The stark claim was based on the assumption that the ministries' liabilities should include those incurred through assets raised by government bonds. Under current accounting practices, this is not the case.
The only exception was the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported Thursday.
The report, compiled by the Finance Ministry in line with private sector accounting methods, also said three ministries -- the Finance Ministry, the Internal Affairs and Communications and Health Ministry as well as the Labor and Welfare Ministry -- would have been in the red if their general accounts had been combined with their special accounts during the same period.
Although the Finance Ministry has published the central government's financial situation, this was the first such financial report concerning ministries and agencies, reportedly intended to push public offices to account for their spending.