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News Summary: OECD welcomes Japan revival effort

The Associated Press

APPLAUSE: The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said Japan's efforts to end two decades of stagnation by expanding its purchases of government bonds to help push interest rates lower and spur inflation are encouraging.

WITH RESERVATIONS: But the trade group warned that the strategy carries risks, such as a potential jump in interest rates later on that would hurt asset values at banks with massive holdings of Japanese government bonds, while pushing the country's debt burden beyond sustainable levels.

MORE POVERTY?: Curbing the debt will require both higher growth and spending cuts, which could worsen poverty, the report said. Japan's poverty rate is the sixth highest in the OECD, partly due to the widespread use of informal or temporary workers by companies seeking to minimize labor costs.