Korea's current account surplus is likely to surpass Japan's this year for the first time.
According to the Bank of Korea, Korea's current account surplus from January to August this year was US$42.22 billion (US$1=W1,061) while Japan's was $41.53 billion. This is the first time since the statistics began in 1980 that Korea's surplus exceeded Japan's.
This reflects the current state of economy of the two countries. For a long time, the two countries' surpluses were not even comparable, as Japan's economy was six times bigger than Korea's until 2012.
But Japan's surplus halved from $203.92 billion in 2010 to $119.06 billion in 2011, and halved again to $60.4 billion in 2012 due to the collapse of electric and electronic companies that propelled the country’s economy to No. 2 in the world, as well as a huge hike in energy imports following the deadly earthquake and tsunami in 2011.