Japan's Credit Rating Cut
Moody's drops country to fourth-highest rating
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 24, 2011 5:05 AM CDT
The downgrade has put pressure on Japan's leaders to repair the country's terrible finances.   (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

(Newser) – Japan has joined the US on the list of countries to have its credit rating downgraded because of debt worries. But for the Japanese, the downgrade is just the latest in a long series of bad news. Moody's has cut Japan's rating by a notch to the fourth highest on its scale, following Standard & Poor's, which cut Japan's grade to double-A-minus earlier this year, reports the New York Times.

Moody's warned that Japan's weak economic prospects and unstable politics will make it difficult for the government to reduce its debt. Japan has the worst debt-to-GDP ratio of any country in the industrialized world, with borrowing predicted to top 230% of GDP next year, the Guardian notes. The ruling party is expected to select a new prime minister next week—Japan's fifth in six years. The frequent changes at the top is preventing the country from turning "long-term economic and fiscal strategies into effective and durable policies," Moody's warned.