Japan backs US World Bank pick
Japan's finance minister on Tuesday signalled Tokyo's willingness to support Jim Yong Kim, the US nominee for the next World Bank chief, a report said.
“I think it is quite possible to consider (supporting Kim) if the United States requests us to recommend him,” Finance Minister Jun Azumi said, according to Kyodo News.
Azumi, however, added that Tokyo had not made a final decision on the matter.
US President Barack Obama has tapped the Korean-American physician, known for his work in World Health Organization campaigns against AIDS in Africa, to lead the World Bank.
Since its founding in 1944, Washington has always chosen the head of the World Bank, and has filled the position each time with an American, without opposition.
This year, for the first time two challengers are vying with the US nominee: respected economists Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria and Jose Antonio Ocampo of Colombia.
That means Kim, currently president of the prestigious US Ivy League school Dartmouth College, needs to woo international support for his candidacy.
Kim was to launch a global “listening tour” on Tuesday, visiting Addis Ababa, Beijing, Tokyo, Seoul, New Delhi, Brasilia and Mexico City - all important players in the Bank - until April 9.
He is expected to hold talks with Azumi this weekend in Tokyo, Kyodo said. - Sapa-AFP