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Japan to keep helping EU bailout: PM

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(HONOLULU) - Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said Sunday that Japan was committed to helping the eurozone but declined to specify how much bond debt it would buy up in the bailout fund.

Speaking after a summit of Asia-Pacific leaders in Hawaii, Noda said that the eurozone bore the primary responsibility for sorting out its crisis but that the world's third largest economy was ready to assist.

"We want Europe to first roll up their sleeves and work on this. I believe this is the very first step to bring confidence to the marketplace," Noda told a news conference in Honolulu.

"This crisis is a matter that will have bearing for the world as a whole," Noda said. "If the proper stance is demonstrated, then we will make our appropriate contributions."

But Noda declined to state a percentage of bonds that Japan would buy in the continent's bailout fund. Japan was initially buying 20 percent of the debt of the fund, but the figure has recently decreased to about 10 percent.

Japan also has a mounting public debt and faces major challenges as it rebuilds from the catastrophic March 11 tsunami.

Klaus Regling, head of the bailout fund, the European Financial Stability Facility, visited Japan two weeks ago and said he was assured of help. He also visited China, which has made no firm commitments.

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