Low rates will soften slump: Japan's Shirakawa

Low rates and less exposure to subprime debt mean Japan is likely to escape a deep downturn, Masaaki Shirakawa, the governor of the country's central bank, has said.

At a speech to business leaders in Osaka, Shirakawa said that although Japan "faces a difficult situation given the sluggishness in the economy and the rise in prices" and is feeling the effects of the global credit crunch and the rise in energy prices, it was better placed than most countries to ride out the storm.

"Growth will

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