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News Bulletin
"G7 Supports IMF Approach: Cultural Sensitivity Also Urged"

by Stephen Hudovernik

Volume 2, Issue 6
Saturday, May 16, 1998 4:00 p.m.

BIRMINGHAM - The G7 Finance Ministers have fully endorsed the International Monetary Fund approach to reforming the architecture of the international financial system. The principles of the reforms include supporting greater transparency and liberalization of capital flows, enhancing private sector participation in problem solving and strengthening co-operative efforts between nations. In granting its support, however, Japan pushed for greater flexibility in approaching global financial problems.

Press Secretary to the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sadaaki Numata said the delivery and presentation of IMF messages should be consistent with the cultural traditions of affected nations. As an example, Numata noted that Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto was able to convince President Suharto of Indonesia to continue negotiations with the IMF on the terms of assistance when former Vice President Walter Mondale could not.

Numata noted that the concept of an "all Asian" IMF-style institution had now been subsumed in the Manila framework, indicating that this idea was all but dead. However, the Manila framework will continue to discuss "Regional Surveillance," an idea specifically supported by the IMF and the G7 Finance Ministers, as well as other issues of common interest to Asian nations.

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