (Japan).
- Japan and Germany rely heavily on exports. That said, Germany’s exports were more than twice as high as Japan’s in 2019 ($1,400 billion versus $700 billion). This is thanks to Germany’s strong SME sector and its “hidden champions”.
- Japan and Germany are high-tech nations. Their leading exports are cars and electronic devices (Japan) and machines (Germany).
- Japan and Germany are among the world’s biggest donors of development aid. Germany is ranked second after the USA and donated $23.8 billion (2019), while Japan gave $15.5 billion (fourth place).
- Japan and Germany face similar challenges in the future. For example, Japan’s population has the world’s second-highest average age (after Monaco) at 48.6 years, while Germany is not far behind at 47.8 years.
- However, there are a number of areas in which Japan and Germany differ significantly – in immigration policy, for example. This may be to do with the fact that Japan is an island state whereas Germany has nine neighbouring countries.