The world has been shaken by the decisions of major Western European powers to join China's scheme of creating the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which have left Japan and the United States out of the picture — as intended by Beijing.

Initially the supporters of the plan were limited mainly to developing countries in Asia. On March 12, however, Britain surprised the world by announcing its intention to become a founding member of the bank. This news was followed soon by similar announcements by Germany, France and Italy.

A major question now is whether the AIIB will become a savior for Asia, which faces enormous needs for infrastructure-related construction projects or will the bank become a tool to help China gain hegemony in the region. Japan holds the key.