Commentary: The Tsunami Threatening Japan

What if debt-ridden Japan called in the IMF?

Flash forward to 2005. Japan's government debt is clocking in at nearly 200% of gross domestic product, and servicing that load is soaking up 70% of tax revenues. The bond market is in a tailspin, and long-term rates are surging. There's talk of capital controls. Japan is under pressure from the Group of Eight to opt for an International Monetary Fund-style round of draconian budget cuts and an auction of state-owned assets.

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