Japan in $20b ASEAN charm offensive

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abe drinkJapan has pledged $20 billion in financial support to Southeast Asian countries at the Japan-ASEAN summit in a bid to counter the increasing influence by China in the region.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that the funds will be the loans and grants to be disbursed over five years. He also announced an expansion of the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund aimed at economic integration of Southeast Asian countries. Japan has expanded currency swap agreements with Indonesia and the Philippines.

The summit comes at a time when Japan is re-engaging with the region after several years in which it has been outpaced by China’s growing economic power. Japan is also hoping to rally support in its dispute with China over a chain of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino, who met Abe ahead of the summit, said the two countries reiterated “commitment to uphold the rule of law, promote the peaceful settlement of disputes, and to assure freedom of flight in international airspace”.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said Southeast Asian nations were hoping Japan and China would mend their frayed ties to help minimise the risk of tensions flaring into conflict in the region.

“It must be said that good relations between China and Japan are critical to the future of our region,” Yudhoyono said.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Japan has pledged $20 billion in financial support to Southeast Asian countries at the Japan-ASEAN summit in a bid to counter the increasing influence by China in the region.

Reading Time: 1 minute

abe drinkJapan has pledged $20 billion in financial support to Southeast Asian countries at the Japan-ASEAN summit in a bid to counter the increasing influence by China in the region.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that the funds will be the loans and grants to be disbursed over five years. He also announced an expansion of the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund aimed at economic integration of Southeast Asian countries. Japan has expanded currency swap agreements with Indonesia and the Philippines.

The summit comes at a time when Japan is re-engaging with the region after several years in which it has been outpaced by China’s growing economic power. Japan is also hoping to rally support in its dispute with China over a chain of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino, who met Abe ahead of the summit, said the two countries reiterated “commitment to uphold the rule of law, promote the peaceful settlement of disputes, and to assure freedom of flight in international airspace”.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said Southeast Asian nations were hoping Japan and China would mend their frayed ties to help minimise the risk of tensions flaring into conflict in the region.

“It must be said that good relations between China and Japan are critical to the future of our region,” Yudhoyono said.

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