The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has opened a new representative office in Tokyo to boost ties with Japanese firms and attract private-sector investment to regions it supports.

"I do believe we can do a lot more together with our Japanese friends," EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti said at the office's opening ceremony on Monday, adding that Japan will be a "bridgehead" to draw funds from Asia.

With the new representative office, the London-based EBRD will promote investment and lending by Japanese firms in such areas as Central Asia, where demand for infrastructure development is expected to grow.

It also plans to reinforce cooperation with the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and work on co-financing projects.

The EBRD was founded in 1991 to help develop the private sector in the countries of the former Soviet bloc. Areas subject to the bank's support have since expanded to Central Asia, North Africa and the Middle East.

The bank opened an office in Tokyo in 2013, and it was upgraded to a formal organization with the launch of the new representative office.

Japan is the bank's second-largest shareholder after the United States. Other shareholders include Britain, Germany, France and Italy.