Japanese Government Debt: It's Not As Bad As You Might Think

Authors: Dennis W. Jansen, Tong Ye Date: December 2019

Japan, the third-largest economy in the world by GDP, is also the most heavily indebted of the highly developed countries. Its gross debt of 1,175.84 trillion yen is an eye-popping 213.7% of GDP. In this issue of Data Points, authors Dennis W. Jansen and Tong Ye present calculations of Japan's net debt-to-GDP ratio after adjusting for the substantial asset holdings of the government of Japan and for the large quantity of debt held by the Bank of Japan. They calculate a net debt-to-GDP ratio of a more manageable, if still high, 109%.


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Keywords: Japan, GDP, debt, net debt, Bank of Japan