Japan's national debt sets record

NHK -- Feb 10

Japan's national debt has reached a new high, despite government efforts to restore fiscal health.

The Finance Ministry says at the end of last year, government debt topped 1,100 trillion yen -- about 10 trillion dollars -- for the first time.

The figure translates to about 79,000 dollars for each resident of Japan.

The bulk of the debt comes from government bonds, issued to cover ballooning social insurance costs due to the graying population. Loans and short-term securities also make up part of the debt.

More bonds are set to be issued in the fiscal year beginning April. The government's budget bill calls for about 296 billion dollars in bond issuance, aimed at covering a revenue shortfall.