Japan may purchase more European rescue bonds if a proper system is put in place to bail out the continent's debt-riddled economies, according to the finance minister.
"If there is any scheme that could help ease tensions worldwide, including financial markets, over the rescue of Greece, I will not reject the possibility that Japan will share some of the burden," Jun Azumi told reporters on Tuesday.
Japan is being "briefed" by European officials on the possible scheme, Kyodo news agency quoted the minister as saying.
Jun's comments were being interpreted as referring to a future purchase of bonds to be issued by the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), the eurozone's bailout fund.
On Monday, European Union economic affairs commissioner Olli Rehn said in an interview with a German newspaper that the fund, with a 440-billion-euro lending capacity, should be given "greater strength".
Japan bought a total of 2.68 billion euros ($3.8 billion) of EFSF bonds in January and June, giving them a share of about 20 percent of all bonds issued, according to the finance ministry.
The fund was set up last year in the aftermath of the first Greek bailout.
The EU said Monday that international auditors have not yet set a date for a return to Athens to judge whether to approve the release of eight billion euros in loans under a May 2010 bailout.
A second, 159-billion-euro bailout, involving private creditors writing off more than one fifth of what is owed to them, was agreed in July.
This deal, however, has yet to be ratified in most of the 17 eurozone states, some of whom are now increasingly unhappy with the plan.