La crisis fiscal japonesa alcanza la mayoría de edad

TOKIO - ¿Ha acabado finalmente la parálisis política en Japón? Así lo sugiere el reciente acuerdo, tras un largo debate, entre el gobierno y los principales partidos de la oposición para duplicar el impuesto sobre el consumo, del 5% al 8% en 2014 y luego al 10% en 2015. Pero existe el riesgo real de que el gobierno confunda esta medida con el final del proceso de reformas. De hecho, es (o debería ser) apenas el comienzo.

Prácticamente desde cualquier perspectiva, la deuda oficial japonesa es la más alta del mundo. El volumen total en circulación de bonos del gobierno japonés (BGJ) llega a la casi insondable suma de US$ 9 billones, apenas por debajo de los US$ 10,5 billones de deuda pendiente de pago del total de los 17 país de la eurozona, que casi triplica al Japón en población.

Tan sombría se ha vuelto la situación fiscal japonesa que desde 2009  la emisión de bonos supera los ingresos fiscales. Los impuestos cubren menos de la mitad de los gastos del gobierno. Y el terremoto, el tsunami y el desastre nuclear del año pasado no hicieron más que empeorar el triste panorama fiscal, al hacer necesarios enormes gastos de reconstrucción. Japón emitió un récord de 55,8 billones de yenes (US$ 693,5 mil millones), o el 12% del PIB nominal, en bonos del gobierno durante el último año fiscal.

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