La maturité de la crise financière du Japon

TOKYO - La paralysie politique du Japon s'est-elle finalement dissipée ? L'accord récent à la suite d'une longue discussion entre le gouvernement et les principaux partis d'opposition, visant à doubler la taxe à la consommation (de 5% à 8% en 2014, puis à 10% en 2015) laisse penser qu'il en va bien ainsi. Mais il existe un vrai risque que le gouvernement confonde cette mesure avec la fin du processus de réforme. En fait, il ne s'agit, ou du moins il ne devrait s'agir, que d'un commencement.

Selon les différentes méthodes d'évaluation, la dette japonaise officielle est la plus importante du monde. Le volume total exceptionnel des obligations d'État japonaises (OEJ) est abyssal avec presque 9 trillions de dollars, à peine en-dessous des 10,5 trillions de dollars de la dette totale exceptionnelle des 17 pays de la zone euro, qui comptent une population plus de trois fois supérieure à celle du Japon.

La situation financière du Japon est si effroyable que l'émission d'obligations a excédé la recette fiscale depuis 2009. Les impôts couvrent moins de la moitié de la dépense du gouvernement. Et le tremblement de terre de l'année dernière, le tsunami et le désastre nucléaire n'ont fait qu'empirer une image financière effroyable qui exige une nouvelle dépense énorme pour reconstruire le pays. Le Japon a émis un record de 55,8 trillions de yens (693,5 milliards de dollars), soit 12% du PIB nominal en obligations d'Etat sur le dernier exercice budgétaire.

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