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The government will take all necessary steps to shore up stock prices, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda said Friday.

“Honestly speaking, I think (stocks are) too cheap,” the government’s top spokesman told reporters.

Fukuda also said it is natural for the government to take steps to stem the slide in stocks when they fall to “abnormally low” levels or when a serious disturbance to the economy might occur.

But Fukuda stopped short of elaborating on what possible measures should be taken.

“We will do whatever is necessary,” he said. “We are always thinking of various things.”

Stock prices have been taking a beating since last year.

The benchmark Nikkei stock average briefly hit a 19-year intraday low below 8,300 on Dec. 19. Although it subsequently returned to the 8,500-8,700 level, it tumbled again Thursday to close below 8,500 as investors’ confidence further deteriorated on the depressed domestic economy as well as uncertainty over the world economic outlook.

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