October 10, 2012 - 10:23 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - China's central bank governor and finance minister won't be attending IMF and World Bank annual meetings in Tokyo this week, a Japanese official said Wednesday, Oct 10 — cancelations that come as the two Asian giants remain at odds over a cluster of tiny islands both claim, The Associated Press reports.
The International Monetary Fund confirmed that People's Bank of China Gov. Zhou Xiaochuan, who was scheduled to give the event's closing speech on Sunday, wouldn't be coming to Tokyo, citing scheduling problems. The IMF said his deputy, Yi Gang, will represent him at the meeting and will deliver Sunday's lecture.
The IMF couldn't confirm that Finance Minister Xie Xuren had also cancelled his trip. China's central bank and Finance Ministry did not respond to requests for comment.
The Japanese finance ministry official who confirmed the no-shows wouldn't provide a reason. He requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter, AP says.
The dispute over the uninhabited islands in the East China Sea has triggered widespread protests in China and attacks on Japanese-owned factories and stores, and also appears to be spilling over into the economic arena, threatening a shaky economic recovery in Japan after last year's tsunami and nuclear disasters.
China, with its growing middle class, was one of the emerging markets that Japanese companies were counting on to boost sales amid a long stagnation in their domestic market and sluggish global growth.