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The economic crisis in Latin America was the biggest factor behind an emergency statement issued Tuesday by the Group of Seven industrialized countries, Finance Minister Kiichi Miyazawa said Wednesday.

At a regular news conference, Miyazawa said U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan had been very concerned about Latin American markets when they met in San Francisco earlier this month.

“Latin America’s situation is becoming tense, and I think that is the primary factor behind the statement,” Miyazawa said, implying the U.S. took the initiative to issue the statement.

Russian economic chaos has spread to the financial markets of Latin America, which has close economic links with the U.S.

The G-7 statement had reaffirmed cooperation toward sustainable domestic growth and financial stability. It was issued jointly by finance ministers and central bank governors of the G-7 countries.

Miyazawa, meanwhile, cautiously refrained from elaborating on his position about how to handle the troubled Long-Term Credit Bank of Japan. “It is very difficult to negotiate with many parties,” he said of the prolonged negotiations between the Liberal Democratic Party and the opposition camp over a possible compromise on financial bills.

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