Colombia are favourites to win their bout against Japan when the teams meet for the first Group H game of the 2018 Russia World Cup - but Compelo has checked how the two economies compare for Colombia v Japan

Colombia Japan

Bogota, in Colombia, pictured on the left opposite Japan capital Tokyo

Colombia v Japan is the lunchtime clash today (19 June) in the Mordovia Arena for the first Group H game of the 2018 Russia World Cup.

Both sides have star power. Colombian Bayern Munich midfielder James Rodríguez shares a squad with Monaco striker Radamel Falcao and Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina, while Borussia Dortmund midfielder Shinji Kagawa and Leicester striker Shinji Okazaki head up Japan’s attacking threat.

Despite the impressive line-up, Japan is slated to lose the tie by the Google probability calculator – which suggests that Colombia have a 51% chance of winning the match.

Yet the South American dream team have failed to put away two minnows – Egypt and Australia – in its last two friendlies, being held to goalless draws on both occasions.

Heading into a game that is far from in the bag, Compelo takes a look at how the economies of Columbia and Japan compare with each other.


Colombia v Japan in population

Japan has a population roughly triple that of Colombia. More than 127 million people reside in the storied Asian nation, while just over 49 million people have made a home in Colombia, according to UN World Population Prospects data.

The population of the Japanese capital Tokyo sits at nine million. Eight million people live in Bogotá, Columbia – putting it surprisingly close to its Japanese counterpart.


Gross domestic product

The Japanese economy is one of the largest in the world – and their citizens some of the most overworked.

World Bank data put its gross domestic product (GDP) at $4.94tn (£3.76tn) in 2016 compared to $282bn (£214bn) produced by Colombia.

GDP per capita in Japan stood at $42,700 (£32,500) in 2017, according to CIA World Factbook estimates. GDP per capita in Colombia was $14,500 (£11,000) in the same year.


Biggest exports

Official export data compiled by the Observatory of Economic Complexity put crude petrol as the largest Columbian export in 2016 – accounting for 25% of the country’s exports, making the country a little over $8bn (£6bn).

The largest export of the home of Honda and Toyota was cars. They made up 15% of Japanese exports in 2016 and netted the island nation $101bn (£77bn).


Biggest public companies

car, automotive
The car manufacturers Toyota and Honda are two of Japan’s largest public companies.

Japanese companies are well represented on the Forbes Global 2000 list of the world’s largest firms.

Car manufacturer Toyota (#12) is the country’s highest ranking business, touting a market value over $200bn.

The top Colombian company on the list is the oil and gas provider Ecopetrol – coming in at rank 300 with roughly a quarter of Toyota’s market value.


Wealthiest people

The chief executive of Softbank Masayoshi Son is the highest ranking rich man on the Forbes billionaires list – which estimates his net worth to be $22.7bn (£17.3bn).

Luis Carlos Sarmiento, the richest Colombian, is not as wealthy as his Japanese peer but still has a net worth of around $12bn (£9.1bn) coming from holdings in banks.



Japanese unemployment was incredibly low in 2017, sitting at 2.7% according to the data website Statista.

Unemployment in Colombia was roughly quadruple that in the same year, sitting at 9.1% of the available labour force.