Takashi Fukaya, the international trade and industry minister, is considering a trip to Washington in February or March for talks with top U.S. officials on the new round of global trade liberalization negotiations, sources at his ministry said Thursday.

The sources said Fukaya believes that such talks will be crucial in helping break a deadlock that is stalling talks on such negotiations before the summit of the Group of Eight major countries in Okinawa Prefecture in July.

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