Monday, February 20, 2012

Japan, China to Align Aid Stance

Wall Street Journal
February 20, 2012

Japan and China agreed to coordinate their response to any request from the International Monetary Fund for additional funding help to combat Europe's debt crisis, underscoring the close financial ties between Asia's two biggest economies despite persistent tensions over a territorial dispute that have dogged their political relations.

"We agreed that Japan and China will cooperate so as to be able to take common action in response to an IMF request," Japan's Finance Minister Jun Azumi said after talks with his Chinese counterpart, Xie Xuren, and China's Vice Premier Wang Qishan.

The IMF in January said it may need an increase of as much as $600 billion in lending capacity. The U.S. has said it will offer no more financial support to the fund, but Japan and China have expressed a willingness to do so if Europe itself first takes more steps to deal with its problems.

"It is very important for China and Japan to communicate and cooperate," Mr. Wang told Mr. Azumi at the start of their meeting on Sunday, which comes a week before Group of 20 finance ministers and central bank governors gather in Mexico to discuss the global economy as concerns mount over Europe's debt woes.

Mr. Azumi said he and Mr. Wang shared the view that European countries should try to strengthen their firewall against the crisis.

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