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Fitch affirms Japan's ratings

Fitch Ratings said April 7 that it affirmed Japan's long-termforeign and local currency issuer default ratings at A.

The country's short-term foreign currency issuer default ratingwas affirmed at F1.

The outlook for the long-term issuer default ratings is stable.

Fitch said a key constraint on the ratings is a high and risinglevel of government debt. Fitch expects gross general government debt to reach 245%of GDP by the end of 2016. However, Japan's credit profile benefits from strongdebt tolerance and funding capacity, with a deep pool of private sector savings.

A sharp and sustained rise in real interest rates on governmentdebt to a level that undermines debt sustainability could lead to a ratings cut.Weaker macroeconomic performance or signs of weakening commitment to fiscal consolidationby authorities could also result in a downgrade.

On the other hand, a sustained strengthening of nominal GDP growthand confidence that public indebtedness can decrease sustainably are positive factorsfor the ratings.