G7 to back nation debt freeze

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A deal between members of the Group of Seven countries will be announced at a creditors’ meeting next week.

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi confirmed at an emergency crisis summit in Jakarta on Thursday that Japan, one of the biggest lenders to countries hit by the disaster, was willing to grant a moratorium on repayments for a certain time.

Asian countries affected have a total of roughly $272 billion in external debt, with Indonesia owing some $48 billion to the Paris Club group of creditors which would this year generate more than $3 billion in principal repayments.