Japan has expanded currency swap agreements with Indonesia and the Philippines while maintaining the arrangement with Singapore so as to help stabilize financial markets in Asia.

Japan agreed to nearly double its bilateral swap arrangement with Indonesia to 22.76 billion USD from 12 billion USD and boost its arrangement with the Philippines to 12 billion USD from 6 billion USD. It will also maintain a three billion swap deal with Singapore.
The expansion of the currency deals with the countries, which are major economies in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), would help strengthen their emergency response abilities in the case of financial crisis, news agencies quoted Japanese Finance Ministry as saying last week.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on December 14 pledged Japan's continued support for development of five Southeast Asian countries along the Mekong River, namely Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

PM Abe said at the fifth Mekong-Japan Summit in Tokyo that development in the Mekong region and narrowing the gaps between the 10 ASEAN member economies are the most important issues toward the creation of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015.

Japan has pledged to extend a total of 600 billion yen in official development assistance to the five countries in a three-year period through fiscal 2015.-VNA