* ASEAN, China, Japan, Korea to hold annual meeting on May 3
* ASEAN+3 virtual meeting held on sidelines of ADB gathering
* Aso to highlight importance of boosting Chiang Mai
TOKYO, April 30 (Reuters) - Japan will aim to strengthen
regional financial cooperation with China, South Korea and ASEAN
countries on May 3 when their financial leaders meet on the
sidelines of the Asian Development Bank's annual meetings,
Finance Minister Taro Aso said.
Speaking to reporters after a cabinet meeting, Aso
underscored the importance of strengthening regional financial
ties given the COVID-19 crisis.
"We will discuss regional macroeconomic policy and responses
to the situations we face as well as financial cooperation," he
said. "I will tell them it's important to further strengthen
multilateral financial cooperations such as the Chiang Mai
Aso made the comment ahead of the annual meetings of finance
ministers and central bank governors from China, Japan, South
Korea and the 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations
(ASEAN) scheduled to be held via teleconference.
At their last virtual meeting in September, the ministers
from Japan, South Korea, China and ASEAN, a group known as
ASEAN+3, promised to boost the Chiang Mai Initiative
The CMIM plays a crucial role in supporting regional
financial stability by allowing the member economies, which
include the ASEAN+3 and Hong Kong, to tap currency swap lines to
secure currencies in need.
ADB's annual gatherings are expected to reaffirm the
importance of universal health coverage, climate change,
high-quality infrastructure, mobilisation of domestic funds,
debt transparency and sustainability.
"I'll express expectations for ADB to continue to tackle
these areas under its governor (Masatsugu) Asakawa," Aso added.
(Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim and
Ana Nicolaci da Costa)