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Nations must cooperate to counteract the currency crisis gripping Asia, Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto told Philippine President Fidel Ramos on Wednesday, according to Foreign Ministry officials.

“Sending appropriate messages to the currency markets through such cooperative measures is important, ” Hashimoto told Ramos, an apparent reference to a proposal to launch a new Asian monetary mechanism. Hashimoto’s remarks were in response to comments by Ramos on a meeting Tuesday and Wednesday in Manila of deputy finance ministers from Asia, North America and New Zealand, they said. The deputies of finance ministers and central bank officials from the regions as well as officials from international monetary bodies discussed a proposed Asian monetary facility to ensure the crisis will not recur.

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