Goldman Sachs and others said they did not urge the Tokyo Stock Exchange to halt trading because of Japan's earthquake and subsequent nuclear crisis, despite a comment from the bourse's chief that some foreign banks had pressed for a halt.

Goldman Sachs supports the Tokyo Stock Exchange's decision to stay open, Miyako Takebe, a spokeswoman for Goldman in Tokyo, told Reuters.

Tokyo Stock Exchange chief Atsushi Saito said the attempt by some foreign banks to get the bourse to halt trading was selfish. His comment came in an interview with the Wall Street Journal and was confirmed by sources at the exchange.

It was not clear which foreign banks pressed for a halt.

A spokesman for JPMorgan Chase & Co said on Friday the U.S.-based bank had nothing to do with the request. A Citigroup Inc spokesman said: Citi strongly supported the Tokyo Stock Exchange's decision to remain open.

A Bank of America spokesman said: We supported the market staying open throughout and are pleased it did. Our operations performed exceedingly well.

Morgan Stanley was not immediately available to comment.

The 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami struck Japan's northeast coast on March 11 and tore through a nuclear power plant in Fukushima, 240 km north of Tokyo.

The plant has leaked radiation and is still seen at risk of meltdown, despite efforts by the authorities to contain the situation.

Many foreign bankers and traders left Japan soon after the earthquake and have been dubbed fly-jin, a play on the Japanese word for foreigner gaijin, by Japanese media.

More than two weeks after the earthquake, many of Tokyo's foreign financial firms remain thinly staffed. The bars and restaurants that usually bustle with foreign bankers and traders are eerily quiet.

As a result, some foreign financial firms have become worried about getting a black mark for not being able to process trades for clients, when domestic brokerages were largely fully staffed, a person in financial services in Tokyo told Reuters on condition they were not identified.

Some top executives of U.S. firms visited Tokyo this week to meet with local staff.

(Additional reporting by Jonathan Spicer and Lauren Tara LaCapra in New York; Editing by Jane Merriman, Carol Bishopric, Gary Hill)