UPDATE 1-Japan: can’t say if larger EU bailout fund needed

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* Japan finmin:officials should monitor Europe crisis more

* Says hopes no further bailouts are necessary

* Speculation lingers that Spain or Portugal could seek aid

(Adds detail, background)

TOKYO, Dec 3 (BestGrowthStock) – Japan’s finance minister said on
Friday officials need to monitor the euro zone debt crisis
further before considering whether to increase Europe’s bailout
fund as speculation lingers that Spain or Portugal could seek
some form of aid.

European officials have downplayed the chance that Spain and
Portugal, which are slashing spending to repair public finances,
will need a rescue after agreeing an 85 billion euro ($112.3
billion) bailout for Ireland last weekend.

European policymakers have also been lukewarm to suggestions
that they should increase a 750 billion euro rescue fund set up
earlier this year with the International Monetary Fund to ease
speculation that European countries with large budget deficits
will follow Ireland and Greece in seeking emergency loans.

“In regards to whether the fund should be increased, I think
we are at the stage where we need to monitor the situation,”
Japanese Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda told reporters at a
briefing.

“As a member of G7, we welcome the steps taken for Ireland.
We hope no further bailouts are necessary.”

A U.S. official told Reuters on Wednesday that the United
States would be ready to support the extension of the European
Financial Stability Facility via an extra commitment of money
from the IMF.

The IMF currently provides 250 billion euros to the 750
billion euro facility. [nLDE6B023Z]

The U.S. Treasury later said no immediate talks were under
way on giving the IMF additional resources to support further EU
bailouts.
(Editing by Joseph Radford)

UPDATE 1-Japan: can’t say if larger EU bailout fund needed