TOKYO (AP) — French President Francois Hollande sought reassure Japanese business leaders Saturday that the eurozone debt crisis is over but acknowledged that steps to boost the region’s growth and competitiveness need to be taken.
“What you need to understand here in Japan is that the crisis in Europe is over. And that we can work together, France and Japan, to open new doors for economic progress,” he said in the speech at the Imperial Hotel organized by The Nikkei, a major financial newspaper.
Although the eurozone debt crisis that erupted at the end of 2009 has eased, the region’s collective economy has shrunk for six straight quarters and unemployment has reached 12.2 percent, the highest since the euro was introduced in 1999.
Hollande called Japan an “exceptional partner” and urged both countries to invest more in each other.