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Japan government debt continues to increase, but so does demand [ClearOnMoney]
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Japan government debt continues to increase, but so does demand

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Commentary

Japan government debt continues to increase, but so does demand

2 Nov 2011 by Jim Fickett.

This week the Japanese Ministry of Finance released its Quarterly Newsletter, dated October. Before the earthquake the government was beginning to feel an urgent need to get debt under control. However the need for reconstruction forced a postponement:

In response to the Great East Japan Earthquake and the nuclear incident, the third supplementary budget for FY2011 was formulated as a full-scale reconstruction budget …

Overall, the total issuance amount of JGB for FY2011 has been increased by 10.1 trillion yen.

Japan's debt, already the largest in the developed world, relative to GDP, continues to grow substantially:

For now there is no indication that this is regarded by investors as a problem. The yen has been very strong lately, perhaps indicating that some of the money fleeing Europe is going into Japanese bonds. The fraction of Japanese government bonds held by foreigners has risen gradually for the last year and a half, from 4.8% to 5.7%.

Nevertheless, politicians in Japan do recognize that only a change in mood is required to put them in the position of Greece.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said Friday that Japan will contribute to the European bailout fund in a “suitable way” but urged European leaders to make “even greater efforts” to extinguish the spread of debt contagion in the euro-zone. “The fire is not on the other side of the river,” Noda told the Financial Times. “Currently, the most important thing is to ensure it does not spread to Asia or the global economy.”