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Japan to take 'leadership role' at G20: PM

Japan's Prime Minister Taro Aso said that his country will "play a leadership role" at the G20 summit in London "so that the world economy can gain smoother access to necessary capital."

world Updated: Mar 31, 2009 16:08 IST

Japan's Prime Minister Taro Aso said on Tuesday that his country will "play a leadership role" at the G20 summit in London "so that the world economy can gain smoother access to necessary capital."

Aso recalled that Japan has already agreed to lend up to 100 billion dollars to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to provide financial lifelines to emerging economies hit hard by the worldwide downturn.

Local media have reported Aso also plans to pledge 500 billion yen (5.1 billion dollars) at the G20 summit in loan support for Asian developing countries to help the region survive the global financial crisis.

"Japan has declared to lend up to 100 billion dollars to the International Monetary Fund," said Aso ahead of his departure for a summit of the Group of 20 leading industrialised and developing nations on Thursday.

"The European Union followed suit and made a similar commitment."

Speaking in a nationally televised press conference, Aso said: "Japan will make further proposals and play a leadership role so that the world economy can gain smoother access to necessary capital."

The planned assistance for Asia is aimed at helping stimulate domestic demand and promote farm and infrastructure development in India, Indonesia, Vietnam and elsewhere, according to the Nikkei business daily.

It will be additional to the 1.5 trillion yen in foreign aid to Asia announced by Aso at the annual meeting in January of the World Economic Forum, the Nikkei said.

Aso also plans to propose that the IMF ease some of its loan conditions for developing countries, the Nikkei said.