OECD says Japan should pay down debt

April 24, 2013 at 1:15 PM
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TOKYO, April 24 (UPI) -- The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development said Japan's economy was ready to grow, but warned long-term gains depended on a lighter debt burden.

Although "poised for an economic expansion," the OECD said in its latest Economic Survey of Japan, "long-term growth prospects remain contingent on additional efforts to revitalize the economy and reduce unsustainable levels of public debt."

In a report released Tuesday, the OECD forecast economic growth for Japan would reach 1.5 percent in 2013 and 2014.

The report also praises the economic strategy espoused by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

"Abenomics has changed the mood in Japan, bolstering confidence for private sector firms and households alike," said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria in Tokyo.

"The coming expansion will be driven by exports, and should increase business investment and employment and bring an end to deflation. While we are encouraged by these developments, it remains critically important for Japan to address extremely high and still rising levels of government debt and other challenges posed by its aging population," Gurría said.

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