Is Japan A First World Country?

Japan is an island country located in East Asia. It will forever be remembered for its part in World War 2, particularly the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Since the close of World War II, Japan has assumed a more reserved stance towards international politics; choosing instead to concentrate on building its own society and economy.

Despite being bombed to submission as retaliation for Pearl Harbor, Japan has grown its economy to an enviable status. Japanese car and electronic brands are famous around the world, and the country is noted for innovation in technology and in research generally.

Is Japan A First World Country

Historically, the phrase “First World Country” had a different meaning than it does today. In the years around the time of the Cold War the phrase “First World” country used to mean countries that supported the US and its Allies; at the same time this also meant countries that favored capitalism, democracy, and which opposed communism.

The close of the Cold War brought about a change in the meaning and use of the phrase; First World countries started to mean countries that have Stable Democracies, Low Mortality Rates, high GDPs, high Literacy Rates, high Standards of Living, and  of course Capitalist Economies.

So is Japan a first world country? Yes, it is. By the old definition of the term, most sources agree that Japan was a friend of the US during the Cold War that makes it a First World country by that meaning. However, what they often don’t mention is the fact that Japan had an isolationist policy during that period, and largely minded its own business.

Things changed after the war, and Japan went on to build a great relationship with the USA, and with its allies.

According To The New Meaning Of “First World”

According to the new meaning of the word, Japan is a first world country because it has all the qualifications to merit such a status. Japan is a member of the G 20, and also the G 7. The country is a regional economic power in Asia, and its influence extends even beyond the continent. It is important to give a proper breakdown Japan as a country, and why it is such a great country.

Why Japan Is A First World Country

Japan Has A Great Economy

Japan has a low unemployment rate, a labor force that ranks as one of the largest in the world, and very competitive GDP figures. Japan’s economy is buoyed by several sectors, including Agriculture, Fishing, Industry, and Tourism.

Agriculture has always been an important part of life in Japan; in feudal Japan rice was not just a staple food, it was a mode of payment, a symbol of power, and even a reward for valor. Today, Japan no longer plants fields of rice with the labor of servants or slaves, but food security is high because the country is innovative, and incorporates technology into its farming practices.

Rice is still the major food source, and the major crop in Japan. The farming system is very efficient, and the government offers many forms of protection to the farmers- food security is heavily guarded.

Japanese Industry  

Japanese industry is a core part of the country’s success story so far. Industries provide jobs and revenue to both the private sector as well as the government because industry drives exports. Some of the key exports coming out of Japanese industry include cars.

Japanese cars are famous throughout the world; car brands like Toyota (the highest selling car brand in the world), Honda, and Nissan are some of the best known car brands in the world.

Ship-building is also an important sector, as well as machine tools, and other kinds of machines.

High Literacy Level

Japan has a high literacy level; among the common people there is very good access to education, with the result that the people are able to read and write, and communicate effectively, and to contribute to the society. Technical education is also great in Japan, with the result that Japan is a world leader when it comes to research and development of technology.

Stable Political Structure

Japan has a very good and stable political environment; the country is very well organized. Japan has a constitutional monarchy; the Emperor is a lifetime, hereditary position. There is also a Prime Minister, a Cabinet, a House of Representatives, and a House of Councilors which is ably led by the President of Councilors.

The country is very stable, and well managed. Japan rarely makes headlines for any wrong reasons. For some reason the people love and appreciate the efforts of the principal officers.

A Special Country Indeed

Japan has a Culture of Respect; it puts people before profits in a different (moderate) form of capitalism. One famous report is that of a train system that continued to make regular stops at a station even when there was only one passenger using the stop- a young school girl. The train continued to make regular stops until the girl graduated.

There is another remarkable instance of the company which held the prices of its products for many years, but when it became absolutely necessary to raise prices the Chairman, as well as the senior staff did a commercial on national TV in which they apologized for the price increase.

In Japanese workplaces, promotions are usually done as a result of seniority, and younger workers usually bow in respect to their older colleagues.



Japan is a first world country by every possible definition of the word. This is a great country with a great social structure, and a great economy. Japan is a target for tourism and for immigration, people want to live in this beautiful country with a great history.