Paris: Pressure built on president-elect Francois Hollande to stand by France's austerity commitments on Tuesday as he attended a World War II commemoration ceremony with ousted rival Nicolas Sarkozy.

Hollande laid a wreath with Sarkozy at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier beneath the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, as France marked the anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe.

The two then stood side-by-side as a military band played the national anthem Marseillaise and the Chant des Partisans, the song of the French Resistance.

"There are issues that unite us all, beyond the person of Nicolas Sarkozy or of me," Hollande told journalists after the ceremony.

The 57-year-old Socialist won power on Sunday, ousting incumbent right-winger Sarkozy. He is due to take office formally on May 15 before embarking on a packed calendar of major international summits.

Hollande has said tackling Europe's debt crisis will be at the top of his agenda, putting him on a collision course with fellow EU leaders -- in particular Germany's Angela Merkel -- over his plan to renegotiate the bloc's fiscal pact.

Japan joined those raising concerns about his plans on Tuesday, with Finance Minister Jun Azumi warning Hollande to keep the nation's fiscal discipline in place.

"We want (France) to do what has been decided so far," Azumi told a regular news conference, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

"I don't know whether Mr Hollande will immediately act on what he has said in heated debates during the election campaign.

"But realistically, I think it is impossible (for European nations) to give up on fiscal-rebuilding efforts," he said.

Hollande promised cheering supporters Sunday that he would reopen talks to ensure the EU fiscal pact focused on growth rather than simply imposing deficit-cutting austerity rules, an idea opposed by Berlin.

Merkel warned once again that reopening talks on the pact -- endorsed by 25 of 27 EU governments in March – would be impossible, but said she would welcome Hollande to Berlin next week "with open arms".

Hollande's transition chief Pierre Moscovici said on Tuesday there was room for a compromise.


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