• Kyodo

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U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow called for both Japan and the United States to cooperate in boosting their economies, a Japanese official said Saturday.

After a meeting with Snow at a Paris hotel, Finance Minister Masajuro Shiokawa said, “He said it was his belief that the world economy will not improve unless (the U.S.) joins hands with Japan.”

The minister also quoted Snow as saying, “We will make efforts, too, but we hope Japan will also make efforts to revitalize the economy.”

The two ministers met for the first time ahead of the start of the second day of a gathering of finance ministers and central bank chiefs of the Group of Seven major economic powers.

Snow is attending his first international economic meeting since being sworn into office earlier this month.

U.S. President George W. Bush chose the former top executive of railroad freight giant CSX Corp. to replace Paul O’Neill in December.

G7 finance ministers and central bankers began their second and final day of talks Saturday, focusing on the shaky state of the global economy and a possible war in Iraq. The finance chiefs of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States are expected to underscore their unity. in the face of the Iraq crisis by confirming their readiness to cooperate and implement policies.

But the ministers are unlikely to go into any specifics, given the uncertainty over future developments and political differences between G7 members over the need for war, Japanese government officials said.

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