March 13, 2012 / 12:43 AM / 8 years ago

Japan to purchase 65 billion yuan in China government debt

Japan's Finance Minister Jun Azumi talks during a news conference as part of the Group of Twenty (G20) leading economies' finance ministers and central bankers meeting in Mexico City February 25, 2012. REUTERS/Bernardo Montoya

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan said on Tuesday it had received approval from China’s government to purchase 65 billion yuan ($10.3 billion) in Chinese government debt in a move that can help Japan diversify its reserves away from the dollar and strengthen economic ties between the two Asian countries.

The timing of purchases hasn’t been set yet as Japan still needs to make some administrative preparations, but Japan is likely to start with a small amount and then increase purchases, Japan’s Finance Minister Jun Azumi said.

Japan will also consider the impact on financial markets when it decides the timing of its purchases, Azumi said.

China said on Monday it would continue its purchases of Japanese government debt but would reduce purchases when the yen is rising as China and Japan, holders of the largest and second-largest currency reserves, look to limit exposure to the dollar.

“We feel this is an appropriate amount when considering our mutual goal of strengthening economic cooperation between Japan and China,” Azumi told reporters.

Japan and China agreed at a summit in December to facilitate trade between the yen and the yuan as part of a broader push to strengthen economic cooperation.

($1=6.3265 yuan)

Editing by Neil Fullick

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