Japan tiptoes closer to joining China’s AIIB

April 9, 2015 2:26 PM (UTC+8)

 

Japanese media are reporting movement on Japan’s possible membership in China’s Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

Kyodo said Friday that the AIIB will be on the agenda of the April 28 Japan-U.S. summit in Washington, D.C. between President Obama and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Asahi said Thursday that Tokyo and Beijing will discuss the question of  Japan’s possible membership in AIIB during upcoming bilateral talks at finance minister level. They will be the first such talks between the two countries in three years.

The discussions are said to be scheduled for June and will likely be held in Beijing. The talks were previously held in 2006. But they were shelved after Japan offended China by buying disputed islands in the East China Sea from private owners and converting them to state property in September 2012.

Asahi, quoting Japanese government sources, says China had put a priority on gaining Japan’s membership in the AIIB “since last autumn.”

Japanese officials say the share of total capital to be contributed to the AIIB’s fund is expected to be based on a member country’s nominal GDP. Under this formula, Japan could contribute from $1.5 billion to $3 billion to the institution.

Former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda also said on Tuesday that Japan would be a “bully” if it chose to snub the Chinese-led effort to fund infrastructure projects across Asia.

 

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