The demand for financing of infrastructure in Asia is thriving, and the cooperation of the new China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, AIIB, with the Asian Development Bank, ADB, would be welcomed and beneficial, stated Taro Aso, Japanese Finance Minister on Tuesday.

The Japanese Minister repeated that Japan would not be able to decide on joining the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank by the deadline, on March 31, for the management of the bank still lacks transparency. Aso approved the AIIB with caution last week, since the official Washington objects to such a bank.  United States of America were among the founders of the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, and have extensive influence over them. The new AIIB is now being perceived as a rival to these institutions.

The AIIB and the ADB will not compete in a zero-sum situation, since “Demand for an absolute quantity of (infrastructure) financing is growing” declared the Japanese Minister after cabinet talks.

The transparency of AIIB is still troubling Aso, as he stated that it not clear “Who is involved, where to decide an executive board and who will examine loans for each project.” The difference in rules is preventing AIIS to “Work together with the ADB to develop infrastructure in Asia”, which would be the preferred scenario, added Aso.

The Minister again voiced his country concerns about the capability of AIIB to sustain debt and manage the impacts of infrastructure development on the environment and on the social questions, which could easily influence loans by the World Bank, ADB and others.

The decision of Japan depends on the answers they receive from AIIB, concerning the matters they find troubling. Aso repeated that “Japan has been cautious all along,” added that his country will not be able to meet the deadline on March 31 “unless we receive responses.”