.. r km2, the overall population density of 340 per km2. Japan has the highest physiographic density (population to uninhabitable land) of any major nation. This opposes Thailand, which has an overall population of 117 persons per km2. Thailand does not have a problem with uneven population distribution, because it is a country that has not yet industrialised to a substantial level. This means that there are not a large number of jobs available in the cities to transmigrate for.
The two countries have populations which, are structured very differently. Japan has an aging population where 16% are over the age of 65. While only 5% of Thai people are over the 65-year age bracket. This may be contributed to many factors one of which is, by western standards Thailand has a poor health care system that fails to look after the sick and elderly. Japan has an ageing population because less than one female child is born per women of childbearing age.
This could be caused by Japanese women choosing to concentrate on their careers rather than having a family. The two countries also have different age structures in other areas. 15% of Japans population is between the ages of 0 and 14 compared to Thailand where 29% of the population are between 0 and 14. Likewise both Japan and Thailand have a similar percentage of the population between 15 and 64 years of age. In Thailand 66% are in the 15 64 year age bracket and 69% of the Japanese population are of a similar age. Both countries are relatively low population growth rates.
Thailand has a growth rate of 1.03% and Japan has a growth rate of 0.2%. In fact the UN estimates that Japans population will decrease to 121 million by 2025. By that time Thailands population would have risen by 8 million. It is estimated that it will take 330 years for Japans population to double, in contrast Thailands population will need 64 years to double. Identically, Japan and Thailand have a death rate of 7 people per every 1000 people. A threat to Thailand’s population is the spread of AIDS. In 1992 the government estimated that almost two-thirds of all deaths would be AIDS-related by the end of the decade.
This is because almost 90% of all men have their first sexual experiences in brothel. The government has initiated many programs to help kerb these statistics which have worked. 70% of Thai people are now using contraceptives unlike Japan where only 57% of the population use contraceptives. Japan has an infant mortality rate of 3.8 deaths per 1000 live births, unlike Thailand which has mortality rate is a large 35.7 deaths per 1000. This can be contributed to the differences in their standards of health care which is as a results of their differing levels of economic development.
The level of health care also has effects on the life expectancy figures. At the present time the people of Thailand have a life expectancy of Male 64.89 years and Female 72.49 years. In Contrast, Japanese men have a life expectancy of 76.91 years and the women have a life expectancy of 83.25 years. Both Japan and Thailand have largely monocultural societies, i.e.; the majority is from the same ethnic background. 75% of Thailands population are of Thai originality and 99% of Japanese are of Japanese origin.
Correspondingly, both Japan and Thailand main religion is Buddhism, 95% in Thailand and 84% in Japan. The style of Buddhism varies between the two countries, Thailand practices Theravada Buddhism, while Japanese people take part in Shinto Buddhism. Likewise, Christianity plays little part in each country, less than 1% of the population in both countries practice the religion. There are numerous and immense differences between countries level of economic development. Japans economy is heavily reliant on services and high technology industries such as motor vehicle production steel equipment and electrical equipment. These industries are of high value and demonstrate Japans M.D.C status.
In contrast, Thailand is an L.D.C; 75% of the population live by subsistence farming of rice and maize. In terms of the Gross National Product (GNP) Japan is Asia’s richest country, the second richest in the world. Japans GNP in 1997 was a huge US $3.08 trillion whilst Thailand’s GNP for 1997 was US$525 billion. The GNP per capita in Japan is US$34 500 compared to a diminutive US$8 800 in Thailand. Thailand and Japan have economies that are structured differently from one another.
10% of Thailand’s GNP is gathered by agricultural means, whereas only 2% of Japans economy is collected in the same fashion. The majority of Japans GNP (56.5%) is composed of the service sector whilst in Thailand only 28% of the GNP is earned by the same means. Japan is much more industrialised than Thailand. This is reflected in the fact that 42% of Japans GNP is derived from the industrial sector, compared to 28% of Thailand’s GNP. There are many other differences between their economies. In 1997 Thailand had an economic growth rate of -0.4% while Japan’s economy was growing at a rate of 1%, but similarly both Japan and Thailand’s growth rate had slowed from previous years. There are also differences between the two countries inflation rates.
Thailand has an inflation rate (or consumer price index) of 5.6% while Japans is a relatively small 1.7%. It is estimated that in 1997 Thailand had a labor force of 32 million while at the same time Japan had a labor force of 67 million. The labor forces are set up differently in each country. Thailands people are regarded as hard working but receive only low-wages. Japan work force is considered equally hard working, highly trained and earn far more money than their Thai counterparts.
60% of Thailands demographic earn money in the unstable agriculture and fishing sectors compared to only 7% in Japan. Because of both countries having easy access to the sea, fishing plays an important role in each countries economy. Japan maintains one of the worlds largest fishing fleets and accounts for 15% of the worlds catch. The majority (50%) of Japans population is employed in the trade and service sector though only 25% of Thailand are employed in the sector; this figure also includes the governments work force. 15% of Thailands population is employed in the industry sector and 11% is employed in the commerce segment.
In Japan 33% is employed by manufacturing, mining and construction companies and 7% is employed in utilities and communication. Unlike Thailand, Japan is in the envious position of exporting more than they import. In 1997 Japan exported US$421 billion worth of goods which included machinery, cars and consumer electronics, at the same time importing US$339 billion worth of raw materials, fossil fuels, food and manufactured goods. This enables Japan to have zero external debt. In contrast Thailand has an overseas debt of US$90 billion.
This is because they import more than they export. In 1997 US$73.5 billion of goods were imported, these goods include machinery and other equipment, consumer goods and fossil fuels. In the same year US$51.6 billion dollars worth of goods were exported. These goods consisted of manufactured products (82%), fish and agricultural products. Both, Thailand and Japan gain large amounts of foreign currency from the tourism industry.
Tourism is Thailand’s largest earner of foreign exchange earnings and over 7 million tourists arrive each year. In 1996 Japan had 4.3 million tourist arrivals but Unlike Thailand; there were more Japanese people heading overseas than were arriving. 16 694 769 Japanese people traveled overseas. Japanese people are more likely to head overseas than Thais because they have larger disposable incomes. Similarly, both Japan and Thailand were severely hit by the Asian financial crisis, which began on the Thai stock exchange.
Many banks and business went bankrupt and the Thai Baht devalued by 40%. Both countries required foreign aid from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Thailand received a rescue package of US$14 billion. The rescue packages granted the countries time to initiate reforms and turn their economies around. Although there are many differences between Japan’s and Thailand’s physical and human geographies, there are also many similarities.