In ways that affect most programmers, for most everyday purposes, Java is an advance over Pascal just as Pascal was an advance over earlier languages. Just as Pascal gave you new powerful tools (structured programming without GOTO, data structures, strong typing, recursion, etc), Java gives you more new tools (objects, inheritance, polymorphism, garbage collection, a very large standard library, object code portability across platforms), later on the JVM brought portable source level debugging, dynamic profiling and hotspot compilation, better and more sophisticated garbage collection, and more.
Ultimately it depends on what your goals are. If you are writing high performance video codecs, or signal processing, for example, then you would probably not use Java.
But for many everyday things, Java is great. That is probably why it is so widely used to build huge enterprise software projects that should run for decades;.