Japan may have fiscal problems, but the country’s net foreign assets are almost five times the amount of Japanese government bonds held by foreigners. This is the second part in our series on Japan’s finances. It looks at the economic figures for Japan compared with the rest of the world and why Japan is unlikely to suffer the same fate as countries in southern Europe.

JAPAN is still the world’s top creditor nation in spite of its huge debt burden. Latest figures show debt is now approaching 240 per cent of GDP, the result of two decades of ill-advised industrial policy, inefficient public-works spending and procrastination on structural reforms.

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Dr. Stefan Lippert
Japan’s trade deficit is likely to shrink – or even turn into a surplus again – if the import value of fossil fuels decreases because of the expected restart of nuclear reactors and the rapid build-up of solar capacity
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