Monetary stimulus not enough for Japan: Germany's Schaeuble

STRASBOURG Thu Apr 4, 2013 8:04am EDT

Germany's Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble attends an interview as he arrives for a Eurogroup meeting at the European Council building in Brussels March 24, 2013. REUTERS/Sebastien Pirlet

Germany's Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble attends an interview as he arrives for a Eurogroup meeting at the European Council building in Brussels March 24, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Sebastien Pirlet

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STRASBOURG (Reuters) - Japan cannot count on central bank actions alone to boost its economy and must carry through with structural reforms, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Thursday.

Speaking to journalists at an event on Franco-German ties, Schaeuble said Japan knows it must find a solution to its structural problems.

"If monetary policy is used instead of financial and economic changes then we run in the wrong way," he added, speaking through an interpreter.

The Bank of Japan dramatically stepped up its monetary stimulus on Thursday with plans to inject $1.4 trillion into Japan's economy in less than two years.

The central bank's plans to increase its asset-buying have irked other countries and especially France, which is concerned such actions will boost the value of the euro and make euro zone exports more expensive on international markets.

Schaeuble's French counterpart, Pierre Moscovici, told the same event in the border town that exchange rate issues should be dealt with jointly within the Group of 20 economic powers.

"I believe that over the long term exchange rates should reflect economic fundamentals," Moscovici told journalists, adding that countries should refrain from artificial ways of supporting their economies.

(Reporting by Ingrid Melander; editing by Mark John)

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