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Two Okinawa villages warned they are facing critical financial futures

Date Posted: 2007-12-14

The future of Zamami Village and Iheya Village is bleak, at least in the short term.

The Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication Public Management Office has warned both their finances are in terrible shape, bordering on bankruptcy. The ministry told both they could face bankruptcy if they don’t change how they do business. Both are listed in the ‘yellow zone’ signaling the ratio of outstanding bonds compared to income is critical when the ratio is 25% or more.

Zamami’s ratio is currently 30.7% and Iheya Village 29.3%. Okinawa Prefecture is tasked with providing advice to the two villages on how to fix their problems. Without changes, the villages will not receive further permission to issue bonds necessary to get business from the government. The prefecture says the two villages have been doing their best, while getting good advice.

Okinawa Prefecture officials predict the two villages could repair their fiscal circumstances by 2013 at the earlierst. The Prefecture says Izena Village is closing in on the same threshold, with its ratio now 24.1%. The village financial situation is being studied now by the Prefecture to determine what the 2007 budget deficit will be, and how dire their money problems are.

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