It is largely symbolic but it does express well the problem. Japan’s economy is in trouble. The country’s debt burden has now topped 1 quadrillion yen.
Japan’s central government debt at the end of its fiscal year was 1,008,628,100,000,000 yen which translates into some $10.5 trillion dollars. At 230 percent, Japan has more debt as a percentage of GDP than any other developed nation.
Over the years, this crisis was caused by the issuing of some 830 trillion yen in government bonds, sustained deficits and lower tax revenue. Less mentioned is a demographic crisis where few are having babies and more are retiring on underfunded pensions.
In typical Keynesian fashion, the country is now seeking to increase its borrowing yet more to fund infrastructure projects. It is all part of a vast stimulus program to “jumpstart” a submerged economy. The government is also planning to double its consumption or sales tax to 10% by 2015.