Japan to help finance European bailouts

TOKYO (AP) — Japan plans to buy at least a fifth of the bonds being sold to finance Europe’s bailout fund, which is being used to rescue Ireland.

Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda said Tuesday that his government plans to buy “more than 20 percent of bonds” that will be issued by the fund.

The European Financial Stability Facility, the rescue fund for countries using the euro common currency, is set to sell several billion euros of bonds later this month to help finance the euros 67.5 billion ($52 billion) international bailout of Ireland. The facility would also be used to fund other rescue efforts.

“It would be appropriate for Japan as a leading country to buy a certain amount as a contribution and also to increase the trust in the deal,” Noda said. “We want to buy more than 20 percent of bonds” issued by the fund, he said.

Noda’s pledge helped to lift European markets which have been rattled by concerns that debt-laden Portugal might have to seek a bailout from other nations in Europe and the International Monetary Fund.

Portugal is to sell bonds on Wednesday and Portuguese officials have sought the help of China, which has already used its foreign currency reserves to buy Greek and Spanish debt.

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