Japan wary of impact of U.S. budget impasse on global economy

Japanese government officials expressed concern Friday over the outlook for the U.S. budget impasse, which has already rattled global financial markets, saying they hope it will be solved as soon as possible.

A protracted U.S. government shutdown "could prompt investors to sell the U.S. dollar and buy the yen," Finance Minister Taro Aso said at a press conference, indicating the Japanese government is worried that the yen may resume its upward move, impeding recovery in the country's exports.

The U.S. government has suspended various operations since Tuesday, the beginning of fiscal 2014, after Congress failed to pass a budget for the new fiscal year.

Aso said failure to meet the Oct. 17 deadline to raise the federal government's debt ceiling -- which would trigger a default on the debt obligation of the country -- would "have a great impact on the world economy."

In a separate news conference, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga voiced hope that the United States will solve its political stalemate, while declining to comment on the current situation in the financial markets.

"We hope that the issue will be resolved as soon as possible through negotiations between the president and Congress to prevent it from affecting other areas," the top government spokesman said.