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Former PM Hatoyama offered advisory role at Beijing-backed AIIB

Yukio Hatoyama (Mainichi)

BEIJING -- Former Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama revealed at a June 26 news conference here that the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) asked him to join its international advisory committee in November last year.

    According to Hatoyama, AIIB President Jin Liqun got in touch with him directly with the advisory position offer. Since then, however, Hatoyama said the bank "hasn't spoken to me formally about it."

    Hatoyama indicated that he would likely accept a formal request to become an AIIB adviser, saying, "If it was a chance to improve Japan-China relations, I'd certainly be grateful for the offer. Hopefully an environment could be created such that Japan could join the AIIB soon."

    Japan and the United States have so far stayed out of the AIIB, and Jin's move to recruit a former Japanese prime minister to the new institution can be seen as an attempt to prod the Japanese government.

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