European crisis biggest risk for economy: Noda

Kyodo

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has told The Wall Street Journal that he sees the European sovereign debt crisis as the biggest risk for Japan and will discuss ways to contain it with Group of Eight leaders at their May 18 to 19 summit in the United States.

While Europe must first take steps to address the problem, other countries also need to play a role in keeping it from spreading globally, Noda said in an interview with the U.S. daily on Saturday.

With the government and the Bank of Japan sharing the view that the strong yen and deflation must be overcome, Noda said he expects the BOJ to “take bold measures in a timely and appropriate manner.”

The government will closely monitor the currency market to see if speculators are boosting the yen’s strength, Noda said.

As for Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara’s plan to buy some of the disputed Senkaku Islands, Noda did not say whether the government is considering buying the uninhabited islets instead.