Although it had long been understood that Nippon 2007, the Worldcon in Japan, lost some amount of money, its financial report to the Chicon 7 Business Meeting shared (apparently for the first time) that the figure was huge. The convention suffered a net loss of $116,384. The report also lists the total shortfall as over $142,000, a number which I couldn’t reconcile to the rest of the reported data. Whatever the case, the Nippon committe says $84,005 of the deficit is still unpaid.
The 2006, 2009 and 2010 Worldcons have already contributed a combined $15,500 from their post-con surpluses. Vincent Docherty, looking at the financial reports submitted by other past Worldcons, noted that they hold in aggregate enough surplus cash to retire the debt. The 2001 Philadelphia concom alone has over $40,000.
There is much that is not understood in this situation about Japanese law and business customs, though it was stated that the convention chair is considered to owe the debts personally.
Once before the Worldcon-running community put together a plan to buy out and settle at a discounted rate the unpaid bills of the 1983 Worldcon, around $35,000. However, that was in the U.S. where debt resolution techniques are comparatively well known to fans and there were no real communication barriers in the way.