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Everyone keeps saying that Japan is small, but is it really so? I compared its area with other countries in the world and studied why Japan is thought to be so small.

Japan is the 61st largest country out of 194

First of all, Japan is the 61st largest country in the world according to Wikipedia. Obviously 61st isn’t large, but it’s one third of the entire world.

Note that this statistics is based on the total area size including water and land. Countries that are larger than Japan include Russia, China, Canada, US, Australia etc.

You might think that the rest of the two thirds are island countries which are usually very small, but the smaller countries than Japan include a lot of European, Asian or African countries. Most small island countries are ranked lower than 150, meaning there are 100 or so non-island countries after Japan.

In the Wikipedia chart, France looks to be very large, but that’s mainly because of French Polynesia whose water area is almost as large as West (and Central?) Europe. I don’t have the number, but it could be smaller than Japan in terms of the land.

Even UK, Germany or Italy are smaller than Japan

Believe it or not, UK, Germany and Italy are smaller than Japan. If you thought Germany and Italy were bigger, that’s probably because they are part of a huge continent and their smallness doesn’t stand out.

As for the UK, I’m not sure why fewer people say it’s small, but I guess it’s because the UK has been one of the world’s most advanced countries and doesn’t seem to be small in terms of its technology, economy and presence.

Just in case, I don’t mean to offend the British, Germans nor Italians. I’m just saying that Japan is not as small as everyone thinks.

Why does everyone think Japan is small then?

OK, let me focus on the main topic here now. Why does everyone think Japan is small if it’s larger than so many other countries in the world?

I think there are two reasons.

First, Japan is an island country located in the Far East. To everybody in the world, Japan is the eastmost country which is not even part of Eurasian continent. This can be a big reason for why everybody thinks Japan is small.

Secondly, Japan is a lot smaller compared to the other developed countries. Developed countries tend to be larger, but Japan isn’t for its technology and economy, and therefore it looks much smaller than necessary.

I hope my description was logical enough with regards to how large Japan actually is, and why everyone thinks it’s smaller than necessary. No matter how small it might look, it has a variety of different styles of cultures, food and nature.

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