Japan in currency deals with Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore
TOKYO (AFP) - Japan has expanded currency swap agreements with Indonesia and the Philippines, officials said Friday, as Tokyo looks to bolster regional relations to counter the growing influence of China.
The deals - along with the renewal of an expired agreement with Singapore - came as Tokyo hosted a special three-day summit with leaders from the Asean to mark the 40th anniversary of ties between the sides.
Currency swaps are useful in times of economic stress, when normal foreign exchange markets can seize up, as they allow for financial authorities to buy local currencies with something much more liquid - usually the US dollar.
Since the Asian crisis in the late 1990s, Japan has spearheaded efforts to build a regional currency swap agreement, now known as the Chiang Mai Initiative (CMI), which has ballooned to about US$240 billion (S$300 billion).