Some key indicators show the Korean economy has fared better than the Japanese economy over the last 12 months. The International Monetary Fund expects Korea to continue its gradual pace of recovery by growing 2.8 percent this year and 3.7 percent in 2014.
In contrast, the IMF forecasts the Japanese economy will lose steam, expanding just 1.2 percent in 2014 after growing 2 percent this year.
If such predictions prove accurate, Korea's economic growth rate will exceed Japan's by 0.8 percentage point this year and 2.5 percentage points next year.
Korea's current account surplus, in particular, is expected to surpass Japan's for the first time this year. It is forecast to log a surplus of US$63 billion for the year, according to the central bank, $3 billion more than Japan.
Only five years ago, Korea was no match for Japan, a major exporting nation with a current account surplus five times larger than its neighboring country.