Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

Abe continues to isolate Japan from neighbors

By Cai Hong (China Daily) Updated: 2015-04-07 07:46

The AIIB is aimed at providing funds to help improve infrastructure in Asia. The new institution and the Asian Development Bank should not be at loggerheads. They can be complementary and work in harmony to advance regional development.

Yasuchika Hasegawa, chairman of the Japan Association of Corporation Executives, said infrastructure investment in Asia could total as much as $7 trillion from 2010 through 2020. In his opinion, the demand is enough for both two banks.

The Japanese business community, such as the biggest lobby group Keidaren, is worried that the Abe administration's decision will give the European countries such as Britain, Germany and France the upper hand over Japan in Asia's infrastructure projects.

France and Germany, which have decided advantages in exports of some infrastructure facilities such as power plants and railways, have been sparing no effort to gain a bigger slice of the market in Asia.

Also, the Abe administration has made increasing exports of Japan's infrastructure facilities as one of the engines to drive its country's growth. Abe is resolved to make Japan a key exporter of nuclear power plants.

In one way or another, Japan has been caught in its own trap. On the one hand, it has to do the US's bidding. On the other, it is letting its revisionism poison its diplomatic and trade relationships with neighboring countries. South Korea allowed its 14-year-old currency swap arrangement with Japan to expire in February.

The author is China Daily's Tokyo bureau chief.

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