Japan’s central government debt stood at a record-high 1,053.4 trillion yen ($8.78 trillion) at the end of March, the Finance Ministry said Friday, in a result that puts pressure on the government to take further austerity measures.
The ministry also projected the debt would reach 1,167.1 trillion yen by the end of the current fiscal year starting April 1, reflecting the need for financing ballooning social security costs with state debt amid the aging society.
The latest figure topped the previous record of 1,039.4 trillion yen at the end of June last year and was more than double the country’s nominal gross domestic product in 2014 of 488.0 trillion yen. Japan’s fiscal health is the worst among major developed economies.
The result consisted of 881.5 trillion yen in government bonds, 55.0 trillion yen in borrowing, mainly from financial institutions, and 116.9 trillion yen in financing bills, or short-term government notes up to six months.
As of March 31, per-capita debt — or the amount owed per head of population — was about 8.30 million yen, as Japan’s total population was estimated at around 126.9 million as of April 1.
The government releases fiscal data every three months, compiled according to International Monetary Fund standards.