Yubari posts ‘debt clock’ ticking off rehab

by Masaaki Kameda

Staff Writer

The city of Yubari, Hokkaido, which declared bankruptcy in March 2007 with debts of ¥35.3 billion, has posted a clock on its website to show the real-time liability balance and amount it has repaid.

The “debt clock” is the brainchild of Mayor Naomichi Suzuki in response to local requests for information about how the city is faring.

The clock has several elements, including the current time, how many days left until completion of the city’s fiscal rehabilitation plan, and the balance and amount of payments.

It also shows the debt decreasing every second, with the amount of repayments increasing accordingly.

“The purpose of posting the clock is to inform the citizens of the financial condition and raise their awareness,” said Hideji Ishihara, the city’s finance chief.

According to the clock, as of 12:43:45 p.m. Friday, Yubari had ¥32,133,190,013 in its liability balance, and had repaid ¥3,200,157,986. It showed 6,197 days until March 2030, when it plans to complete its rehab.

The city had 10,130 residents as of last month.