• Kyodo

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Finance ministers from Japan, China and South Korea plus the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations agreed Thursday that they will examine the usefulness of creating regional currency units as one of their channels to deepen economic integration in the region.

They assembled to exchange views on steps to bolster monetary and financial cooperation in East Asia on the sidelines of a two-day annual general meeting of the Asian Development Bank, beginning Friday in Hyderabad.

They said in a statement that the study, “Toward Greater Financial Stability in the Asian Region: Exploring Steps to Create Regional Monetary Units,” is one of the research themes for this year and next.

Another key issue the ASEAN-plus-three ministers discussed is how to enhance the effectiveness of the Chiang Mai Initiative, a regional network of bilateral currency swaps that was launched in 2000 to fend off financial turmoil similar to the 1997-1998 Asian financial crisis.

The ministers reaffirmed the need for a more robust surveillance system to detect financial irregularities at an early stage so that short-term funds can be provided in an emergency.