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AIIB chief seeks to collaborate with Japan lenders in infrastructure

AIIB President Jin Liqun (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The chief of the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank on Monday expressed his willingness to cooperate with Japanese lenders in the promotion of infrastructure projects in the region.

Japanese public institutions and private banks have a "very strong reputation and extensive experience" in financing projects in Asia, AIIB President Jin Liqun said in a news conference in Tokyo.

Jin stressed the need to boost joint financing, noting that multilateral development finance still makes up "a little amount compared to the vast needs of resources for infrastructure" in the Asia-Pacific region.

The AIIB president cited the Manila-based Asian Development Bank, the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation and Japanese commercial banks as possible collaboration candidates.

Proposed by China in 2013, the bank began operating in December 2015. Japan and the United States are the only Group of Seven industrial powers that have not joined the bank.

China has sought to boost infrastructure networks in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa to realize its goal of connecting nations more closely along the ancient Silk Road under its "Belt and Road" initiative pushed by President Xi Jinping.

But the Asian power has been criticized for the so-called debt trap in which countries receiving massive loans from Beijing are caught, forcing them to give up control of key infrastructure after their debts become unpayable.

Asked about the matter, Jin stressed the importance of making loans sustainable.

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