ASEAN plus 3 to add yen and yuan to swap program

NHK -- May 03
Finance ministers and central bank governors of the ASEAN states, along with Japan, China, and South Korea say they will discuss a plan to incorporate Japanese and Chinese currencies in a swap program to ensure financial stability in the region.

The program currently allows the central banks of member countries to exchange US dollars in the event of an economic crisis.

The financial leaders met in Fiji on Thursday ahead of the Asian Development Bank's annual conference. Japan was represented by Finance Minister Taro Aso and Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda.

In a joint statement issued following the meeting, the financial leaders said it's inevitable that growing protectionism will have an impact on the Asian economy.

US-China trade friction was apparently on their minds.

But the officials predict the region will recovery steadily.

They stated that they are determined to support a rules-based multilateral trading system, and what they call "open regionalism," while they continue to fight protectionism.

They also announced that they will start discussing a plan to expand the current multilateral program, which allows member countries to exchange US dollars in the event of a financial crisis.

Under the plan, Japanese and Chinese currencies will be included in the basket of currencies that will be made available during a crisis.

- NHK