TOKYO (AP) — Asia needs all the help it can get in fighting poverty as both wealthy and poor nations grapple with widening inequality, Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda said Tuesday.
Kuroda welcomed China's push to support regional growth through the Beijing-backed Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, which has been viewed as a rival to traditional lenders like the Asian Development Bank.
The China-led AIIB would bring welcome help in the effort to find trillions of dollars in financing for construction of vital infrastructure such as roads, ports and bridges, said Kuroda, a former president of the Manila, Philippines-based ADB.
Kuroda was speaking at a conference on the sidelines of the ADB's annual meeting, which begins Thursday in Yokohama, near Tokyo.
The ADB, which has been led by Japan and the U.S. since its founding in 1966, has estimated some $26 trillion in infrastructure spending will be needed by 2030 to support growth, combat poverty and cope with the repercussions of climate change.
"It's simply not possible for the ADB and the World Bank to fill the gap completely," Kuroda said when asked about the China-led bank after a speech in which he applauded the region's progress but pointed to a "considerable burden" of poverty despite rapid growth in the past five decades.