YOKOHAMA, Japan Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said on Friday the yen was a "stable" currency and could contribute to promoting financial stability in Asia.
Aso was referring to a proposal Japan made earlier in the day to launch bilateral foreign exchange swap arrangements with Southeast Asian nations, enabling Tokyo to provide yen funds to these countries in times of financial stress.
He also told reporters that the global community should work to maintain free trade.
Aso made the remarks at a meeting with officials from China, South Korea and Southeast Asian countries.
(Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto; Writing by Leika Kihara; Editing by Chris Gallagher)