Japan and China, Asia’s largest economies agreed to increase cooperation on supporting the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its efforts to financially assist Europe.
Japan and China will consult each other “very closely” on financial contributions to the IMF, “rather than making decisions independently,” said Japan’s finance minister Jun Azumi (photo), after a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xie Xuren.
The statement has a strategic importance before a G-20 meeting later this month in Washington, where leaders of the largest economies in the world will discuss ways to increase cooperation with the IMF.
The financial institution needs more money to protect the global economy from Europe’s debt crisis, aggravated by high unemployment and rising oil prices, as IMF’s chief Christine Lagarde said last week.
A complicated situation is expected at the G-20 meeting, where it will probably not be easy “to hammer out details for their contributions to the IMF,” said a Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst in Tokyo. “It’s important for Japan to check China’s intention on this, while China probably wants to increase its political influence if it puts up money,” he explained.