Uncertainty over ties with the United States could push Japan closer to China, with a senior Japanese ruling party official reportedly signaling Tokyo’s interest in joining the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the South China Morning Post reports. Toshihiro Nikai, secretary general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, said it was crucial for Japan to decide soon whether it should join the AIIB, Japan’s Nikkei newspaper reported. Nikai, known for his close ties with Beijing, made the assessment at a two-day summit in the Chinese capital for China’s “Belt and Road Initiative.” Nikai also met President Xi Jinping on Tuesday, presenting a letter from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Xi expressed hope for joint efforts to ensure bilateral ties developed in the right direction. Abe said joining the AIIB, created in part to fund the initiative, could be an option if governance questions were resolved, CNBC reported on Monday.
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