Japan vs North Korea – Who Would Win – Military Comparison

Japan vs North Korea – Who Would Win – Military Comparison

This year has been chaotic to say the least,
particularly in terms of enmity between certain countries and the possible fall-out of that
bad blood. At the end of October, news outlets published
Japan’s defense minister stating that North Korea’s nuclear and conventional weapons
program was at a “critical and imminent level”. This came after a spat between U.S. President
Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, in which the latter called the former a “mentally
deranged U.S. dotard,” only for Trump to respond with the threat of total destruction. Many of us are wondering just how serious
these threats are. While comedians joke about the spat and numerous
amusing memes appear online, many of us are mulling over the possibility of nuclear destruction. And so, it’s only fitting that today we
are comparing two countries involved in the ongoing verbal conflict, in this episode of
the Infographics Show, Japan vs. North Korea. Don’t forget to subscribe and click the
bell button so that you can be part of our Notification Squad. We’ll start with North Korea, a country
that has a population of around 25 million. In spite of there not being that many North
Koreans – less than the population of Tokyo’s metropolitan area – a staggering 7,679,000
people are ready to fight if called on. It is the largest military in the world in
terms of personnel. 5,889,000 people act as a paramilitary force,
while 1,190,000 are active military personnel and 600,000 are reserves. Exact numbers differ according to different
sources, but all agree that the country’s emphasis of military first (known as Sogun)
is real enough. According to Newsweek in 2017, all North Korean
adults are conscripted when they are 17. Men must serve 10 years and women around seven
years. Those that get a place at university can do
their time in the military after university, and certain scholars can get out early. Newsweek claims science students may only
have to serve three years. In comparison, Japan’s military is very
small in terms of personnel. The country has around 250,000 active military
personnel, with another 57,900 people acting as reserve personnel. Japan does not have military conscription. The question we might ask here is, “What’s
more important? The size of your military, or what you do
with it?” According to Forbes in 2017, Japan is the
8th biggest spender on defense at around 46.1 billion dollars. This is around one percent of Japan’s GDP,
although it was reported in 2017 that this one percent spending cap will soon be scrapped. As for North Korea, it’s reported that the
country spends a massive 22 percent of its GDP on its military, which is around $10 billion. Another thing is, we really don’t know how
much the country spends as it’s famously, or infamously, a very secretive nation. As an Amnesty International East Asia researcher
put it in 2017, “The size and capability of the military are virtually impossible to
verify, but the huge commitment to nuclear capability means citizens suffer in other
areas of life.” Other areas of life might suffer, but so do
the country’s soldiers, according to The Guardian. The newspaper wrote in 2015 that many North
Korean soldiers survive on a few potatoes a day and if they don’t die in service,
they often become very weak. “North Korea may be the worst place in the
world to do military service,” said the story, and if that is true, it is something
we cannot ignore when we compare militaries. On the other hand, most media outlets in the
west state that Japan’s military is one of the best trained in the world. So, you decide, does size matter? Let’s now have a look at what each military
has in terms of firepower. According to Global Firepower, the North Korean
Army has around 6,600 tanks, 4,100 armored fighting vehicles, 2,250 Self-Propelled Guns,
4,300 Towed-Artillery and 2,400 Multiple-Launch Rocket Systems. This is a lot of land artillery, which was
mainly built-up throughout the Cold War. Attacking North Korea by land, analysts agree,
would be no small feat due to its numerous hardened artillery sites, or HARTs, which
are equipped with a lot of weapons. Conversely, National Interest published an
article in 2017 doubting the strength of North Korea’s large tank force. This includes old Soviet T-55s and Chinese-variant
Type 59s. It also includes the better North Korean designed
Chonma-ho, although pundits don’t see this as a threat to other modern battle tanks. Japan has some of the best machines on caterpillar
tracks. Its full land force consists of 678 Tanks,
2,850 armored fighting vehicles, 202 self-propelled guns, 500 Towed-Artillery, and 99 multiple
launch rocket systems. This includes the Japanese-made Type 10 Main
Battle Tank and Type 90 Main Battle Tank. In the air, Japan has the advantage again,
employing in its air force some of the most modern aircraft ever created. Not surprisingly, as Japan is one of the USA’s
closest allies, Japan likes to shop in the U.S. arms store. Japan owns the highly touted – but not always
in battle condition – American-made F-35 Lightning II. The country just has one at the moment, but
another 42 have been ordered. Japan also has a large fleet of American F-4
Phantom IIs and F-15 Eagles, as well as its homemade and very advanced Mitsubishi F-2. Unless North Korea has a trick up its secret
sleeve, Japan has a much more ferocious air force. The somewhat dated 940 aircraft in the North
Korean air force is left wanting. The fleet consists of 40 Mikoyan MiG-29 Fulcrums,
105 MiG-23 Floggers, and 35 Sukhoi Su-25 Frogfoots. In the water, pundits say a similar thing
again regarding North Korea: that its machines are outdated and the fleet is in need of a
total overhaul. This ageing fleet consists of 0 Aircraft carriers,
4 frigates, 0 destroyers, 6 corvettes, 78 submarines, 528 coastal defense crafts, and
23 mine warfares. Japan has the upper hand again, with one aircraft
carrier, 35 destroyers, 51 frigates, 35 corvettes, 31 mine warfare, 3 amphibious transports,
8 nuclear attack submarines, and around 50 conventional attack submarines. According to military analysts, Japan’s
Aegis class guided missile destroyer alone is a force to be reckoned with. This brings us to missiles. What exactly does North Korea have and what
are the capabilities of its missiles and missile launchers? Well, we’ve discussed this in-depth in another
show, and to be frank, the world is not exactly sure what North Korea is capable of. We know the country is perfecting its missile
launches, having launched 22 missiles in 15 tests since February 2017. That included the fourth of July launch of
an intercontinental ballistic missile, to show the world its missiles could reach practically
anywhere. The USA is a target as North Koreans believe
the U.S. wants to remove the country’s leader and free the people from what it deems an
oppressive form of government. Japan certainly has more to worry about being
so close, but still no one knows exactly how many nuclear weapons North Korea has. Japan doesn’t have its own nuclear weapons,
although of late, defense policy makers have said perhaps it’s time to put U.S. weapons
on Japanese soil. The U.S. already knows Japan is no slouch,
with the professor of military history at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College
saying in 2017 that, “Pilot for pilot, ship for ship, Japan can stand toe to toe with
anybody.” U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis has also
vowed to stand behind Japan and South Korea, stating in September this year, “We are
not looking to the total annihilation of a country, namely North Korea,” but he added
“We have many options to do so.” This support from the U.S. makes a huge difference
if anything should ever happen between Japan and North Korea, but let’s hope it doesn’t. Be sure to check out and subscribe to our
new Youtube channel called Fuzzy and Nutz! This week, Fuzzy wins the lottery, and as
you might expect, his arch-nemesis Nutz laughs and looks on as chaos ensues! Give it a watch and learn a thing or two,
cos we think you’re gonna love the show just as much as we loved making it. See ya next time!


  1. 1. Only one of these countries has nuclear missiles and that’s game over, 2. There will never be a war between Japan and North Korea! It’ll be between Japan and all of Korea! Opinion polls always show overwhelming that South Korea will fight on the opposite side to Japan in any war Japan is in, especially with a war between Japan and North Korea

  2. Waging war takes into account logistics, tactics, command and control and other areas. Numbers only tell part of the story but it’s interesting.

  3. America : ok guys ready to go to Florida?
    America’s allies : yas!!!
    Japan : North Korea want battle D:
    America : here take some of my aircraft and nuclear submarine ok 👌
    North Korea : OHhh SH&/$:$:

  4. I didn't make it quite clear but South Korea is the only one out of the four I would support surviving North Korea needs to be wiped out China White dial in Japan of course wiped out for the crimes they've committed Against Humanity the environment animals

  5. also you guys remember in ww2 the Finnish army went up against the soviet army and the fins had 300000 men compared to just over 1.4-1.6 million for the soviets and yet the fins almost won

  6. Japan wins, hands down, as long as they don't try to put boots on the ground in NK. The NK army is a moot point if they can't move them. Japan's subs and aircraft will sink any NK troop ship that dares sail.
    The US maintains ships near Japan to shoot down any NK missiles.

  7. Japan is a warrior nation. However, all they can do now is just defend their country, they are not allowed to attack after WWII. I do believe that they have sophisticated military technology that they keep to themselves.

  8. Japan (and Germany) still get an anti militarist politic because of their loss during the WW2. But this 2 countries showed to the entire world how become the most powerful in a few years.

    If North Korea want to make war to Japan, they should to act very quickly, because with a war economic politic… Japan would crush them.

  9. north korea would fold like a house of cards they would throw down there weapons and go running to the other side in a heart beat

  10. Japan is to be party blamed on why North Korea became a repressive and brutal country. Guys, you should study what Japan did in Korea from 1895 until the Second World War.

  11. North Korea will never lose to war! Fight for it North Korea and protect the fatherland country from the japanese imperialist rules!!!

  12. Japan do not need to invade North Korea, Just make their life more miserable by
    using Air and Sea asset. If the nuke is fired by NK, Japan can always buy from the US.
    It seems US bases in Okinawa have nukes ready for sale for Japan. Who knows Japan
    has nukes too, they have the capability and know-how to make it.

  13. I'm an American but in reality Kim Jung un has absolutely beautiful rockets. I'm just telling the realistic truth. Have you seen them? If you think they are jank you need to climb back under your rock.

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