Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has announced $110 billion (¥13 trillion) in aid for “high-quality” infrastructure development in Asia over the next five years, in an apparent move to counterbalance the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

“In collaboration with the Asian Development Bank, Japan will provide Asia with a total of $110 billion funding for innovative infrastructure,” Abe told the audience at an international conference in Tokyo on Thursday.

“We should attract more diverse capital to Asia from around the world to change the region into the place where dynamic innovation comes into full bloom.”

Abe said Tokyo is ready to help the region cope with future issues such as an expanding demand for energy and graying population through “innovation.”

Abe said Japan plans to get involved in capacity-building by providing aid to train 8,000 young people in the health and medical fields in the ASEAN countries, as well as 5,000 people in the energy field across Asia, over the five-year period.

“Innovation will create our future. Japan is ardent about sharing technologies and systems continuously undergoing evolution with the world community,” Abe said.

Under the proposed initiative, about $53 billion will be financed through the ADB, to which Japan is the largest contributor. Some $33.5 billion will be loaned through the Japan International Cooperation Agency. And around $20 billion will be funded through agencies including the government-affiliated Japan Bank for International Cooperation.

Abe said Asia has “voracious infrastructure demand,” worth as much as ¥100 trillion annually.

The conference was organized by Nikkei Inc. and the Japan Center for Economic Research.


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