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World Finance Leaders Issue Sober Assessment

Those comments were viewed as giving a green light to Japan's program, which has driven the value of the yen down by more than 20% against the dollar since October. That sizable decline has raised concerns among U.S. manufacturing companies that Japan's real goal is not to boost growth through increasing domestic demand but to weaken the yen as a way to gain trade advantages.

To address those concerns, the G20 did repeat language it used in February that all countries should not use their currency as a trade weapon and guard against policies that could trigger currency wars.

Japanese officials said they were pleased with the support they had received at the Washington meetings for their aggressive efforts to lift the world's third largest economy out of a two-decade slump. "There has been international understanding" of our efforts, Huruhiko Kuroda, head of the Bank of Japan, told reporters.

Lew said in his IMF remarks that the Obama administration would keep working to gain approval of budget legislation that has been stalled for nearly three years in Congress. The congressional approval is the last major roadblock to implementing an overhaul of the IMF's governing structure to give more power to developing nations. The change is expected to shift two seats on the IMF's 24-member executive board from Western Europe to developing countries.

Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega blasted both the United States and Europe for the delay.

"America is unable and Europe is unwilling to follow through with agreed reforms," he said Saturday in his remarks to the IMF. "The institution's major shareholders are gambling ... with the IMF's legitimacy and credibility."
Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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