Japan has decided to stand back from joining a planned China-led investment bank for now, but risks losing a chance to tap into Asia's rapidly growing infrastructure market.

As China's end of March deadline approached, countries rushed to sign up as founding members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, despite wariness from the United States.

Britain was the first major Western country to announce an intention to join. British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, said the initiative would give his nation's companies "the best opportunity to work and invest in the world's fastest growing markets."