10-14-2004, 03:41 PM
Hiroshi Watanabe, vice finance minister for international affairs, told reporters. "We want (a write-off of) a vast majority of debt." Asked whether this means supporting the U.S. proposal of a 90-95% write-off, he replied abiguously: "A vast majority means a vast majority. But that does not mean 50%." But he added that Tokyo wanted to keep debt relief at the minimum amount needed for Iraq as Japan's tax payers' money is involved. Regarding French proposals of an initial 50% and possibly more later he said, "We should have a specific number for what would be the total amount for debt relief. We should not leave any uncertainties." He said that Iraqi representatives might attend planned Paris Club meetings in November and December with a view on a deal by the end of the year.