Japan finmin Aso: Need to take steps for fiscal consolidation

TOKYO, July 25 Wed Jul 24, 2013 10:00pm EDT

TOKYO, July 25 (Reuters) - Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said on Thursday that it is important to take steps to pare down government debt and ensure that the country's public finances are improving.

"We need to take steady steps toward fiscal consolidation. We must maintain market confidence in Japan's fiscal sustainability," Aso said at a seminar in Tokyo.

Japan's public debt burden is the worst among major countries at more than twice the size of its $5 trillion economy.

The government must decide by this autumn whether to raise its sales tax, which is an important first step toward improving public finances.

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