Statement by IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde at the Conclusion of her Visit to Japan

Press Release No. 11/408
November 12, 2011

Ms. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), issued the following statement today in Tokyo:

“This is my first visit to Japan as Managing Director of the IMF, and it has been a great pleasure to be here. I had very productive meetings with Minister of Finance Jun Azumi, Minister of State for Financial Services Shozaburo Jimi, Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa and other senior officials.

“We discussed the urgent challenges facing the global economy today, the Euro Zone in particular, and their implications for Japan and Asia. This region clearly continues to propel the global recovery but, at the same time, if strains in the Euro Zone worsen further, Asia would be negatively impacted through both trade and financial sector channels.

“Given the increasing interconnectedness among nations, we agreed on the importance of strengthened international cooperation and decisive policy action to ensure strong, sustainable and balanced growth.

“I noted how impressed I am with Japan's recovery since the devastating earthquake and tsunami in March. Swift policy action by the authorities and the resilience of the Japanese people have helped the economy to rebound, despite the difficult global environment.

“In my meetings with the authorities, we shared the view that Japan’s recovery will continue next year, supported by reconstruction spending, but that Japan, like the rest of the world, will face challenges given the difficult situation in Europe.

“We shared the view that the priorities going forward are the swift implementation of reconstruction spending, and the adoption of a strong medium-term plan to reduce public debt. Maintaining accommodative monetary policy by the Bank of Japan is also important. Structural reforms to further trade liberalization and raise the labor force participation of the elderly, young, and women will also support medium-term growth. In addition, I welcome “Prime Minister Noda's announcement that Japan will participate in negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TPP), which can make a vital contribution to this country's future competitiveness and growth.

“I thanked the Japanese authorities for their continued support of the IMF.  Next year marks the 60th anniversary of Japan’s membership in the Fund, and we are very pleased to be holding the 2012 IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings in Tokyo at this important time.

“Japan has consistently been one of the IMF’s most important partners, including as a strong supporter of our technical assistance work. We look forward to working closely with the Japanese people to make the 2012 Annual Meetings a big success.

“Again, it was my great pleasure to return to Japan and I would like to thank the Japanese people, as always, for their warm hospitality.”



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