Japan on Friday offered vague promises that it will help Europe climb out of its debt hole, but left itself a week to decide how it might augment its already hefty contribution to the EU's bailout fund.
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda told parliament that Japan stood ready to play its part in stabilising the eurozone as it struggles to get a grip on a two-year crisis that has threatened to derail the global recovery.
But he gave no details of how the world's third largest-economy might step in to support the efforts of one of its biggest trading partners.
"During the upcoming G20 summit, I will map out Japan's contribution to settling down the global economic crisis sparked from Europe," Noda told parliament, referring to the gathering of global heads in France next week.
"Our determination and capacity as politicians is challenged at a time like this when a storm blown from Europe is ripping through global financial markets."
Noda, who took office in September, is to make his full debut on the international diplomatic stage at the G20 on November 3 and 4 in Cannes.
His remarks, in a policy speech, came after Japan's Finance Minister Jun Azumi said Tokyo was ready to take "necessary measures" to help revamp the eurozone in the interests of its own economy.
Japan has so far purchased around 20 percent of the debt issued by the European Financial Stability Facility, the continent's bailout fund, and has indicated its willingness to buy more.
Klaus Regling, head of the EFSF, was in China Friday amid speculation that Beijing would come to Europe's rescue, although he insisted there had been "no deal".
Regling is due to travel to Japan at the weekend, with commentators saying they expect he will be pressing Tokyo to boost its contribution to the eurozone fund despite insistences that his visit was a unofficial trip.
Regling will be followed by EU foreign affairs supremo Catherine Ashton, who is due in Tokyo on Tuesday.
But in a possible blow to the bloc's hopes, the respected Nikkei business daily said Friday Japan was unlikely to up its contribution to the rescue fund.
The EU "has begun to consider getting money from outside of the European region by setting up a special-purpose company under EFSF but the Japanese government plans not to put up funds as it gives priority to reconstruction" from the March quake and tsunami, the Nikkei said, without citing sources.
Japan, already stumbling to recover from the effects of the double disasters and the nuclear emergency they sparked at Fukushima, is facing further headwinds from the slowdown in global trade.
The country's vital export sector is also battling a stubbornly strong yen, hitting profits and threatening domestic production, as investors flock to the currency as a safe haven, pushing up its value.
Manufacturers have been hit by the uncertainty over Europe's persistent debt problems.
After 10 hours of tense talks in Brussels, Europe's leaders on Thursday thrashed out a deal aimed at providing new funds to Greece in a bid to stop the region's crippling debt troubles sparking another global financial meltdown.
In his policy speech, Noda said his government would cooperate with the Bank of Japan to curb the rise of the yen, which he said was accelerating a shift of production bases overseas and causing "valuable" jobs at home to vanish.
"If big companies move their bases overseas, their small and medium-sized business partners will follow suit and employment that must remain in our country may disappear," he said.
"We will take every possible measure to respond to the yen's appreciation and other issues by working together with the Bank of Japan."
The dollar was changing hands at 75.87 yen in Asian trade, close to its latest post-war low of 75.66 yen touched in New York on Thursday.
The government has said it will secure an additional 15 trillion yen ($197 billion) in funds for currency market intervention when it compiles a planned extra budget for the current fiscal year.
On Thursday, the Japanese central bank announced further easing measures to help safeguard the country's fragile economic recovery from the impact of a record-high yen and the fallout from the eurozone crisis.
The bank said it would boost its asset buying fund by 5.0 trillion yen to 55 trillion yen to help pour more liquidity into the market, with the extra amount earmarked for the purchase of Japanese government bonds.