• Kyodo


Japan and the United States will hold informal talks next week to lay the groundwork for the second round of their economic dialogue, Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso said Tuesday.

Aso told reporters after a Cabinet meeting that he will visit the U.S. from Sept. 4 to exchange views with Vice President Mike Pence.

“We believe there are some preparations to be made” before the next round of economic dialogue, said Aso, who doubles as finance minister.

Asked whether the two will discuss issues related to North Korea’s missile launches, Aso said, “I can’t say at this point how it will be taken up.”

Japan and the U.S. launched the economic dialogue in April to discuss economic, trade and investment issues.

Aso has said Tokyo’s imposition in August of emergency tariffs on frozen beef imports from the U.S. and other countries may be discussed under the bilateral framework.

Trade has become a sensitive issue since President Donald Trump took office. Trump, favoring bilateral rather than multilateral trade deals, has taken issue with his country’s massive trade deficits with major exporters such as China and Japan.

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