TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Finance Minister Jun Azumi urged Europe on Tuesday to come up with a transparent scheme to resolve the Greek debt crisis, to help stabilize the world economy and keep the euro from weakening too much against the yen.
Azumi, speaking to reporters after a cabinet meeting, said he had told European Central Bank member Christian Noyer in a meeting on Monday that Europe must swiftly implement measures agreed in July to beef up Europe's bailout fund.
Governments in Europe are passing measures to expand the 440 billion euro ($590 billion) European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) bailout fund by allowing it to make precautionary loans, help recapitalize banks and buy government debt in the secondary market.
"I told Noyer that a sense of uncertainty cannot be dispelled unless (euro zone countries) show a process whereby they will immediately implement rescue measures agreed on July 21 through approval in parliaments of 17 member nations," Azumi told reporters after a cabinet meeting.
"To stabilize the world economy and halt the yen's excessive rises against the euro, I want (Europe) to make the Greek rescue scheme easy to understand and make its process more transparent for market players."
Azumi also said Tokyo share prices are undervalued when looking at Japanese listed firms' actual strength, and renewed a pledge to tackle the yen's rises, saying they are becoming a destabilizing factor for Japanese exporters.
The yen hovered at a 10-year peak of 101 against the euro on Tuesday and held firm against the dollar as fears of a Greek debt default prompted a massive flight to safety that offset worries about yen-weakening intervention by Japan.
The Nikkei average dropped over 2 percent on Tuesday to its lowest in six months below 8,360 as trading companies fell on weaker commodity prices and the financial sector was pressured by fears that Europe's debt crisis is spreading.
Despite ever deeper cost-cutting measures, Greece admitted on Monday that it will miss its fiscal deficit target this year, sparking fresh doubts over a planned second international bailout.
Azumi also said budget requests from Japanese ministries and government offices are expected to top 98 trillion yen ($1.278 trillion), a record amount, for the fiscal year from next April, due in part to calls for funding to rebuild areas devastated by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
(Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto and Leika Kihara; Editing by Michael Watson and Chris Gallagher)