Japan Supports ASEAN Bonds
To demonstrate its support for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Japan will pursue a proposed financial framework that uses its foreign-currency reserves to purchase government bonds issued by ASEAN members.
The cooperation will be announced May 3 in India at the first-ever meeting of Japanese and ASEAN finance ministers and central bankers. Finance Minister Taro Aso and Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda will represent Japan at the gathering, which will be held on the sidelines of the Asian Development Bank’s 2013 annual meeting.
Japan aims to foster ASEAN growth by supplying funds to Asian bond markets, which are far less liquid than those in developed countries. Under the proposed arrangement, Japan would acquire holdings in listed mutual funds that invest in Asian government bonds, a move aimed at promoting the stable funding of ASEAN members.
At the same time, Japan will ink or expand bilateral swap agreements for dollars with Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines.