Greece is second only to Japan in the list of the nations with the highest debt. The only difference, which is a substantial difference, is that Japan as a highly developed and prosperous country, while Greece is teetering on the brink of economic collapse. With a GDP per capita of $39,306 in 2018, Japan’s economy is among the most advanced in the world, home to global powerhouses such as Toyota, Honda, Sony and Nintendo, just to name a few. What many people don’t realize, however, is that Japan is also the most debt-ridden country in the world, with government debt amounting to 238 percent of the country’s GDP in 2017, according to the IMF.
As the following chart shows, that puts Japan far ahead of Greece, Italy and Portugal, the European Union’s debt-laden problem children, and the United States, which also saw its public debt soar to unprecedented levels in recent years. While the U.S. saw its debt level rise from 65 to 105 percent between 2007 and 2017, Spain and the UK suffered the biggest increases, with debt levels in both countries more than doubling over the same period.