As we look at the various nations that have high debt to gdp ratios, the one that can't be easily overlooked is Japan. As you can see in the chart below, Japan has a ratio of about 230%. Japan has been in what many call a liquidity trap for a long time. They would try to cut costs only to find they are worse off. They would try to add stimulus, but the benefit would only be temporary and they would fall behind even more
Most recently Japan has been doing some massive stimulus. First we saw the market skyrocket, and then it dropped. It is still in a very good position, so long as people don't lose faith in the government's ability to pay debts and keep the economy growing.
Worth pointing out is Japan's recent actions make the Japanese Yen weaker, many things like cars sold in the United States could be more competitive and drive sales. There is also enormous doubt the United States will take a similar action anytime soon, as the conservatives have a strong policy of holding back on spending or stimulus, which could keep the the US dollar strong, and US products less competitive.
Thanks to curiouscat.com for offering the above image under the Creative Commons license.