Tokyo (dpa) – Japan is expected to offer new aid to five countries along the Mekong River at a summit meeting this week in Tokyo, a report said Tuesday.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the leaders of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam plan to adopt a new three-year development strategy for the South-East Asian region at the meeting on Saturday, Kyodo News agency reported, citing unnamed Japanese government officials.
Japan hopes the new strategy will boost intraregional connectivity and promote sustained growth.
The move is expected to involve fresh Japanese aid to the five countries, part of which will be covered by a five-year, 110-billion-dollar infrastructure investment initiative for Asia that Abe advocated in May, Kyodo reported.
Despite China’s growing clout in fast-growing Asia, Japan aims to highlight differences with the world’s second-largest economy over infrastructure development by taking advantage of its advanced technology and environmentally friendly know-how, as well as training local workers, the report said.
“The Mekong region is a major priority area for the Abe initiative,” one Japanese official was quoted by Kyodo as saying.
“Japan will continue to build infrastructure of high quality for sustainable growth of the region with the spirit of ‘developing together’ based on a win-win relationship,” the official said.
The report comes one day after the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) was officially established in Beijing.