A top Finance Ministry official on August 4 repeated the oft-used refrain that Japan stands ready to cooperate if Thailand makes a formal request for financial assistance.

Vice Finance Minister Takeshi Komura told a regular news conference that Japanese authorities were maintaining close communication with their Thai counterparts. Bangkok is currently holding discussions with the International Monetary Fund on an economic adjustment program aimed at shoring up its flagging economy. The package could be finalized as early as August 5.

“We are not yet aware of the contents of the program, but we would like to cooperate if necessary,” Komura said. Most observers cite Japan’s heavy investment in Thailand as reason for its standing by with financial aid.

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