Japan MOF estimates record rollover debt issuance in fiscal 2023/24 due to COVID stimulus

TOKYO, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Japan’s Ministry of Finance expects to issue a record rollover debt of 157.37 trillion yen ($1.52 trillion) in fiscal 2023/24 due to a huge amount of short-term bills to fund coronavirus stimulus packages, a draft government document seen by Reuters showed.

The initial issuance forecast for the year through March 2024 exceeds the previous record of 147.19 trillion yen planned for fiscal 2009, when the global financial crisis forced the government to resort to huge stimulus spending to support the economy.

The latest estimates for the next three years were based on the budget for fiscal 2021, assuming an annual economic expansion of 1.5% as a baseline case and 3% in a growth scenario.

The estimates will be submitted to parliament in the coming days for deliberation on the state budget drafts.

Japan has deployed a combined $3 trillion in economic packages to combat the twin health and economic crises, with annual government bond issuance at an all-time high of 236 trillion yen.

Japan is saddled with a public debt burden that is more than twice the size of its $5 trillion economy, by far the largest among the industrialised nations, due to years of massive stimulus and the snowballing costs of supporting its fast-ageing population. ($1 = 103.7600 yen) (Reporting by Takaya Yamaguchi; Writing by Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Hugh Lawson)