Japan is a major power in Asia.
Japan’s overall score of 41.0 declined by 1.5 points in 2020. The country is now only one-point shy of being considered a high performing middle power.
Tokyo continues to be the quintessential smart power, using the country’s limited resources to wield broad-based influence in the region. Japan exerts more influence in the region than expected given its available resources, as indicated by the country’s positive power gap score. But while Japan is the standout net overachiever in Asia, its positive power gap deteriorated in 2020.
The country performs best in the diplomatic influence measure, where it places 2nd. Tokyo also ranks in consistent 3rd place for its economic capability, economic relationships and defence networks. In 2020, Japan surpassed South Korea, and achieved the highest points gain in the region for its defence networks, reflecting progress in its regional defence diplomacy — notably with the quadrilateral security grouping, which includes Australia, India and the United States.
Japan’s lowest rankings continue to be in the military capability and resilience measures, where it comes in at 7th place. The latter is due to poor resource security and a negative energy trade balance. Japan is also down five points in the economic relationships measure. This reflects a relative loss in standing in comparison to China’s gains in its average share of regional foreign investment. It is also partly attributable to Tokyo’s decision to discontinue its 40-year development assistance projects in China.
Read more analysis in the Key Findings report. Explore further results in the Scores section.
A country’s weighted average across eight measures of power