Japan eyes possible contribution of $1.5 billion to China’s AIIB

Looks like Japan’s having second thoughts about joining China’s new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Tokyo initially gave a chilly response to the  Chinese proposal, as did the U.S. But it’s now warming to the idea.

Kyodo News reports that Japan “does not rule out the possibility of joining a Beijing-led development bank to be launched by the end of the year and the country envisages a possible contribution of up to $1.5 billion to the institution in the event of its participation, according to a draft government paper on the bank.”

Japan’s prospective contribution to the AIIB, according to Kyodo, would be the second-largest after China’s. But the Japanese news agency says Japan’s worried that forking over such a load of cash won’t ensure its influence with the Chinese-backed development institution. This is due to what Tokyo calls “opaqueness” in the bank’s governance standards, according to the draft paper, a copy of which was obtained Tuesday by Kyodo.

Japan says it’s also closely coordinating its position on the AIIB with the U.S., which still refuses to join the body. Both Japan and the U.S., according to the draft paper, will urge China to ensure fair governance and transparent management of the AIIB in line with international standards.

Several nations that have joined the AIIB are discussing contributing funds to the bank. Australia said it might contribute up to $3 billion. But no official commitment has been made.

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