As Standard and Poor’s downgraded several EU countries, Jun Azumi, finance minister of Japan, voiced his growing concerns.
“Unless Japan shows that we are swiftly securing stable financial conditions and rebuilding fiscal policies… it will be us next time,” he said.
Azumi was not, in fact, the only person to express trepidation. Nine EU countries were listed, including France. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said: “The crisis in Europe is not a fire on the other side of the river. Even if France’s rating was lowered. If Japan continues its current fiscal policy, we will find ourselves under the spotlight. We must tackle this issue with a great sense of urgency.”
To support this effort, Noda’s government, as well as Japan’s ruling Democratic Party, has planned an increase of the current sales tax. The suggestion has been met with significant disapproval, however.
Japan’s debt currently stands at nearly 200% GDP, following years of attempts to curb the economy’s struggles.