Japan plans $100 billion in Asia infrastructure aid, matching AIIB capital level

The central government is eyeing $100 billion in public-private assistance for infrastructure development in Asian countries over the next five years, Jiji Press learned Monday.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will announce the plan to increase infrastructure investments and loans for Asian countries on Thursday, sources said.

The amount is the same as the planned capital of the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, in which Japan has declined to become a founding member.

The envisioned assistance is aimed at demonstrating Japan's stance to contribute to building up high-quality infrastructure in Asia through human resource development and technological transfers and showing the difference from the AIIB, so that Japan can keep a high profile in the region.

In the initiative, the government will extend yen loans to Asian countries through the Japan International Cooperation Agency and lend through the government-affiliated Japan Bank for International Cooperation. The government is also mulling greater financial assistance by the Asian Development Bank, to which it is the largest contributor.

The government hopes to encourage private-sector investments in Asia by reducing risks with the use of public funds.

At present, Asia-bound yen loans through JICA total some ¥600 billion a year, of which 60 to 70 percent is related to infrastructure.

At an ADB annual meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan, in early May, Finance Minister Taro Aso expressed Japan's intention to promote investments for high-quality infrastructure.


Source: The Japan Times

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