Die falsche Wachstumsstrategie für Japan

CAMBRIDGE – Japans neue Regierung unter Premierminister Shinzo Abe könnte im Begriff sein, sich selbst ins Knie zu schießen. Möglicherweise zerstören die dortigen Behörden zur Steigerung des Wirtschaftswachstums bald ihren einzigen großen Wettbewerbsvorteil: den niedrigen Zinssatz auf Staatsschulden und private Kreditaufnahme. Sollte dies geschehen, wird es Japan höchstwahrscheinlich am Ende von Abes Amtszeit schlechter gehen als heute.

Der Zinssatz der japanischen Staatsanleihen mit zehnjähriger Laufzeit beträgt aktuell weniger als 1% – und ist damit trotz sehr hoher Staatsschulden und jährlicher Haushaltsdefizite der niedrigste der Welt. Tatsächlich betragen die Schulden Japans momentan etwa 230% des BIP. Damit ist die Verschuldungsrate höher als die von Griechenland (175% des BIP) und fast doppelt so hoch wie die von Italien (125% des BIP). Das jährliche Haushaltsdefizit liegt bei fast 10% des BIP und damit höher als in jedem Land der Eurozone. Bei stagnierendem nominalen BIP führt das Defizit zu einer jährlichen Steigerung des Verhältnisses der Schulden zum BIP um 10 Prozentpunkte.

Der Grund dafür, dass die japanische Regierung nur so geringe Zinssätze zahlen muss, liegt darin, dass die Inlandspreise bereits seit über einem Jahrzehnt fallen, während der Yen im Vergleich zu anderen großen Währungen aufgewertet hat. Deflation im Inland bedeutet, dass der reale Zinssatz auf japanische Anleihen höher ist als der nominale. Durch die Wertsteigerung des Yen steigt auch der Ertrag japanischer Anleihen im Vergleich zu solchen anderer Währungen.

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