UPDATE 1-Japan Kan:G20 better venue to discuss yuan than G7

(For more stories on the Japanese economy, click [ID:nECONJP])

* More fair to discuss yuan at G20, rather than G7

* Didn’t ask for yuan discussion at G7 meeting this weekend

TOKYO, Feb 5 (BestGrowthStock) – Group of 20 meetings could be a
better forum to discuss the strength of China’s currency than
Group of Seven events, although the issue might come up at a G7
meeting this weekend, Japan’s finance minister said on Friday.

Naoto Kan, speaking to reporters just before leaving Tokyo
for the meeting, said he had not requested that discussions on
the yuan should be on the agenda.

“It’s more fair to debate the yuan at the G20 instead of G7
meetings,” Kan told reporters.

Finance Ministers and central banks chiefs from the Group of
Seven major industrialised countries will meet this weekend in
Canada.

China, along with other major developing countries such as
Brazil and India, sits at the larger G20 table of industrial and
emerging powers. The G20 has been overtaking the G7 as the prime
forum for global economic matters.

Although the G7 has repeatedly urged China to revalue its
currency, which some economists say is kept artificially low,
giving it an unfair export advantage and hindering more balanced
economic growth, it has had little leverage with China.

Beijing has continued to shrug off pressure from its major
trading partners to let the yuan appreciate, repeating its line
that stability is in everybody’s best interests.

Tokyo believes that a more flexible yuan is desirable but has
been more reserved than its G7 peers in its criticism of China’s
currency system on the view that pressuring Beijing won’t work.

“Our position on the yuan is based on desire for the Chinese
economy to grow stably, and I think Chinese officials are working
to that end,” Kan told reporters on Friday.

He also said the did not ask for the G7 to discuss the yuan.

“Everyone is interested in China, and as it is part of Asia,
we may be asked our views… (but) media reports suggesting I
asked Canada to put the yuan on the G7 agenda are mistaken,” he
said.

Kan, who took over as finance minister last month, had
earlier said he would closely watch any G7 debate on the yuan as
it could affect Japan’s economy, which is heavily reliant on
exports to fast-growing Asian nations like China. [ID:nTOE60D04W]

Canada has said the G7 may discuss the need for a more
flexible yuan, among other topics, at the meeting that it will
host on Friday and Saturday.

Asked about President Barack Obama’s financial regulation
plan, Kan, who is also deputy prime minister, said it was
important to make sure the regulations did not harm the real
economy.

The G7 finance leaders are unlikely to issue a joint
communique this time, after they agreed at the previous meeting
in Istanbul last year to make the G7 a more informal forum of
debate.

Investment

(Reporting by Stanley White; Editing by Joseph Radford)

UPDATE 1-Japan Kan:G20 better venue to discuss yuan than G7