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Japan Bought 5% of EFSF Bonds Sold Today, Official Says

Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Japan bought about 5 percent of the debt sold by the European Financial Stability Facility today, a Japanese Finance Ministry official said.

The government bought 100 million euros ($132 million) of the 1.99 billion euros of bonds, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the ministry’s policy.

China and Japan, Asia’s two biggest economies, have pledged support for efforts to resolve a European sovereign debt crisis that threatens to drag down the global economy. A decline in European stocks after Greece secured a second bailout today indicated concern that the package may not solve the nation’s long-term challenges.

The EFSF, designed to finance rescue packages for Greece, Ireland and Portugal, was downgraded by Standard & Poor’s last month to AA+ from AAA after the ratings company cut its assessments of France and Austria, two of the guarantor nations. In a previous sale by the EFSF on Jan. 17, Japan bought 120 million euros of the 1.5 billion euros of bonds sold, the official said previously.

Japanese Finance Minister Jun Azumi said Feb. 19 that his nation and China are committed to help resolve Europe’s debt crisis through the International Monetary Fund once euro-region members take further steps themselves.

China is willing to get “more deeply” involved in resolving the debt crisis, and Europe must send a clearer message to show how it’s working to strengthen its finances, Premier Wen Jiabao said Feb. 14 in Beijing.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mayumi Otsuma in Tokyo at motsuma@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Panckhurst at ppanckhurst@bloomberg.net

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