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.
“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VABEFORE YOU GO