TOKYO - Sri Lanka's creditor nations agreed in principle on debt relief and an extension of repayment deadlines, Japan's Jiji News reported on Wednesday.

Mired in its worst financial crisis in decades, Sri Lanka has been trying to reach restructuring deals with creditors since last autumn.

The agreement came about a month after the debt-ridden island nation reached a deal with the Export-Import Bank of China covering about $4.2 billion of outstanding debt.

China is Sri Lanka's largest bilateral creditor, with Beijing steering clear of joining a group of creditor nations led by Japan, France and India.

The EXIM deal would help Sri Lanka clear the first review of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) program, while securing a second IMF tranche of about $334 million, its finance ministry said last month, without elaborating further.

(Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim and Miral Fahmy)