Japan Pledges $60 Billion to IMF

Posted April 17th, 2012 at 1:15 am (UTC-5)
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Japan says it will provide $60 billion in loans to the International Monetary Fund to boost its efforts to contain the European sovereign debt crisis.

Finance Minister Jun Azumi revealed the plan Tuesday during a news conference in Tokyo, making Japan the first non-European country to commit additional resources to the IMF. Eurozone countries have made $200 billion in pledges.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde welcomed Japan's announcement, calling it “an important step forward” in helping the fund “prevent and fight crises” and promote global economic stability.

The Washington-based Fund announced in January it would need about $600 billion in new resources to provide European nations a firewall against the debt crises affecting Greece, Ireland and Portugal. But Lagarde said just last week it would not need as much money as initially thought.

Japan's IMF pledge comes days before meetings in Washington of the IMF and World Bank, and a parallel summit of finance ministers from 20 of the world's biggest economies.