Japan's debt hits record high

Japan's national debt has risen to a record high for a sixth year in a row, partly due to ballooning social security costs and partly because of government spending to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

The Finance Ministry says the debt stood at 1,241 trillion yen, or about 9.5 trillion dollars, at the end of March. That is up 190 billion dollars from a year earlier. Nearly 90 percent of the debt is from government bonds.

The country's fiscal health is likely to get worse in the near-term as the government plans to issue new bonds worth 36.9 trillion yen or about 280 billion dollars to finance spending in its initial budget for fiscal 2022.