Photographer: Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP via Getty Images

Abe Tackles World's Heaviest Debt Burden

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set on Tuesday to sign off on a plan to curb the world’s heaviest debt burden.
To approach his balanced budget target by 2020, Abe has to cap spending growth, get economic expansion to a level Japan hasn’t seen since 1991, and stoke inflation that's near zero.
And consumers -- who pushed Japan into a recession after a hike in the sales tax last year -- will have to stomach another bump in the tax without complaint.
“The fiscal target that the Abe administration is aiming for is so tough that it has no choice but to assume the most optimistic economic scenario,” said Hidenori Suezawa, an analyst at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. “There’s a risk that if just one thing goes wrong, the whole plan blow ups.”
As the charts below show, Abe can point to signs of improvement, but still has a hard road ahead.

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