Japan's GDP was around four times larger than Korea's in 2013, but the gap in competitiveness between them was even greater.
The Federation of Korean Industries said Monday that although some Korean companies were ahead of their Japanese rivals in terms of earnings, the overall gap in competitiveness remains much the same.
When it comes to investing in research and development, a 2012 tally by the European Commission showed 353 Japanese companies among the top 2,000 businesses in the world, but only 56 Korean ones. Twenty-nine Japanese companies invested over W1 trillion (US$1=W1,018) in R&D compared to just three in Korea -- Samsung, LG and Hyundai.
Among the world's top 100 innovative companies selected by Thomson Reuters last year, 28 were Japanese and only three Korean. Also, 16 Japanese academics won Nobel science prizes, while no Korean has ever won the award.
As of 2012, 231 Japanese products ranked at the top of the world in terms of market share compared to 64 Korean products.