Most people think of Japan as a highly developed and prosperous country. With a GDP per capita of $39,306 in 2018, its economy is among the most advanced in the world, home to global powerhouses such as Toyota, Honda, Sony and Nintendo, just to name a few. What many people don’t realize, however, is that Japan
is also the most debt-ridden country in the world, with government debt amounting to 238 percent of the country’s GDP in 2017, according to the IMF
As the following chart shows, Japan is far ahead of Greece, Italy and Portugal, the European Union’s debt-laden problem children, and the United States, which also saw its public debt soar to unprecedented levels in recent years. While the U.S. saw its debt level rise from 65 to 105 percent between 2007 and 2017, Spain and the UK suffered the biggest increases, with debt levels in both countries more than doubling over the same period.