Finance Minister Kiichi Miyazawa will depart for Frankfurt Thursday to attend a two-day meeting of finance ministers from Asia and Europe.
Participants are expected to discuss the impact of the newly launched euro on the world economy and euro, dollar and yen stability. But despite the recent surge of the yen against the dollar, specific exchange rate levels are unlikely to be taken up, Miyazawa told a news conference Tuesday.
Other possible conference topics may include the Asian economic crises and supervising of and restructuring within the banking sector, Finance Ministry officials said. Finance ministers from 10 Asian countries — Japan, China, South Korea and seven states in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations — and 15 European Union countries as well as a representative from the European Commission will meet Friday and Saturday.
Eisuke Sakakibara, vice finance minister for international affairs, will also be present. Known as “Mr. Yen,” his remarks earlier this month triggered the yen’s rapid appreciation against the dollar.
This will be the second finance ministers’ gathering within the Asia-Europe Meeting framework. The last such parley was held in Bangkok in September 1997. ASEM was launched in March 1996 to strengthen ties between the two regions.
Miyazawa will probably leave Tokyo after Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi reshuffles his Cabinet Thursday — although the finance minister himself is expected to stay in his post — and return Sunday.