Essay on Exploring: Japan, Canada & US - Differences & Strengths/Weaknesses

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1611 Words
Date:  2023-05-08


Countries across the globe vary significantly in terms of political systems, cultures, religion, cuisines, economic sustainability, and social equality, among other aspects. This paper delves in comparing and contrasting Japan, Canada, and the US with the aim of establishing an understanding of factors that defines them and whether such elements are potential weaknesses and strengths. Canada and the US are located in North America, while Japan is situated in East Asia. Despite having a more sustainable economy, the US is limited by its duopoly when compared to Japan or Canada.

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Canada vs. Unites States

Both the United States of America and Canada are democracies and federal nations. However, there are essential differences in the political party system. First, there is no official language in America, but Canada has two official languages, which are English and French. The decision to have two official languages was made by Confederation Fathers (Tuohy, 2019). The Ontario province in Canada comprises of the largest population of French-speaking individuals. It has offered French learning institutions and a wide range of services provided via the French language. Also, other provinces are taking steps toward teaching and offering services in French. Another fundamental difference is that Canada is a constitutional monarch, while the US is a republic.

One specific benefit of Canada's political system is that it works within the parliamentary democracy framework and a parliamentary authority federal system consisting of bold democratic norms. The state is a constitutional monarch whereby the monarch is the state's head. Practically, the powers of the executive are given by the Cabinet, comprising of a committee of Crown ministers. The committee is appointed and headed by the state's Prime Minister and is answerable to the Commons House.

The country is referred to as a full democracy with a culture of liberalism and a moderate egalitarian political ideology. Canadian society has never experienced politics prominent force due to good governance, order, and peace together with an implied Bill of Rights, which are basic principles of the Canadian authority (Tuohy, 2019). In addition, the political system has insisted on social justice as a distinguishing factor of the nation's political culture. The country has emphasized on all individuals' inclusivity and equality.

Furthermore, Canada consists of a multi-party system whereby most of the parliamentary practices originate from unwritten precedents conventions established by the United Kingdom Westminster legislature. In its history, Canada has had two major political parties; the Conservative Party and the Liberal Party. However, small political parties such as the Green party, New Democratic Party, and the nationalist bloc of Quebec have been in a position to influence the political process (Tuohy, 2019). Moreover, the parliamentary democracy framework has enabled the state to instil more party discipline than in America. Also, more legislature votes are taken as confidence motion that seems to reduce non-cabinet MPs roles.

Full democracy and liberalism tradition is a strength for Canada. The state has had few political conflicts because all political parties existing have the right to influence governance. On the other hand, the US political system with two duopoly parties is a weakness since it creates political conflicts and gives only one party the right to influence governance.

Instead, the state should exercise full democracy by creating a multi-party-political system where people are allowed to exercise their varying opinions. The greatest benefit of a multi-party-political system is that the chances for a government shutdown are minimized. This means that in case any budget fails, then the authority loses its confidence votes unless other political parties come together to gather a majority (Chohan, 2017).

Moreover, America should create a party of discipline, just like Canada, since US Republicans or Democrats are not guaranteed to have every bill passed. Some members may reject to vote for a particular bill. For example, the Health Care Bill raised by Clinton did not pass because there were not enough democrats to support it. If there was a disciplined party like in Canada, it would "snap the whip" and push members of parliament to vote for something.

Furthermore, the US should apply the parliamentary system used in Canada instead of its presidential system during elections. The US spends a lot of resources in conducting two presidential elections where one is for electing presidential candidates in every party and the other for electing the president. Canada does not conduct two elections. Instead, it only goes to one election to choose the leader for the next election.

Japan vs. United States

Japan and the United States of America are both superpowers with huge Gross Domestic Product. Economic resources and distribution have placed the two countries at the top of the most competitive economies in the world. For instance, Japan can be acknowledged for its vast assets stock preserved abroad, bringing an ideal of rich Gross Net Product and income to the country (Ozawa, 2014). In addition, the inequality of the Japanese economy is low as compared to most developed nations such as the US (Ozawa, 2014). Economic resources are distributed well among the country's population through a taxation system that imposes a 45% tax on wealthy families (Ozawa, 2014).

Currently, the government has debated increasing the tax rate of the rich to 55% (Ozawa, 2014). As a result of high taxation among the rich, the inequality between the rich and the poor flattens since resources are distributed via the taxation system. Unlike Japan, the US inequality is very high since rich people continue becoming richer due to untamed efforts to accumulate wealth. The wealthy groups utilize their resource to explore natural resources such as coal, rubber, and steel to make more wealth. Despite Japan being the most resources distributed with the lowest inequality, its disadvantage is that it hasn't utilized its resources fully.

Since the 1990s, it is obvious from the economic statistics that Japan has not attained its economic potential. One of the factors that have contributed to the underutilization of resources is the high public spending rate hitting 33% of the private domestic outlays (Ozawa, 2014). Other factors pulling down the country's potential include collective monetary manipulation of local exchange parties, high credit levels, and low-interest rates. The productive economy's creeping socialization has spearheaded all these factors. The nominal gross national product once increased by more than double in 11 years, increasing by 6.7% annually. However, since then, the economy has essentially stagnated.

Consequently, the GNP has even been dropping from a 5.5% annual compound rate, which is equalized to 5% per head to 0.8%, equivalent to 0.6% per head. On the other hand, comparable America has indicated a remarkably bold growth trend of 3.4%, equivalent to 2.8% per head (Ozawa, 2014). However, looking at the previous three years of Japanese economy performance, it's clear that the United States of America's economy has slipped behind their colleagues. Moreover, the Japanese real Gross Net Product has increased by 3.5% while that of the US rose by 3.6% from 1999 to 2002, with its population increasing four to five times.

Unlike the US, Japan has no virtually natural resources such as iron, oil, copper, coal, and natural gas. However, it is proven that there are two large potential regions rich in natural resources but have remained untapped. Forests occupy almost 70% of Japanese land, while in the United States of America, there is only 33% of forest land (Ozawa, 2014). Despite the large forest land in Japan, the resource is underutilized.

The second untapped resource is the oceans surrounding the archipelago. Territorial waters cover 4.47 million km2 with exclusive legal rights for exploitation. On the other hand, US territorial waters cover 195,213 km2 with significant economic advantage. Japan has the most extensive coverage and has the capability to become a nation with abundant resources. However, the reality is that it would require a drastic transformation in the mind-set of bureaucrats and lawmakers.

Late April 2019, Japan got the good news that 310,000 km2 of the continental shelf belonged to them as ruled by the UN commission on continental shelf limits. This offers the nation extra region to practice submarine natural resource mining rights. As of early February, drilling companies began prospecting methane hydrate reserves. They discovered that 7,000 meters deep would be drilled to get natural gas matching the country's consumption for more than 100 years (Ozawa, 2014). Also, the Japanese forests have been discovered to possess a wide variety of high-quality tress. The country could be a lumber-exporting nation like Indonesia, Canada, and Russia.

However, the constant local prices and aging forestry employees hinder the industry from expanding to its potential. The country needs to deploy foreign employees for developed heavy machinery, logging and improved forest roads as a way of growing the industry and increasing economic resource distribution. The timber transportation and logging will improve and enable lumber exportation to South Korea and China at excellent and competitive prices.


Despite being North American Countries built on democracy, the US and Canada differ significantly, in terms of political approaches, religions, official languages, currency, and cuisines. While the US has two major political parties, democrats and republicans, Canada has four major parties, including the Liberal Party, Conservative Party, New Democratic Party, and Bloc Quebecois. As such, while the US is built on a duopoly, Canada has more powerful parties that effectively monitor government effectiveness. Japan is established on the constitutional monarchy led by an Emperor with ceremonial powers who appoints the Prime Minister. As discussed in this paper, there are other similarities and differences eminent among the US, Canada, and Japan.


Chohan, U. W., & Jacobs, K. (2016). The Presidentialisation thesis and parliamentary budget offices. Parliamentary Affairs, gsw026.

Ozawa, T. (2014). Multinationalism, Japanese style: The political economy of outward dependency. Princeton University Press.

Tuohy, C. H. (2019). Icon and taboo: Single-Payer politics in Canada and the US. Journal of International and Comparative Social Policy, 35(1), 5-24.

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