ADB eyes joint funding in projects with China-led AIIB

Kyodo

Posted at Mar 26 2015 10:51 AM | Updated as of Mar 26 2015 06:55 PM

TOKYO - Asian Development Bank President Takehiko Nakao said Wednesday that jointly funding projects with a planned Chinese-led Asian development bank is one way to form a "complementary relationship."

"We'll cooperate if it's formally launched," Nakao said at a press conference in Tokyo. "It's impossible to have an option of opposing" the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, he said, adding that such cooperation will benefit international society as well as Japan.

Nakao said there will be various ways to form a complementary relationship to cope with growing infrastructure demand in Asia, but one major way is "joint financing" in projects that also meet the environmental and social standards of the ADB, which is led by the United States and Japan.

He added that there would be other forms of the complementary ties, such as jointly cooperating in offering technology and sharing new experiences.

Meanwhile, the ADB chief declined to comment on whether Japan should join the Chinese-led bank.

Tokyo has called for transparency in the AIIB's operation, such as in screening loans for approval, with Finance Minister Taro Aso telling a press conference Tuesday that Japan is "very cautious about participation."

But major European countries including Britain, France, Germany and Italy have offered to participate in the planned bank.

The United States, meanwhile, appeared to have softened its stance against the AIIB, exploring ways to cooperate with the bank through such U.S.-led institutions as the World Bank and the ADB, according to media reports.

Aso has also said it is "most desirable" for the ADB and AIIB to work together on infrastructure, citing enormous demand for infrastructure development in Asia.

China has said March 31 is the deadline for accepting the AIIB's founding members.

Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida conveyed Japan's cautious stance on joining the AIIB at a meeting Saturday with his Chinese and South Korean counterparts Wang Yi and Yun Byung Se in Seoul, according to government sources.

==Kyodo