Is Japan Stronger Than North Korea?
When it comes to countries who boast strong militaries, there are few that come to mind quicker than Japan and North Korea. But, how do these two military forces compare? On paper, it may be difficult to determine which of the two is stronger. To get a better understanding of the situation, it is important to look at the data, input and perspectives of experts, and insight and analysis.
Background Information on Japan’s Military Strength
Japan is officially known as the Republic of Japan and has a population of approximately 126 million. It is an island nation located in the East China Sea, East of the Korean Peninsula and North of Taiwan. Japan’s troops are all volunteer including an estimated 200,000 active servicemen and women. Currently, it is the sixth most powerful military in the world and is known for its advanced technology, heavy reliance on naval forces, and extensive combat training.
The Japanese armed forces are broken down into three branches: the Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF), the Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF), and the Air Self-Defense Force (ASDF). The GSDF boasts approximately 150,000 soldiers and is capable of quickly responding to any attack, providing defensive capabilities across land, air, and maritime threats. The MSDF is made up of approximately 50,000 sailors and is considered the world’s third largest navy. Last, the ASDF has a strong air power component, with an estimated 45,000 personnel.
Japan’s military spending has increased steadily throughout the last few decades. In 2020, Japan’s overall military budget was US$48.9 billion, making it the eighth highest military spender in the world. It is estimated that Japan has around 700 planes, 170 ships, and 2,400 tanks. It is still heavily dependent on the United States for its defense needs.
Background Information on North Korea’s Military Strength
North Korea is officially known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and has a population of approximately 25 million people. Located on the northern half of the Korean Peninsula, North Korea shares a border with Russia China, and South Korea. North Korea inherited a military from the former Soviet Union and has since bolstered its efforts and built a formidable standing army.
The North Korean Armed Forces consists of the Korean People’s Army (KPA), Korean People’s Air Force (KPAF) and Korean People’s Navy (KPN). The KPA is the world’s largest standing army and is estimated to have more than one million personnel in active military service. It has access to nuclear weapons, as well as a large number of ground forces, air forces, and naval forces. The KPAF, according to estimates, is the world’s fourth largest air force and is equipped with 1,300 combat aircraft. The KPN is comprised of an estimated 60,000 active personnel, and it is known for having heavily armed submarines and other vessels.
North Korea’s military budget is notoriously secretive, but it is estimated that North Korea spends a significant amount of its national budget on its military. In 2020, it is estimated that North Korea spent US$6-7 billion on its military, making it the 23rd largest military spender in the world. North Korea is estimated to have more than 13,000 tanks, nearly 600 planes and some 400-500 ships. It also continues to receive arms and military aid from China and Russia.
Experts believe that when it comes to the comparison between Japan and North Korea, Japan is significantly stronger. Due to the fact that North Korea is a closed society, it does not have access to the same resources, technology, and training that Japan does. Additionally, Japan has significant resources from the United States, which gives it an advantage over North Korea.
“North Korea may have a larger standing army and more tanks, but when you look at the types of equipment and weapons they have, they are clearly no match for Japan,” says Fouad Khan, a former advisor to the United Nations on security and defense. “Japan’s military is significantly more technologically advanced and has better trained personnel. In a conflict, I believe the Japanese forces would win out,” he added.
Insight and Analysis
It is evident that Japan is the clear winner in terms of military strength when compared with North Korea. Japan’s military is far more advanced with better technology, equipment, and training. Additionally, it has access to resources from the United States, which gives it an edge. North Korea, on the other hand, is heavily reliant on other nations for arms and military aid, which makes it significantly weaker than its neighbor.
It is important to note, however, that even if Japan has a stronger military, North Korea still poses a formidable threat. North Korea is a nuclear power and is known to have large stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, which could be deployed if conflict arose. Additionally, North Korean forces have been known to attack without provocation, making them unpredictable and dangerous.
Contingency Planning for Conflict
Despite everyone’s best efforts at avoiding conflict, it is important for Japan to have a plan in place in case of a conflict with North Korea. This could include bolstering its forces, increasing surveillance, and recruiting more soldiers. Japan should also look to increase its support from the United States, and seek the assistance of other countries like South Korea or China, who may be willing to lend a hand. In the event of a conflict, Japan should also look to increase diplomatic relations with North Korea.
Japan should also look to strengthen its economic ties with North Korea. In recent years, there have been efforts to increase economic cooperation between Japan and North Korea. Increasing trade and investment between the two countries could help strengthen diplomatic relations and potentially help to ease tensions.
Furthermore, Japan should look to invest in additional defense capabilities such as missiles and drones, as well as invest in more sophisticated anti-missile systems. These measures could provide more robust protection for Japan in the event of an attack.
In addition to traditional military threats, North Korea is well known for its cyber attack capabilities. The North Koreans have been responsible for numerous cyber-attacks around the world, including the Sony Pictures hack in 2014. As a result, Japan must take steps to protect its critical infrastructure.
In order to protect against cyber attacks, Japan should invest in better cyber security measures. This could include increasing its defense budget, developing better security protocols, and improving its overall security posture. Additionally, Japan should look to collaborate with other countries and share its expertise in this area. It also needs to ensure that its government agencies and private sector companies are taking the necessary measures to protect their data and networks.
Overall, cyber security is an important element of any military strategy and Japan should be taking steps to protect itself.
Overall Assessment of the Situation
When it comes to military power, there is no question that Japan is the stronger of the two countries. Japan’s advanced technology, resources from the United States, and better trained personnel give it an edge in any potential conflict with North Korea. However, North Korea still poses a significant threat, with its nuclear capabilities and unpredictable nature. As such, it is important for Japan to take steps to protect itself, such as bolstering its forces, increasing surveillance, and boosting cybersecurity measures.
Additionally, Japan should look to increase economic ties with North Korea, in the hopes of improving diplomatic relations. This could potentially help ease tensions between the two countries and could help to prevent any potential conflict in the future.
Domestic Military Preparation
In terms of domestic military preparation, Japan should look to ensure the safety and security of its own citizens. This includes providing adequate personnel, equipment, and resources to the three branches of its own military in the event of a conflict with North Korea. Additionally, Japan should look to provide more rigorous training for its personnel, increase its defense budget, and improve its military hardware.
Japan should also look to better protect its own infrastructure, by improving its transportation and communication systems, establishing better security protocols, and investing in sophisticated defense systems. This will help to ensure the safety and security of Japan in the event of an attack.
In order to ensure its safety, Japan must also look to cooperate with other countries and international organizations. This could include seeking support and resources from the United States, or seeking the assistance and support of other countries in the region such as China, Russia, and South Korea.
Moreover, Japan should look to collaborate with other countries to devise a strategy for dealing with North Korea. This could involve forming a coalition of countries to put pressure on North Korea to halt its development of weapons of mass destruction and take steps towards peace.
Japan should also look to engage in international dialogues, in order to better understand North Korea’s policy and intentions, and to seek out diplomatic solutions to potential conflicts. Additionally, Japan should look to increase its participation in international organizations in order to gain more clout in global affairs.