• Kyodo

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Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao agreed Sunday to step up cooperation in international finance, with Japan to begin purchases of Chinese government bonds and both to encourage the use of their own currencies instead of the dollar when settling bilateral trades, officials said.

The two leaders also decided during their talks in Beijing to set up a working group composed of officials from both countries to discuss private-sector requests on deregulation and other issues.

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