Yoshimasa Hayashi, one of the two parliamentary vice finance ministers, on Wednesday will attend the first meeting of the Group of 20, a new forum on the international financial system, to be held in Berlin through Thursday.

Finance ministers and central bank governors from 19 countries plus the European Union will discuss ways to tackle problems in the international financial system.

Hayashi said Tuesday he hopes to listen to opinions from representatives from some Asian and Latin American countries that have been mired in financial crises the past few years.

The meeting will take place prior to a financial meeting of the Group of Seven industrial nations scheduled to take place in late January in Tokyo.

The G20 consists of countries considered important to the international financial architecture plus the EU. It includes the G7 nations — Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States.

The other countries are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Turkey.

Top officials from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank will also be present.

Hayashi will attend on behalf of Finance Minister Kiichi Miyazawa, who cannot go because of the ongoing Diet session.

About the oft-maligned IMF, Hayashi said he will stress that it must remain as the international “lender of last resort” and be ever ready to provide ample liquidity to crisis-hit countries.

He will also recommend Eisuke Sakakibara, the nation’s former top financial diplomat, as Japan’s candidate for the next IMF managing director, he said.

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