Abe, Merkel discuss monetary steps


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has explained his government’s drastic monetary measures to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who voiced concern about the unorthodox policy earlier in the week, government officials said.

Abe’s remarks during the 20-minute phone call Friday were aimed at reassuring Berlin after the Bank of Japan announced a 2 percent inflation target and plans for unlimited monetary easing on Tuesday.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos, Merkel expressed caution Thursday about Tokyo’s aggressive easing stance and the amount of pressure the BOJ came under from Abe’s administration. Two leading German financial officials last week also criticized the policy, arguing that it risks putting German exporters at a disadvantage by excessively weakening the yen against the euro.

During Friday’s phone call, Merkel offered her condolences for the deaths of 10 Japanese last week during the hostage crisis in Algeria. Abe said that the international community needs to stand together in the fight against terrorism.

Meanwhile, the two leaders agreed on the need for stronger global cooperation to prevent North Korea from advancing its nuclear capabilities, following Pyongyang’s vow to stage a “high level nuclear test” in the near future. They also confirmed their continued cooperation on resolving the abduction of Japanese nationals by the North’s agents in the 1970s and 80s.

  • Edohiguma

    Merkel just needs to go away. It’s funny how the woman, who was one of the driving forces behind the ill fated Euro “safety package” (that has cost billions of Euro and keeps costing) has issues with Japan doing something similar, but on a significantly smaller scale.

    But let’s not forget, Merkel is German and in Germany people are scared of the old tale of the “Yellow Peril”, which has risen from its grave in the wake of the Tohoku quake and tsunami.

    Fear is a master of Germany. That and rabid racism, which is usually disguised as cultural critique and sociological criticism in the German media (as seen in the wake of 3-11.)