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Deputy PM Aso doubts AIIB 'knowhow,' 'waiting to see' China-backed bank's results

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso answers a question during a Nov. 29, 2017 meeting of the House of Councillors Budget Committee. (Mainichi)

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso said on Nov. 29 that he doubted the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)'s "knowhow" and was "waiting to see" how the relatively new institution will perform.

"People who suddenly get rich become lenders. People who were once borrowing money will now lend it out, so I wonder how much knowhow they have," Aso said of the AIIB during a House of Councillors Budget Committee meeting. "I'm waiting to see (the AIIB's performance)."

Aso went on to warn, "If the borrower doesn't make a good plan to pay the money back, and faces a situation similar to getting caught up with a loan shark, then they could lose everything."

The deputy PM was answering a question from opposition Democratic Party lawmaker Teruhiko Mashiko, who followed up by saying, "You shouldn't lump (the AIIB) in with loan sharks."

Later, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe complemented Aso's comments, stating, "There is an issue of whether or not the (AIIB)'s governance is properly established."

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