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23 Mar, 2020 13:29

Tokyo urges ‘timely’ G20 action to combat Covid-19 fallout

Tokyo urges ‘timely’ G20 action to combat Covid-19 fallout

Japan has called on G20 finance leaders to take timely policy steps to tackle global economic risks posed by the coronavirus outbreak, Finance Minister Taro Aso said on Monday.

The minister said after a conference call with his G20 counterparts that the nature of the crisis was different to the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, when dollar funding dried up, Reuters reports. However, Aso informed the G20 he was “deeply concerned” about the damage the coronavirus outbreak was inflicting on markets and the global economy.

“The G20 has a very important role to play in preventing the infection from spreading, maintaining medical supply and developing vaccines,” Aso said. “We need to concentrate our efforts on these factors. I also urged each country to implement necessary and sufficient economic and fiscal measures.”

Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda, who also participated in the G20 conference call, said there were sufficient dollar funds being funneled to global markets, thanks in part to an enhanced swap arrangement put in place by major central banks.