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Overtaking Japan? South Koreans see no reason to celebrate

Economic data points to Seoul's rise, but many do not feel benefits

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, left, with Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong at an event in 2019. Conglomerates like Samsung have driven the country's economic growth but have also come to be seen as a symbol of inequality. (Yonhap via Kyodo)

TOKYO -- Japanese academic and financial circles have been abuzz of late over a not-so-new phenomenon: South Korea overtaking Japan in key economic indicators.

A prime example is gross domestic product per capita, adjusted for purchasing power parity. South Korea first beat Japan in this key metric back in 2018, according to the International Monetary Fund, and the gap is only expected to grow.

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