Japanese Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki said on Friday that G7 financial heads would discuss exchange rates when they meet in Singapore on September 16, but he declined to say if the yen would be at the center of those talks.

We will discuss currency issues as part of talks on the global economy, Tanigaki said.

Asked about German Deputy Finance Minister Thomas Mirow's comment on Thursday that G7 finance ministers would discuss the weakness of the yen, Tanigaki said only, I have no preset idea on what kind of opinions will be expressed at the meeting.

The yen hovered near a one-month high against the euro on Friday, holding big gains scored after Mirow's comment.

Investors are keen to see if G7 finance ministers and central bank governors keep up pressure on countries enjoying big trade surpluses, notably China, to allow their currencies to rise further.

Tanigaki confirmed the date for the Group of Seven meeting, which he will chair, and said China, Singapore and Thailand were being invited to join in part of the G7 discussions.

He did not elaborate on what would be the key issues to be discussed at the sideline meeting with those non-G7 countries.

But a Japanese finance ministry official told Reuters that the G7 members, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, will likely exchange views on Asian economic development with the three guest countries.

He said they were invited as they exemplify various types of economic structure, growth patterns and economic problems in the region.

Tokyo said before that it wanted to invite some Asian nations to the sideline meeting as the G7 group will meet in Singapore.


Over the past few years, the G7 group has invited guest countries to discuss key economic topics at that time, such as high oil prices or economic development in emerging countries.

Recent guest countries include China, Brazil, Russia, India, South Africa, and Middle East countries.

Japan's top financial diplomat, Hiroshi Watanabe, said on Thursday that it was unlikely the G7 group would issue an annex statement on global imbalances as it did after its April meeting, although the issue will be discussed.

The special G7 statement on global imbalances in April stoked market concerns that a disorderly unwinding of the imbalances could lead to potential market turbulence, sending the dollar sharply lower.

Tanigaki said the G7 forum would discuss the global economic outlook including the impact of oil prices, and reforms of global financial institutions such as a revamp of the voting structure at the International Monetary Fund.

The outlook for the Doha trade round and development issues were also on the table, he added.

For nearly a decade, Tokyo has been calling for a review of the IMF's country quotas, which determine member nations' voting power and the amount of financing they can obtain from the fund, saying Asian countries are under-represented in the IMF.

Japan welcomed a proposal adopted by the IMF board last week to overhaul the voting system at the Washington-based institution and increase the quotas of China, South Korea, Turkey and Mexico in a bid to better reflect their rise in the world economy.

The G7 meeting will be held at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore ahead of a meeting of the International Monetary and Financial Committee on September 17 and annual meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund on September 19-20.