Japan agrees to expand currency swap deals with 2 ASEAN nations

Japan has agreed to boost its respective currency swap deals with Indonesia and the Philippines, while maintaining such an arrangement with Singapore, as part of a strategy to help stabilize financial markets in Asia, the Finance Ministry said Friday.

As the countries represent three of the larger economies in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, expansion of the currency deals is expected to strengthen their emergency response abilities in the case of a regional financial crisis, the Japanese ministry said.

Japan will raise its $12.0 billion currency swap facility with Indonesia to $22.76 billion and double its $6.0 billion swap line with the Philippines to $12.0 billion, while maintaining its $3.0 billion swap deal with Singapore, the ministry said.

The world's third-biggest economy also agreed with Indonesia and the Philippines to introduce a new scheme to prevent a crisis, such as a lack of market liquidity, it added.

"Currency stabilization (in the three counties) would contribute to Japan's national interests," Finance Minister Taro Aso said at a press conference earlier in the day.

The agreements came as leaders of Japan and the ASEAN member nations will gather for a summit in Tokyo from Friday.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been making efforts to forge closer ties with the fast-growing Southeast Asia region as part of efforts to revive the country's economy and keep in check China, which has become increasingly assertive in the East China and South China seas.

Abe has visited all 10 ASEAN nations since he took office in December last year.