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With election looming, Aso may skip meeting of G-20 finance chiefs next month

Kyodo

Finance Minister Taro Aso may skip a meeting of the Group of 20 finance chiefs that kicks off Oct. 12 in Washington, with a Lower House election scheduled to be held later that month, sources said Monday.

Aso is expected to send a representative in his place to the two-day gathering of G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors, the sources said. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to dissolve the Lower House for a general election, with voting expected on Oct. 22.

Aso, who doubles as deputy prime minister, is still expected to attend the second round of high-level economic talks with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Oct. 16 in Washington, the sources added.

Last October, Aso also skipped a G-20 finance chiefs’ meeting due to Diet deliberations and sent Masatsugu Asakawa, vice finance minister for international affairs, on his behalf.

The upcoming G-20 summit will be held on the sidelines of annual gatherings hosted by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.