Japan's long-term debt hits fresh high above $7.7 trillion in fiscal 2021

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The balance of long-term Japanese government debt exceeded 1,000 trillion yen (7.7 trillion U.S. dollars) for the first time in the fiscal year of 2021 to reach its highest-ever level, the Finance Ministry said on Tuesday.

The debt amounted to 1,017.1 trillion yen in fiscal 2021 that ended in March, posting fresh records for the 18th consecutive year, according to the Finance Ministry.

The recording setting amount of debt came on the back of swelling social security costs amid the rapid aging of the population and emergency spending in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The long-term debt balance, excluding some types of bonds, rose 44 trillion yen compared to the previous year.

The expansion of debt added pressure to Japan's economic recovery, and put the world's third-largest economy further away from restoring its fiscal health.

The debt balance has doubled in the past two decades, after surpassing 500 trillion yen for the first time at the end of fiscal 2002.

For fiscal 2022, the Japanese government plans to spend a record 107.60 trillion yen in the initial budget, partly to finance increasing social security costs. (1 U.S. dollar equals 130 yen)

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