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Financial Services Minister Heizo Takenaka told a news conference Friday that a rapid rise in long-term interest rates is undesirable for the economy.

He was responding to a question about the recent drop in prices of Japanese government bonds and the surge in their yields.

Takenaka, who also serves as minister of economic and fiscal policy, said the government will pursue its reform of state finances to prevent a long-term interest hike stemming from debt concerns.

“We will present a scenario for fiscal health and implement it in a firm manner to prevent a rise in long-term interest rates resulting from concerns over government bonds,” he said.

The price of the benchmark 10-year government bond issue fell sharply earlier this week, at one point driving its yield to the highest level in more than 2 1/2 years.

Bond yields move in the opposite direction to prices.