Tokyo's shopping districts can overwhelm
Tokyo's shopping districts can overwhelm - 
Listen To The Story
Marketplace

Japan's government debt equals about 230 percent of its gross domestic product.  To raise money to pay that down, the government will increase the national sales tax to 8 percent.

Paying off massive debt seems prudent, but to avoid slowing the economy with the higher taxes, Japanese officials in the next day or so will propose a $53 billion spending package.  Host David Brancaccio speaks with the BBC's Rupert Wingfield Hayes in Tokyo.