Japan, China to hold finance talks on June 6, may discuss AIIB

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese and Chinese finance officials will hold talks on June 6 in Beijing to discuss ways to promote cooperation between the two countries and may exchange views on the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Japanese officials said.

The talks mark the first bilateral finance dialogue since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took office in late 2012 as diplomatic relations have been strained between the two countries over the wartime past and territorial disputes in the East China Sea.

Finance Minister Taro Aso, his deputies and bureau chiefs will hold meetings with their Chinese counterparts during the half-day event, the officials said on Thursday. The two sides may discuss the AIIB if necessary, a Japanese finance ministry source said.

"We will exchange views on macro economy and confirm our cooperation on bilateral and multilateral levels," the source said. "There's possibility that AIIB may be on agenda and we are making arrangements in case the issue is taken up."

A total of 57 countries have joined AIIB as its founding members, China has said. The members are having a three-day meeting in Singapore, that ends on Friday, to discuss operational policies and other issues for the establishment of the institution.

Japan and the United States were the biggest standouts earlier this year when Beijing began courting members for the AIIB.

In the latest twist of a tussle for influence in Asia, Japanese media reported this week that Tokyo will announce its own US$100 billion plan to invest in roads, bridges, railways and other building projects in the region.