Japan ready to intervene in markets

JAPAN - Japan's government said yesterday it was prepared to take "decisive action" to prevent a further fall in the stock market after the Nikkei 225 benchmark index closed at an 18-year low.

The fall in share prices has threatened the capital bases of the banks and while Yasua Fukuda, chief cabinet secretary, did not say whether such action would involve intervening in the market itself or further bailing out the banking system, one of those two options appears to be under consideration.

"We are

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