TOKYO  - Japan and 12 other Asian countries will likely agree to double the amount of funds available under a regional currency swap pact amid uncertainty over the European debt crisis, a report said Sunday.

Japan, China, South Korea and the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are to agree to double the fund from the current $120 billion this month, Japan’s Nikkei daily reported, citing unnamed sources. The currency swap deal, known as the Chiang Mai Initiative, is designed to prevent a financial crisis in countries with relatively small foreign exchange reserves by giving them a safety net against future liquidity shortages. Currently, up to 20 percent of the $120 billion in available funds can be used without linkage to loans by the International Monetary Fund.

 The so-called ASEAN+3 countries are also expected to agree to raise this percentage significantly to prevent the European debt crisis from causing major damage in Asia.

, the Nikkei said.

The countries are expected to reach a broad agreement on strengthening the functions of the Chiang Mai Initiative at a meeting of senior finance officials in Cambodia at the end of this month, it said.

The agreement is expected to be finalised in May at a meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors from the ASEAN+3 countries, it said.