China's government said that some European countries have expressed a willingness to join the Beijing-proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei spoke to reporters on Friday. He said that a number of countries outside Asia have conveyed their intention to join the bank, and said some major nations are among them, NHK World reported.
The minister did not name the countries, but sources familiar with the negotiations said some of the Group of seven industrialized nations have shown an interest.
Japan and the United States remain cautious because of what they see as unclear points in the bank's operational mechanisms.
Lou said China has kept Japan informed of how negotiations are developing. He said it's up to Japan to decide whether to join.
China and 26 other countries, including India and Southeast Asian nations, have announced their intention to participate.