Municipalities Struggle with Debts from Public Investment, Disasters

Politics

Tokyo, Jan. 1 (Jiji Press)--Debts incurred from past public investment and reconstruction work after disasters are placing heavy financial burdens on local governments in Japan while social security costs are increasing amid the graying of the population.

In fiscal 2018, which ended in March 2019, the future burden rate, one of the indicators for judging local governments' financial soundness, reached a crisis level of over 300 pct in Hokkaido, northernmost Japan, Niigata Prefecture, central Japan, and Hyogo Prefecture, western Japan.

The average rate among the country's 47 prefectures stood at 173.6 pct.

If the rate, which shows the extent of future burdens on finances, exceeds 400 pct, local governments are required to submit a fiscal reconstruction plan to the central government.

The rate was highest across the country in Hyogo, at 339.2 pct.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press