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Aso: Germany moved faster than Japan on crisis

 German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, and Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso, right, shake hands after a news conference in Berlin, Germany, on Tuesda...

Germany Japan

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, and Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso, right, shake hands after a news conference in Berlin, Germany, on Tuesda...

Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso said Tuesday that both his country and Germany had implemented ambitious plans to deal with the global economic crisis, but conceded that Berlin had acted more swiftly.
"I must say that Germany was better than Japan, because they reacted more quickly," Aso said through a translator after meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.
Aso said a segment of the 15 trillion yen ($152 billion) stimulus package he unveiled last month that gives 250,000 yen to consumers who trade in a car 13 years or older for a more fuel-efficient model was based on a similar "cash for clunkers" bonus in Germany. That plan has been credited with giving a powerful boost to car sales.
"We are of the strong conviction that we need to do whatever it takes to get our economies running," Merkel said.
In other comments, both leaders said they saw development and police training as keys to stabilizing Afghanistan, and advocated engaging Pakistan and Iran in a broader strategy to secure the region.
"If we want to solve the problems in Afghanistan, we need to look to both neighboring countries, Pakistan and Iran," Aso said.
In April, Japan hosted an international donor conference for Pakistan that drew pledges of more than $5 billion to stabilize the Islamic nation's troubled economy and fight the spread of terrorism there and in neighboring Afghanistan.
Aso said he was more concerned about the nuclear ambitions of North Korea than Iran, because of the country's proximity to Japan.
Merkel advocated a return to the six-party talks _ including North Korea plus Russia, China, South Korea, Japan and the U.S. _ as the best forum for persuading North Korea to abandon a nuclear weapons program.
"We will do everything possible from the German side to support this process," Merkel said.


Updated : 2021-07-29 14:40 GMT+08:00