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Currency swap not on agenda for finance ministers of Korea, Japan

All Headlines 10:56 August 25, 2016

SEJONG, Aug. 25 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and Japan will hold a finance ministers' meeting this weekend to discuss various economic and financial topics, the finance ministry here said Thursday.

South Korea's Finance Minister Yoo Il-ho and his Japanese counterpart Taro Aso will meet in Seoul on Saturday, with 70 officials, including vice ministers, from the two countries having working-level sessions before and after the meeting, according to the Ministry of Strategy and Finance.

The upcoming bilateral meeting will be the seventh talks between Seoul and Tokyo that have taken place on an annual basis since 2006, with some exceptions in 2008, 2010, 2013 and 2014.

"The two countries will hold the top-level meeting for two years in a row," Hwang Kun-il, director general of the international financial policy bureau at the finance ministry, told reporters at a briefing. "It will demonstrate that the economic relationship between South Korea and Japan is strong despite the current issues surrounding the two countries."

He said the top economic policymakers have no plans to discuss a possible resumption of a currency swap deal with Japan, which expired early last year, refuting recent news reports that the two countries are considering reopening the arrangement.

In February last year, Seoul and Tokyo agreed to end the US$10 billion bilateral currency swap agreement that had been maintained since 2001.

A currency swap is an arrangement between two countries to exchange one currency with another at a specific rate of exchange in a bid to use the powerful foreign currency to soothe volatility in the currency market.

Instead, Yoo and Taro will discuss ways to enhance policy coordination in the face of global market changes, such as a possible U.S. rate hike, and to make concerted efforts to stabilize the Asian financial market.

Strengthening cooperation against wide-spreading protectionism is also on the agenda, according to the ministry.

brk@yna.co.kr
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