Japan’s public debt is expected to reach the eye-popping level of 240% of GDP in 2014, solidifying its undisputed position as the most indebted country in the industrialized world. In 2012, of the $437 billion the Japanese government made in tax revenues, it spent a record $257 billion servicing its debt. By the time an approx. $300 billion (2014 figure) in social security spending is taken into consideration, the government has spent all of its money before the sun even rises on the first day of its fiscal year.

That Japan is sitting on a potentially explosive debt crisis is obvious to all; far less so is the matter of how long Tokyo can continue to ignore the problem.