Try counting this number: 106,610,000,000,000. If you are having trouble computing, you may be sure that the law of large numbers is getting lost in translation in Tokyo as 2020 wraps up.

Japan-based analysts long postulated when this econometric theorem might kick in where the swelling government debt is concerned. This is when Tokyo’s borrowing numbers reach a critical mass where the public gets numb to their magnitude – and they lose potency.

Tokyo’s annual budget for fiscal 2021 – yes, that is the number in our top line above – is an unprecedented 106.61 trillion yen. In dollar terms, a cool US$1.03 trillion.

The amount that Prime Minster Yoshihide Suga’s government plans to spend is as mind-blowing as it is telling.