Japan finance minister to visit Singapore, Vietnam next week

By Reuters   January 5, 2023 | 11:01 pm PT
Japan finance minister to visit Singapore, Vietnam next week
Japan's Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki poses before ringing the bell during the New Year ceremony marking the opening of trading in 2023 at the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) in Tokyo, Japan January 4, 2023. Photo by Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon
Japanese Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki is set to visit Singapore and Vietnam to meet high government officials from Jan. 10-13, the Ministry of Finance said on Friday.

There will be no media opportunities during his visits, but the minister will brief reporters on results of the trip at a news conference after he returns, the ministry said.

Along with Indonesia, Japan co-chairs this year's meetings of ASEAN+3, including China and South Korea, and it will also host the Group of Seven (G7) leaders' meeting.

During the visits, Suzuki will meet Lawrence Wong, Singapore's deputy prime minister who doubles as finance minister, and Vietnamese finance chief Ho Duc Phoc.

"On top of bilateral ties ... we will discuss vital agenda such as financial cooperation within the region," Suzuki told reporters. "We will also make use of talks with Singapore for achieving our goal of making Tokyo a global financial centre."

Turning to domestic affairs, Suzuki shrugged off speculation that the government may consider raising the sales tax in the future to pay for its plan to boost childcare spending, following such remarks by ruling party tax heavyweight Akira Amari.

"The government is not making any specific consideration towards the way future sales tax should be. I think Amari's remarks are his own," Suzuki said.

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