Die japanische Haushaltskrise kommt in die Jahre

TOKIO – Konnte Japan seine politische Lähmung endlich ablegen? Das kürzliche Abkommen über die Verdopplung der Konsumsteuer – 2014 von 5% auf 8% und 2015 dann auf 10% –, das die Regierung und die führenden Oppositionsparteien nach langer Debatte vereinbart haben, deutet stark darauf hin. Aber das Risiko besteht darin, dass die Regierung diese Maßnahme als Ende des Reformprozesses betrachtet. Vielmehr ist sie erst der Anfang – oder sollte es zumindest sein.

Welche Messgröße man auch betrachtet: Die japanischen Staatsschulden sind die höchsten der Welt. Das Gesamtvolumen der ausstehenden japanischen Regierungsanleihen beträgt beinahe 9 Billionen USD, kaum niedriger als die 10,5 Billionen USD Schulden aller 17 Länder der Eurozone zusammen, die über dreimal so viele Einwohner haben.

Die Haushaltslage in Japan ist so schwierig geworden, dass seit 2009 mehr Anleihen ausgegeben werden als Steuereinnahmen fließen. Weniger als die Hälfte der Regierungsausgaben werden also durch Steuern abgedeckt. Und durch das Erdbeben, den Tsunami und die Nuklearkatastrophe letztes Jahr wurde die ohnehin angespannte Haushaltslage noch verschlimmert, da große Summen für den Wiederaufbau aufgewendet werden mussten. Im letzten Haushaltsjahr hat Japan Regierungsanleihen für die Rekordsumme von 55,8 Billionen Yen (693,5 Milliarden USD) ausgegeben, was 12% des nominalen BIP entspricht.

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