For the first time since 2002, the credit rating of Japan has been downgraded to AA-. By doing this, the Standard and Poor’s rating agency has placed Japan on the same risk level as China. The agency says it made the cut because government lacks “a coherent strategy” for reducing its debt burden. Indeed, Japan is one of the countries with highest public debt – more than 170 % of the GDP. Additionally to that bad news, the Prime Minister Naoto Kan said Japan’s rising social welfare expenses and its soaring national debt make a sales tax increase inevitable.