G20 backs Japan stimulus program

The Group of 20 economic powers gave a cautious endorsement Friday of Japan's huge monetary stimulus program, agreeing it was necessary to boost the country's stagnant economy.

In a statement following their meeting in Washington, the G20 finance chiefs said Japan's policy actions "are intended to stop deflation and support domestic demand."

That was in contrast to worries expressed by many countries, including the United States, that Japan could be deliberately trying to force the yen lower to boost exports and cut imports via "competitive devaluation."

But the G20, which includes both the United States and Japan, called for more efforts to stimulate "strong, sustainable and balanced" growth globally, and took note of Japan's effort towards that.

"The latest decision on quantitative easing remedies the situation that was building up for years," said Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, chair of the G20 meeting.

At the same time, the group pledged not to compete on the currency front.

"We will refrain from competitive devaluation and will not target our exchange rates for competitive purposes, and we will resist all forms of protectionism and keep our markets open," they said in a statement.