Tokyo: Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura indicated on Wednesday the Japanese government is prepared to purchase additional bonds that may be issued by the euro zone rescue fund as part of efforts to solve the sovereign debt crisis in Greece and other countries in the area.

"We will consider offering support to Europe, including buying EFSF bonds, by comprehensibly taking into account our contribution to financial stability in Europe," Fujimura, the government's top spokesman, told reporters, referring to possible additional debt issuance by the European Financial Stability Facility.

Tokyo has purchased some 20 percent, or a total of 2.7 billion Euros (USD 3.6 billion) worth, of the EFSF bonds issued in January and June for rescuing Ireland and Portugal.

In July, then Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda, who is now Prime Minister, said the Japanese government could maintain its commitment at a similar ratio, apparently eyeing to support Greece. Current Finance Minister Jun Azumi has echoed the view.

Some government officials said, however, the size and timing of additional purchases are yet to be determined and would largely depend on the scheme the 17 euro zone nations may agree on in the coming months.

A senior international finance official said the Japanese contribution may be in a "completely different" form without elaborating.

The euro zone governments are now in the process of getting parliamentary approval from each country for their July 21 agreement that announced the second rescue plan for Greece worth 109 billion Euros, which would give more powers to the EFSF, including purchasing government bonds in the secondary market as well as injecting capital into banks exposed to the sovereign debt crisis.

Some members have not yet conducted a parliamentary vote. The last of such a vote will be in Slovakia on Tuesday.

The Japanese government has expressed hope that the euro zone countries would swiftly implement the July agreement, believing that it would help curb the yen's sharp rise against the euro, which briefly fell to a 10-year low of 100.96 yen on Monday.

The yen has strengthened against the US dollar, the euro and other major currencies as investors are finding relative safety in the Japanese currency amid the US economic slowdown and the euro zone crisis.

The government has been increasingly alarmed by the eroding competitiveness of Japanese exporters.

As finance ministers and central bank governors from the Group of 20 leading economies will gather next week in Paris, Tokyo is most likely to demand specific actions from Europe to ease tensions in global financial markets.

(Agencies)