Korea vs Japan: Difference and Comparison

The image of the world map or a spinning globe is not a new one. Everyone knows how the world looks, to an extent. And there exist seven major continents on our planet with Asia being the largest among them all.

Both these countries, Korea and Japan are located in the Asian continent. These countries share several similarities and differences.

Key Takeaways

  1. Korea has peninsula geography, whereas Japan is an archipelago, which influences its respective climates, landscapes, and natural resources.
  2. Both countries share similarities in their cultural history but maintain distinct languages, traditional clothing, and cuisines.
  3. Korea and Japan have technologically advanced economies, with Korea being a leader in electronics and shipbuilding and Japan excelling in the automotive and robotics industries.

Korea vs Japan

Korea is a country located in East Asia divided into two countries, North Korea, and South Korea. Japan is a single country also located in East Asia. Korea, that stands for South Korea, has a population of around 51 million, while Japan has a population of around 126 million.

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Korea is a region that is located to the east continent of Asia.  One of the major differences that set Korea apart is the fact that Korea is divided into north and south regions, namely North Korea and South Korea.

This split of the area into two different occurred during the year 1945.

An island country located in the east of Asia, Japan is known for its work ethic, incredible culture, and quality products. It can be pinpointed to be located in the northwest region of the Pacific ocean, with the Sea of Japan bordering its west side.

Japan is known as an archipelago that is a string of islands.

Comparison Table

Parameters of comparison Korea Japan
LocationSpotted on the eastern side of mainland AsiaLocated off the Korean coast in the northwest of the pacific ocean
Area spanThe area span is about 223,155 km2 combined.The area span is about 377,975 km2
Capital Pyongyang is the capital of North Korea. Seol is the capital of South Korea.The capital of Japan is a bustling city named Tokyo 
CuisineKorea has a relatively simple and modern cuisine.Japan, by comparison, has a more traditional cuisine.
National LanguageKorean is majorly considered to be the national language.Japanese is titled as the official national language in practice.

What is Korea?

Korea refers to a region located in the Asian continent. The term Korea can either denote North Korea or South Korea.

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Located on the eastern side of the continent, Korea consists of the Jeju Island, Korean Peninsula, and a number of other minor islands near the peninsula. 

This region or area is covered by China in its northwest direction, and Russia in its northeast. A neighboring country of Japan, it is separated from it by the Sea of Japan and the Korean Strait.

The partition of this region into two halves took place in the year 1945, giving birth to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea which refers to North and South Korea respectively.

Derived from the word Corea, an ancient English term, the term Korea has several origin stories to support its etymology. 

The geography of Korea can be circled to a group of islands that includes a peninsula. This region is known for its fewer typhoons and a temperate climate that is uncommon among other East-Asian countries. 

The capital of North Korea is Pyongyang and Seol is the capital of South Korea.

Korean cuisine offers unique flavors that can be attributed to the region’s climate and the geography of the Korean Peninsula. Fermented dishes, hot stews, soups, and noodles happen to be the most popular dishes.

It has adapted Western cuisine and inculcated its dishes into its cooking.


What is Japan?

Situated in the northwest of the Pacific ocean, Japan is surrounded by the Sea of Japan, the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south, and the Sea of Okhotsk in the north.

An archipelago of over six thousand eight hundred islands, Japan consists of five major islands named Hokkaido, Honshu (the “mainland”), Shikoku, Kyushu, and Okinawa.

It is spread over an incredible area covering about 377,975 square kilometers (145,937 sq mi). The capital of Japan is its largest city named Tokyo.

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Some of the major cities in the province of Japan include Fukuoka, Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo, Yokohama, Kyoto, and Kobe.

One of the world’s foremost countries, Japan is highly populated and urbanized. The terrain of Japan consists of three parts mountains. This impressive country is currently divided into forty-seven administrative provinces.

Japan is known for its electronics and automotive fields. It has a high life expectancy and is one of the best national GDPs found in the world.

The etymology of Japan is derived from the Chinese pronunciations of the letters 日本 and is said to have been spread to European languages through early trade.

Apart from its impressive architecture, technological innovations, animation books and movies, and wide flavorful palette, Japan is also famed for its culture. They have a traditional approach to music, art, cuisine that is well preserved.


Main Differences Between Korea and Japan

  1. Korea is made up of two parts, the official split happening in 1945. This region is present in the northeast of Asia. Japan is an archipelago of islands, covered by different oceans and seas. It is situated off the coast of Korea.
  2. Both the Koreas have an area span of about 223,155 km2 combined. Japan occupies about 377,975 km2 of area.
  3. The national language of Korea is Korean, whereas Japanese is deemed as the official language of Japan.
  4. The capital of North Korea is Pyongyang and the capital of South Korea is Seol. Tokyo is the capital of Japan.
  5. Both the countries practice wrestling. Korean wrestling is called Sirium and Sumo refers to the Japanese wrestling form.
Difference Between Korea and Japan 1
  1. https://arca.unive.it/retrieve/handle/10278/3729195/205577/39.pdf
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=t2c4t4yw21gC&oi=fnd&pg=PA3&dq=japan&ots=vhSuTOpYlE&sig=Y-Kvn1bYSpOKqVpbJGMAObaVGIk

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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