By Simon Miller

Japan has pledged $60bn (£37.9bn) to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as the association looks for over $400bn from member states.

Speaking at a press conference this morning (17.04.2012), Japan's finance minister Jun Azumi said the pledge will be formally announced at the G20 meeting in Washington this week and hoped that this would encourage other member states to follow suit.

The pledge comes after the IMF said it needed $600bn to help control any contagion stemming from the continuing problems in the eurozone.

However, its managing director Christine Lagarde told German newspaper Frankfurt Allgemeine Zeitung that if more European countries needed a bailout then around $400bn would be needed.

Azumi commented: "Following a series of eurozone's policy responses, it is important to strengthen IMF funding and pave the way for ensuring an end to the crisis not only for the euro zone but also for Japan and Asian countries."

Yet finding the money could prove difficult with the US insisting that it would play no part in the boosting of the IMF's funds and China, Brazil and Russia also holding out.

In the UK, the Chancellor George Osborne is expected to increase Britain's contribution to up to the maximum £10bn allowed by parliament without a vote.

After Japan's announcement, Lagarde commented: "I am grateful for Japan's leadership and strong commitment to multilateralism, and I call on the broader fund membership to follow Japan's lead."

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