Bank of China bridge Macau Lucas Vallecillos Vwpics/ZumaPress

An Asian Community Can Wait

European countries may join the AIIB to deepen their business and political ties with China, but their financial stakes in the outcome are limited. Japan, however, has much to lose if the AIIB does not work according to plan, which is why it would be wise to wait before deciding whether to sign up.

TOKYO – In the world of international finance, conflicting monetary and exchange-rate policies compete for advantage and countries battle for influence over the rules of the game. After all, just as investors compete to maximize their profits, countries compete to ensure that international rules and norms are agreeable to them. That is why agreeing to an international economic regime – say, establishing a fixed exchange rate, or adopting a common currency – is a deeply political decision. And today’s Asia faces many such decisions.