Japan looks to Europe on Hollande

AFP-JIJI

Japan said Monday it will “carefully monitor” how Europe reacts to the election in France of Socialist Francois Hollande as the continent seeks to navigate a series of debt crises.

“We will carefully monitor debates within Europe regarding President-elect Hollande’s policies,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura told a press conference.

He congratulated Hollande, calling France an “important partner” for the world’s third-largest economy and said Japan wants to further strengthen ties.

In a carefully worded but brief statement, Fujimura said the health of the European economy “greatly affects” the fate of the ailing Asian economic giant.

“We believe the European debt crisis is in the process of emerging out of the critical condition it was in last year. But it does not allow for optimism,” Fujimura said.

“The trajectory of the European economy greatly affects our economy,” he said, adding that Japan considered discussions between France and European powerhouse Germany “important.”