October 4, 2012 (TSR) – Several major Chinese banks have cancelled participation in the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank to be held in Tokyo next week, a report said.
Although many of those apparently planning no- shows gave no specific reason, Dow Jones Newswires said on Tuesday, it is the latest sign that a festering spat over islands in the East China Sea is having a wider impact on bilateral, and now multi-lateral ties.
Chinese lenders that have pulled out of International Monetary Fund-related events include Agricultural Bank of China and Bank of Communications, while Bank of China officials have yet to decide whether to attend the meetings according to sources.
China Construction Bank said its China-based officials had scheduling problems that were preventing them from attending.
“Quite frankly, it’s Japan-China relations,” Dow Jones Newswires quoted an official at the Tokyo branch of the Agricultural Bank of China as saying to explain why the bank was pulling out of IMF-related events.
The bank is still sponsoring and participating in a meeting of the Institute of International Finance – a global association of financial institutions – that takes place in Tokyo on the sidelines of the IMF meeting, the report said, citing another anonymous official.
Japan is scheduled to host the IMF and World Bank annual meetings for the first time in nearly half a century. About 20,000 people are expected to attend the event, making it one of the world’s largest international conferences.
Sino-Japanese relations deteriorated sharply after Japan in September bought the East China Sea islets that both Tokyo and Beijing claim, sparking anti-Japan protests across the country.
Tensions between Beijing and Tokyo remained high this week, with Chinese government ships returning to waters off Japanese-controlled islands on Tuesday.
Last week, Japanese and Chinese diplomats clashed at the United Nations in New York over the ownership of the islands known as the Senkakus in Japan and the Diaoyus in China.
The Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group, held in the autumn of each year, are formal gatherings of the Boards of Governors––the highest decision-making bodies of the two organizations. As customary, once in every three years the Annual Meetings are held outside the organizations’ Washington D.C. headquarters. The 2012 meeting will mark the second time this event has been held in Japan, with the first such meeting held back in 1964. The year will also mark the 60th anniversary of Japan’s membership to the Fund and the Bank.
As the Annual Meetings are attended by finance ministers, central bank governors, and other principals from around the world, the official events will also be complemented by a large number of bilateral conferences, regular meetings of the G7, G20, G24, G10, Commonwealth minister conferences, and other events. The Annual Meetings gather not only ministers and key government officials, but also members of the private sector, including representatives of financial institutions, as well as the media and civil society organizations (CSOs). A number of seminars and symposiums, being held during the same week, provide additional opportunities for dialogue and networking. This is one of the largest international conferences in the world. During the meetings period, approximately 200 gatherings of all sizes will be held, attended by 10,000 participants. Total attendance including special guests, as well as private sector, media, and CSO representatives is expected to be approximately 20,000.
SCHEDULE OF SESSIONS
Each year, during the Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group, high level seminars are organized under the umbrella of “Program of Seminars”. This year, more than 10 seminars will be held from Wednesday, October 10 through Saturday October 13. Many of these seminars will be co-hosted by the Japan Government and Bank of Japan, etc. with the IMF and World Bank Group. As the Host Government, we aim to make strong intellectual contribution to the world.
On October 9-10, 2012, as part of the programs of the 67th IMF-World Bank Group Annual Meetings, the Ministry of Finance of Japan and the World Bank are co-hosting a special event, Sendai Dialogue, in Sendai. This special event will highlight lessons learnt from the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami and adopt them as guidance for comprehensive disaster risk management in at-risk countries around the world. The Dialogue, which will be held in Sendai – the largest city in the tsunami-affected Tohoku region – will engage Ministers, Annual Meetings delegates and other stakeholders in developing a global consensus to advance the mainstreaming of disaster risk management as a development priority. The special event is expected to make a major contribution towards increased cooperation between the World Bank and its partners in reducing vulnerability to natural hazards.
The List of IMF and World Bank Member Countries/Attendees (with exception of China)
Afghanistan / Albania / Algeria / Angola / Antigua and Barbuda / Argentina / Armenia / Australia / Austria / Azerbaijan / Bahamas, The / Bahrain / Bangladesh / Barbados / Belarus / Belgium / Belize / Benin / Bhutan / Bolivia / Bosnia and Herzegovina / Botswana / Brazil / Brunei Darussalam / Bulgaria / Burkina Faso / Burundi / Cambodia / Cameroon / Canada / Cape Verde / Central African Republic / Chad / Chile / China / Colombia / Comoros / Congo, Democratic Republic of / Congo, Republic of / Costa Rica / Cote d’Ivoire / Croatia / Cyprus / Czech Republic / Denmark / Djibouti / Dominica / Dominican Republic / Ecuador / Egypt, Arab Republic of / El Salvador / Equatorial Guinea / Eritrea / Estonia / Ethiopia / Fiji / Finland / France / Gabon / Gambia, The / Georgia / Germany / Ghana / Greece / Grenada / Guatemala / Guinea / Guinea-Bissau / Guyana, Cooperative Republic of / Haiti / Honduras / Hungary / Iceland / India / Indonesia / Iran, Islamic Republic of / Iraq / Ireland / Israel / Italy / Jamaica / Japan / Jordan / Kazakhstan / Kenya / Kiribati / Korea, Republic of / Kosovo / Kuwait / Kyrgyz Republic / Lao People’s Democratic Republic / Latvia / Lebanon / Lesotho / Liberia / Libya / Lithuania / Luxembourg / Macedonia, FYR of / Madagascar / Malawi / Malaysia / Maldives / Mali / Malta / Marshall Islands / Mauritania / Mauritius / Mexico / Micronesia, Federated States of / Moldova / Mongolia / Montenegro / Morocco / Mozambique / Myanmar / Namibia / Nepal / Netherlands / New Zealand / Nicaragua / Niger / Nigeria / Norway / Oman / Pakistan / Palau / Panama / Papua New Guinea / Paraguay / Peru / Philippines / Poland / Portugal / Qatar / Romania / Russian Federation / Rwanda / Samoa / San Marino / Sao Tome and Principe / Saudi Arabia / Senegal / Serbia / Seychelles / Sierra Leone / Singapore / Slovak Republic / Slovenia / Solomon Islands / Somalia / South Africa / South Sudan, Republic of / Spain / Sri Lanka / St. Kitts and Nevis / St. Lucia / St. Vincent and the Grenadines / Sudan / Suriname / Swaziland / Sweden / Switzerland / Syrian Arab Republic / Tajikistan / Tanzania / Thailand / Timor-Leste / Togo / Tonga / Trinidad and Tobago / Tunisia / Turkey / Turkmenistan / Tuvalu / Uganda / Ukraine / United Arab Emirates / United Kingdom / United States / Uruguay / Uzbekistan / Vanuatu / Venezuela, Republica Bolivariana de / Vietnam / Yemen, Republic of / Zambia / Zimbabwe