The Daily Manila Shimbun


INTERVIEW: Japan to lead efforts to rebuild G-20 cooperation

May 25, 2019

Tokyo--Japan will lead efforts to rebuild international cooperation hurt chiefly by the escalating U.S.-China trade war at a Group of 20 meeting in early June, a government official has indicated.

Tokyo hopes to adopt a joint statement featuring policy coordination at the meeting of the G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors in Fukuoka, southwestern Japan, on June 8-9, Vice Finance Minister for International Affairs Masatsugu Asakawa said in an interview with Jiji Press on Thursday

While Washington is pursuing bilateral pacts to cut its trade deficit, Tokyo will call for correcting imbalances in the current account, which includes not only goods trade but also the financial and services sectors, he said.

This will be "our counterargument against the lopsided focus on protectionist bilateral trade friction," he said, stressing the importance of maintaining its opposition against protectionism through multilateral frameworks patiently.

"We want to obtain approval to set a road map" of digital taxation targeting information technology giants, Asakawa said, adding that the Japanese government aims to realize an international agreement on how to redistribute the rights of such taxation by the end of 2020.

Asakawa expressed concerns over infrastructure investment for developing countries, saying, "Transparency, openness, debt sustainability and other governance-linked elements are disregarded."

Regarding China's excessive loans to developing countries, Asakawa showed expectations that the G-20 members will agree on an envisaged principle of high-quality infrastructure investment, mainly for debt sustainability, for use in assistance to countries in need of infrastructure development. Jiji Press