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Japan Shows Renewed Interest in the AIIB

April 8, 2015 (EIRNS)—Japanese and Chinese Finance Ministers are planning to meet in Beijing in June, Japan’s Finance Minister Taro Aso said on Tuesday, indicating that the possibility of Japan’s joining the AIIB is real.

The Japanese government has prepared a draft document on the possibility of joining the AIIB; however, the document suggests that Japan still has some reservations pertaining to the bank’s governance.

But Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, according to sources close to the Japanese leader, is strongly considering green-lighting Japan joining the China-led initiative and is currently further evaluating the prospect, Xinhua said. Sources familiar with the matter said that Japan’s initial investment of $1.5 billion was based on an assumption that of the $50 billion initial capitalization of the bank, $10 billion would come from direct investments from potential members.

Taro Aso and his Chinese counterpart, Lou Jiwei, agreed last November to resume top-level talks. Both sides have since been making arrangements for the two-way meeting ahead of Prime Minister Abe’s planned statement this summer to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and China’s celebration of its victory over Japan, Japan’s Asahi Shimbun further reported.

According to Japanese government sources, Beijing has, since last Fall, made Japan’s membership in the AIIB a priority. In 2011, Tokyo and Beijing agreed to broadly cooperate in financial affairs, for example, by holding each other’s government bonds. Japan also pledged to promote its renminbi-based direct investment in China. Those issues are also expected to be discussed in the June dialogue.

China’s Global Times reported that as part of the AIIB earthquake, "AIIB dissent may mark a shift away from compliance with U.S. hegemony." This represents "not just a setback for U.S. efforts to dominate global financial affairs. It also provides the precedent whereby would-be U.S. allies can begin to dissent from U.S. hegemonistic demands."