Japan expects Europe to make every effort to prevent Greece from defaulting on its debt, the finance minister said, adding that Tokyo will await talks within the region on how to deal with the crisis before considering offering financial aid to the area.
Finance minister Jun Azumi stressed that Japan needed to learn from what was happening in Europe, saying that no country could avoid efforts to restore its fiscal health with financial institutions having piled up huge amounts of government debt.
“What’s important is for each country to restore its fiscal health and heighten market confidence in its debt,” Azumi said in a news conference on Tuesday.
Fears of a Greek debt default and a possible rating downgrade of French banks, which reportedly have some of the biggest exposure to Greek debt, have roiled financial markets.
US stocks and the euro staged a rally on Monday after a report by the Financial Times that Italy had asked China to make significant purchases of Italian debt.
Asked whether Japan could offer similar assistance, Azumi was cautious, saying only that he wanted to carefully monitor how Europe decides to deal with the situation.
“Would Japan, China, the United States… would such countries really become a player in this? That would depend first on how Europe decides to deal with the issue,” he said.
Azumi also said he hoped to hear from Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa on developments in the euro zone crisis when he returns from a meeting of central bankers in Basel. -By Leika Kihara