China, Japan ties 'at new starting point'

08:49, September 01, 2010      

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China and Japan, the world's second- and third-largest economies, should lead Asia to have a bigger say in international financial issues, economists and diplomats from two countries said at the Sixth Beijing-Tokyo Forum.

Describing Asian activity as an engine of global economic revival and growth, Su Ning, chairman of China UnionPay and former deputy governor of the People's Bank of China, said in his keynote speech that China and Japan are standing at "a new starting point" in their cooperation in financial markets.

"We need to make continuous efforts to expand bilateral trade and enhance economic dialogue, but working closely to promote regional financial cooperation between Asian countries for a better place in financial matters is equally important."

He said regional financial cooperation between Asian countries is still at an early stage, especially compared with the close economic relations between Asian countries.

China and Japan should help give more importance to the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization and improve financial rescue mechanisms within the region, he said.

He said that the Asian countries should increase information exchange, policy appraisal and building capacity through a series of vehicles including Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) plus Three (China, Japan and South Korea) regional economic monitoring mechanism, the Executives' Meeting of East Asia-Pacific Central Banks and other policy dialogues.

Su's speech was echoed by Wu Jianmin, a member of the Foreign Policy Advisory Group of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, who urged the two countries to deepen economic ties.

The depreciation of the US dollar is a common concern for Beijing and Tokyo, he said.

"China and Japan, with huge foreign exchange reserves, hold huge amounts of US bonds. Perhaps we cannot stop the depreciation of the US dollar, but we should figure out what we can do to reduce our losses from this crisis," Wu said.

Echoing Wu's remark, Toshiro Muto, former deputy governor of Bank of Japan, said the influence of depreciated US dollars on China and Japan was "harmful", saying concrete efforts are needed for both countries to tackle the problem.

"More flexible exchange of the renminbi and yen should be increased. We also need to discuss the improvement of the bond market in Asia and push for settling business in our own currencies."

The Beijing-Tokyo Forum, co-founded by China Daily and Japanese non-governmental organization Genron-NPO in 2005, served as a platform for improving bilateral ties between two countries. The forum is held alternately each year in Japan and China.

Source:China Daily


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