Aso lauds U.S. for avoiding default

Kyodo

Finance Minister Taro Aso on Friday praised the United States for avoiding a hazardous debt default after Congress gave Washington the authority to keep borrowing until early next year.

“It should be welcomed,” Aso said at a news conference in Tokyo. “The U.S. government knows best that it is not a matter concerning the United States only.”

Tokyo had been concerned that a debt payment default by the world’s biggest economy would drive the yen up against the dollar and slow the recovery of Japanese exports. It was also wary that a default would slash the value of its massive holdings of U.S. debt.

As of July, Japan had $1.135 trillion in U.S. Treasuries, making it the second-biggest foreign holder after China, which had $1.277 trillion, according to the U.S. Treasury Department.