• Kyodo

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Finance Minister Masajuro Shiokawa and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad agreed Saturday to nurture an Asian bond market to stabilize currencies, a Japanese official said.

In a meeting in the Malaysian capital, Shiokawa and Mahathir, who is also finance minister, did not exchange views on specific methods for building up the market, the official told reporters.

But they agreed to discuss the matter during such regional meetings as the gathering of finance ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations plus Japan, China and South Korea, the official said.

Shiokawa is in Malaysia on a six-day tour that has also taken him to Vietnam. He is to return to Japan on Sunday.

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